Teniya Page eclipsed the 2,000 point mark for her career a few minutes into the third quarter against Iowa when she put back a layup in transition.
Despite Page’s quality performance and career milestone, Penn State still couldn’t compete with a dominant Iowa team led by one of the best post players in the country. The Hawkeyes beat Penn State handily on Sunday by a score of 81-61 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“I mean I guess it's cool to get to 2,000 points,” Page said. “I think in high school I barely scored over 1,000, so for me this was kind of different.”
Page finished the game with a team high 17 points, and also added four assists and three steals.
Megan Gustafson was unguardable in this one as she finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds on 13-18 shooting from the field.
“Megan Gustafson is a phenomenal talent,” coach Coquese Washington said. “I thought she really carried their team today and got big buckets when they needed them.”
Mackenzie Meyer of the Hawkeyes went down with an injury late in the third quarter, but prior to that she was putting in a quality performance with 18 points, half of which came from beyond the arc.
The Lady Lions came out with their usual starting five, playing man defense against a talented Hawkeye offense.
Alisia Smith was mostly matched up with Gustafson, who was consistently getting buckets in the post throughout the game. Gustafson missed only one shot, going 8-of-9 from the field in the opening half.
Iowa opened up in a 2-3 zone that troubled the Penn State offense. The Lady Lions looked sloppy in their zone offense, lacking movement and turning the ball over frequently.
After the first quarter, Penn State trailed by only two points, but that gap was quickly inflated as the Hawkeyes went on a 18-4 run to open the second quarter and began to pull away.
Iowa found success by pushing the ball up the floor every chance it could — whether it be off made baskets or in transition. On multiple occasions the Hawkeyes beat the Lady Lions defense down the floor for an uncontested layup after a made basket.
Gustafson continued to own the paint on both ends of the floor, and Iowa entered the half with a 15 point lead after holding the Lady Lions to just 13-of-34 shooting from the field in the half.
“She has a really outstanding touch,” Washington said. “She rarely misses and you see that on film. It makes it hard to guard her because she’s got great touch and she gets into her shot so quickly.”
One bright spot for Penn State was Smith, who was able to find soft spots in the Iowa zone and score 10 points along side Page’s 11 in the half.
Smith finished with 15 points in the game as the Lady Lions’ second-leading scorer behind Page.
“On the jumpers that I got, I’ve been working on those,” Smith said. “Just to be able to knock them down today was very good for me.”
Penn State tried to claw its way back in the second half, but there was no slowing down the potent Iowa offense.
The Lady Lions’ struggles from the three point line continued as they shot just 3-of-18, compared to the Hawkeyes who shot 6-of-15.
The poor shooting performances have become a regular for this Penn State team, which has now dropped four of its last five games.
“We’ve gotta find a way to score more points,” Washington said. “When you play in the Big Ten, a conference where scoring is at a premium, we have to find a way to generate more points.”
The Lady Lions have a chance to right the ship when they travel to Ohio State on Wednesday.