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Lady Lions Can’t Hang On, Fall To Michigan State 74-67

Riding some momentum after defeating Purdue in the team’s previous game, the Lady Lions came into this one with hopes of starting a winning streak, something the team hasn’t seen much this year. Michigan State proved to be a solid matchup, as the Spartans’ scorching-hot shooting performance helped down the Lady Lions, 74-67. Lindsey Spann and Kaliyah Mitchell led the Lady Lions in the scoring department with 13 apiece, while Candice Agee chipped in defensively with three blocks.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions got off to a sluggish start, managing three points in the game’s opening minutes. The Spartans began on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, hitting almost every shot they took. But five points off two quick turnovers got the Lady Lions to within seven, and the deficit was cut even closer after Lindsey Spann head-faked a defender, finishing with a layup at the basket.

An offensive putback by Mitchell got the Lady Lions to within one, but a Spartan dagger from downtown kept Michigan State ahead 27-18 with 8:30 remaining in the first half. The Spartans remained ahead, stifling the Lady Lions with swarming defense, and capitalizing off jump shots. A monster block by Alex Harris was carried down the court by Spann, who dished it back to Harris for the finish to stay within eight at the one-minute mark. Another three by the Spartans would cap off the first half, and give them a 43-32 lead going into the locker room.

Tori Waldner got things started offensively for Penn State in the second half, finishing with a bucket in the paint to make it 45-34, but Michigan State’s hot shooting streak continued with yet another bucket from three-point territory.

The teams battled back and forth throughout the second half’s opening minutes, but Penn State could not find a way to cut into Michigan State’s lead. A huge offensive surge about midway through cut the deficit to three, and a three from the wing by Keke Sullivan tied the game up at 57 apiece, energizing the light Bryce Jordan Center crowd.

The Lions lost out on a big opportunity after Sullivan missed two free throws with the team trailing by three. Michigan State regained its lead thanks to an impressive offensive performance by Tori Jankoska down the stretch, putting up six points over three minutes. Penn State struggled from the charity stripe, missing big in the game’s crucial final minutes. The Spartans would eventually hang on, taking this one 74-67.

Player Of The Game 

This honor goes to Michigan State’s Aerial Powers, who was unstoppable from the floor in the winning effort. Powers played an all-around game, putting up 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three blocks in the winning effort. She was a big part of Michigan State’s victory.

Tweet Of The Game 

Penn State hockey’s David Glen was honored at mid-court for saving the life of a complete stranger last year, serving as the matching donor for a critical bone marrow transplant. Glen chose to donate despite being in the middle of the team’s season, a commendable act of selflessness and courage. Hats off to you, David.

Game Notes 

Despite falling short, the Lady Lions finished the game with four players in double figures. The team falls to 6-19 on the year, and 3-11 in Big Ten Play, placing them dead last in the Big Ten standings.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions look to rebound with a matchup against Minnesota, which will take place Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

David Abruzzese

David is a senior from Rochester, NY, nestled right in beautiful Western New York. He is majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and as an avid sports fan, he passionately supports the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He is the first Penn Stater from his family, and couldn’t be prouder to represent Penn State University. In his free time, he likes to alpine ski, and play golf. You can follow him on Twitter @abruz11, and can contact him via email at [email protected]

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