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Spann’s 30 Points Aren’t Enough As Lady Lions Fall 98-85 To Minnesota

Lindsey Spann’s career-high 30 points weren’t enough to pull off a win for the Lady Lions on Sunday. Minnesota defeated the Lady Lions (6-6) 98-85 despite Spann’s encouraging performance and multiple rally attempts.

How It Happened

Minnesota went on a seven-point run to start, leaving Penn State scoreless and dictating the end result of the game. Callie Wagner led the Golden Gophers to more success, capitalizing on difficult three-point shots to give her team a 16-3 lead before Penn State attempted its first comeback. With 11 points in the seven remaining minutes of the quarter, Spann muscled the Lions to a four-point gap — Minnesota held a narrow 26-22 lead at the close of the first quarter.

Penn State suffered another early-quarter blowout, with Minnesota commanding baskets 11-5. With 5:52 left in the second, the score was 37-27 in favor of the Gophers until Penn State embarked on its second game of catch-up. The Lions outscored the Golden Gophers for the duration of the quarter, trailing 47-41 at its end.

The Lady Lions saw their best opportunity to steal the lead in the third quarter. At the tail-end, Brianna Banks drained a three-pointer, Kallyah Mitchell put up two free throws, and Ashanti Thomas scored off a layup to narrow the gap to 63-61. Minnesota thwarted the effort with five straight points, but a Thomas jump shot and two free throws from Whitted made it 68-65 with eight seconds left in the third. Minnesota’s Carlie Wagner scored last, a buzzer-beater layup that gave the Golden Gophers a 70-65 lead headed into the final quarter.

The final quarter started much like its predecessors — with a seven point run for Minnesota. Spann refused to give up, running 12-10 on Minnesota to narrow its lead 85-75 with five minutes left in regulation. The late-quarter effort fell short, and both teams split scoring spurts relatively evenly for a final score of 98-85.

Player Of The Game

Although Minnesota’s Wagner posted an impressive 32 points for the Golden Gophers, Penn State’s Spann deserves player of the game. Her relentless comeback effort in all four periods included seven three-pointers and amounted to 30 points on the game. It was the first 30-point game for an individual Lady Lion since the storied Maggie Lucas scored 32 on Feb. 13, 2014.

What’s Next?

Penn State resumes Big Ten play, facing Michigan State on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Sara Civian

Sara Civian is one of Onward State's three ridiculously good looking managing editors, a hockey writer at heart, and an Oxford comma Stan. She's a senior majoring in journalism, minoring in history, and living at Bill Pickle's Tap Room. Her favorite pastimes are telling people she's from Boston, watching the Bruins, and meticulously dissecting the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. She's seen Third Eye Blind live 14 times. If you really hate yourself, you can follow her at @SaraCivian or email her at [email protected]

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