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Penn State women defeat St. Francis, 87-54, for second straight win

STATE COLLEGE — The Penn State women’s basketball team shot a blistering 56.7% from the field to earn a dominant 87-54 victory over Saint Francis and move to 2-0 on the season Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State’s 56.7 field goal percentage was its highest in over four years as eleven Nittany Lions scored in the stifling offensive attack.

“I thought we played a much better second half after we settled down and stopped turning the ball over so much,” Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger said. “I’m proud of our defensive effort – that’s two games in a row that we’ve held our opponent under 35% (field goals), which has been a big goal for us this offseason.”

Graduate student Kelly Jekot led the way once again with her second-straight double-double thanks to a team-best 24 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Johnasia Cash followed with 16 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Shay Hagans rounded out the double-digit scoring with 10 points.

SFU led 6-4 early on before four points from Jekot and four from Hagans comprised an 8-2 Penn State run that put the Lady Lions ahead 12-8 just under seven minutes into the game. The Red Flash answered by scoring eight of the next 12 to knot the score at 16-16 before a Jekot jumper ended the term to give Penn State an 18-16 lead through one.

The Nittany Lions stretched their lead to 23-16 early in the second quarter, but SFU’s Karson Swogger drilled back-to-back three-pointers to pull the Red Flash within 23-22 at the 6:12 mark of the second quarter.

Penn State carried its momentum into the third quarter as the Nittany Lions scored 16 points in the paint during the term to outscore the Red Flash 22-19 and take a 58-41 lead into the final stanza.

The Nittany Lions have scored 80-plus points in two-straight games, while also holding their opponent under 55 points in both contests.

Jekot’s double-double was the third of her career and her second in as many games. She was nearly unstoppable, finishing 9-for-13 from the field.

“A lot of contributions by a lot of players tonight. We’ll start with Kelly (Jekot), obviously her second double-double in a row. Johnasia Cash came in with 16 and 8 and I thought she got some great rebounds and put-backs, and ran the floor really well tonight,” Kieger said.

Penn State remains home to host Rhode Island on Thursday in another non-conference matchup at 6 p.m.

Penn St. 87, St. Francis (Pa.) 54

ST. FRANCIS (PA.) (0-2)

Dettwiller 0-0 2-2 2, Thomas 3-6 0-0 6, Benzel 4-15 0-0 11, Maxwell 2-7 1-2 5, Swogger 4-11 2-2 13, Kovac 0-2 0-0 0, Dapaa 3-5 1-3 7, Mastellone 0-3 0-0 0, Miller 1-5 4-4 6, Murphy 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-1 0-0 0, Nichols 2-2 0-0 4, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 19-57 10-13 54

PENN ST. (2-0)

Camden 1-3 3-4 5, Cash 7-12 2-5 16, Hagans 4-5 2-2 10, Jekot 9-13 4-6 24, Marisa 3-8 1-3 8, Staples 1-1 2-2 4, Thornton 0-2 0-2 0, Boyd 1-1 0-0 2, Burke 1-3 0-0 2, Donovan 1-1 0-0 3, Sabel 3-5 0-0 7, Thomas 3-6 0-0 6, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 34-60 14-24 87

St. Francis (Pa.) 16 6 19 13 — 54

Penn St. 18 18 22 29 — 87

3-Point Goals–St. Francis (Pa.) 6-30 (Thomas 0-2, Benzel 3-11, Maxwell 0-2, Swogger 3-7, Kovac 0-2, Dapaa 0-1, Mastellone 0-2, Miller 0-2, Allen 0-1), Penn St. 5-10 (Camden 0-2, Jekot 2-3, Marisa 1-1, Burke 0-1, Donovan 1-1, Sabel 1-2). Assists–St. Francis (Pa.) 7 (Thomas 2), Penn St. 15 (Marisa 6). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–St. Francis (Pa.) 29 (Dapaa 3-8), Penn St. 40 (Cash 3-8). Total Fouls–St. Francis (Pa.) 21, Penn St. 16. Technical Fouls–None. A–217.

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