Women's Basketball vs. Clemson, Alisia Smith (1)

Forward Alisia Smith (1) attempts a shot during the women’s basketball game against Clemson at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. The Lady Lions won 68-55.

After losing to Long Beach State last night, Penn State returned with a balanced, offensive explosion against North Carolina Central.

The Lady Lions shot over 50 percent from the field in their 92-68 victory, the most points they’ve scored all season.

Kamaria McDaniel didn’t start, but she led the team in minutes played with 29 and in points with 27, a career-high. McDaniel was 9-of-19 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe.

Alisia Smith had a career night, with 22 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Penn State led by eight after the first quarter, but broke it open in the second with 28 points, the most they scored in a quarter on the night.

With a 20-point lead at the half, it was in familiar territory. However, the Lady Lions never let North Carolina Central crawl back into the game and cruised to a victory.

North Carolina Central’s best quarter was the third, in which it scored 25 points. Although 10 of the 25 came from the free-throw line, Penn State shot 50 percent from the field, along with seven points from the line to balance out the Eagles offensive outbreak.

Penn State entered the fourth quarter with a 16-point lead and capped off the night by consistently getting to the free-throw line to cap off the night.

Here are three takeaways from tonight’s game:

Alisia Smith has a career night

Early on in the season, as Smith slowly has her minutes increased, Lauren Ebo has seen the ball in the post for the majority.

Smith had an efficient and dominant game from the interior. In 24 minutes, she scored 22 points, a career-high, on 9-of-12 shooting.

If Smith can grow back to her previous self, it will help open up better looks when Penn State needs big baskets, instead of contested and ill-advised shots from mid-range and from three.

Getting back to the free-throw line

Penn State averages 16.5 free throws per game. In the second half alone, it went to the line 19 times.

The Lady Lions shots 24-of-28 from the free-throw line, which is good for 85.7 percent. On average, Penn State is 72.9 percent from the line.

In Friday’s eight-point loss to Long Beach State, the Lady Lions only shot seven free throws.

With an emphasis on getting easy points, Penn State created more efficient opportunities from the field, and it paid off.

Fewer three-pointers suits Penn State’s game

Penn State is shooting just 28 percent from beyond the arc, shooting nearly 18 threes a game.

The Lady Lions shot nine threes on the night, but scored the most points in a game this season with 92.

With 52 points in the paint and 24 points from the free-throw line, it showed that they don’t need to chuck up a large number of threes to win games.

While Penn State has viable three-point shooters on the team, tonight’s performance demonstrated that it doesn’t have to rely on its three-point shooters on a nightly basis.

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