Dec. 7, 2002
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Anderson, SC-Starting forwards Kelly Mazzante and Jessica Brungo combined for 51 points Saturday night to lead Penn State to an 80-66 women’s basketball victory over Clemson at the Civic Center of Anderson, SC.
The 11th ranked Penn State team improved to 6-1 with the victory, while Clemson fell to 3-2. Penn State’s only loss is to fourth-ranked Kansas State in the championship game of the women’s preseason NIT. The Lady Tigers will now break for semester exams and will return to action next Saturday at 4:00 PM when they play host to Furman at the Civic Center of Anderson.
Clemson was led in scoring by All-ACC guard Chrissy Floyd, who scored 24. Her evening included a rare four-point play in the second half that helped the Lady Tigers cut an 18-point lead to four in the second half. Floyd made 3-6 three-point attempts and her only free attempt in playing all 40 minutes.
Floyd was the only Lady Tiger in double figures. She did receive support from freshman center Amanda White, who had her third double figure rebound game of the year with 10 and scored seven points and four blocked shots. Freshman Khaili Sanders also had seven points and 10 rebounds, while Julie Aderhold added nine points.
Penn State got 28 points from Mazzante, who entered the game with a 25-point average. She was a perfect 10-10 from the foul line and had four assists, four steals and seven rebounds in a fine all-around effort. Clemson’s defense did hold the junior to 8-24 shooting, however. Brungo made 7-8 shots from the field and scored 23 points in 36 minutes. Guard Jess Strom added 13 points, including 8-9 free throws.
Free throw shooting and rebounding played a major part in the outcome. Penn State made more free throws than Clemson attempted, as the Lady Lions connected on 24-28 foul shots. Clemson was 14-19 from the line. Penn State won the rebound battle 39-31 and committed four less turnovers.
Clemson played all but three minutes of the game without starting power forward Maggie Slosser, who suffered a knee injury just three minutes into the game. The extent of the injury will not be known until Sunday. Slosser was off to quite a start with six points in just three minutes.
Penn State held a 10-point lead at intermission thanks to an efficient offense. The Lady Lions shot 48.4 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the line in leading 43-33 at intermission. Coach Rene Portland, who earned her 600th career Division I victory in a 101-74 win over Maryland earlier in the week, saw her team score 27 points in the first 7:55 of the contest.
Penn State took a nine-point lead at 27-18 on two free throws by Jessica Brungo at the 12:05 mark. The Lady Tigers then cut the margin to 27-23 with 10:38 left on a steal and layup by Floyd. But, Penn State went on a 10-0 run over the next 3:27 to run the margin to 14 at 37-23 on a jumper by Ashli Schwab. The lead reached 15 points at 42-27 on a jumper by Jennifer Brenden.. Clemson cut the margin to 10 points by intermission.
Kelly Mazzante led Penn State in the first half with 15 points, while Brungo added 12 points. The junior from Allison Park, PA made 4-4 shots from the field overall, 2-2 on three-pointers and 2-2 from the foul line in a perfect first half. Clemson was led in the first half by Floyd, who scored 11 points on 5-11 shooting.
Penn State ran the lead to 51-33 to open the second half with an 8-0 spurt. A Brungo three-point goal at the 17:16 mark gave the Lady Lions a game-best 18-point margin. But, Clemson did not quit and worked away at the margin over the next 15 minutes. Floyd’s four-point play at the 14:57 mark cut the margin to 14 at 51-37. Clemson continued to work the deficit and got the margin under 10 at 53-45 at the 12:16 mark on a jumper by Floyd.
A Floyd three-point goal with 4:28 remaining made the score 67-63. But that was as close as Clemson could get. A three-point goal by Brungo got the margin back to seven on the next possession and Penn State made their free throws down the stretch to win going away. Penn State outscored Clemson 14-3 over the last four minutes of the game.
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