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Lady Lions Shock Michigan State With 65-61 Victory

The Lady Lions (9-15, 4-9 Big Ten) came into East Lancing looking to end a four-game losing streak, but faced a tough challenge in No. 17 Michigan State (18-6, 9-4 Big Ten), winners of six of their last seven. The Lady Lions pulled off a huge upset in the 65-61 thriller thanks to key contributions from freshman superstar Teniya Page and senior Briana Banks.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions came into the game about as cold as when they left the Bryce Jordan Center in their loss to Rutgers. The game started out sloppy with Michigan State scoring the first eight points. Penn State scored its first basket with 4:22 left in the first quarter. The Lady Lions finished the quarter strong and went into the second down 9-14. The Lady Lions came out firing in the second quarter with Peyton Whitted and Candice Agee combining for Penn State’s first nine points in the quarter and tying the score at 18. The Spartans took control of the game, jumping out to a 31-22 lead. With the lead quickly slipping, the Lady Lions turned to their leading scorer, Teniya Page, to bring them back. Page scored the last six points of the half for Penn State to cut the lead to five at 28-33 heading into halftime.

The game of runs continued as Michigan State stormed out with a 9-0 run to give the Spartans a 28-42 lead with less than eight minutes in the third quarter. Briana Banks had a quiet first half, scoring only four points but was magnificent in the second half. Banks (16 points) scored nine points in the third quarter and was active on both sides of the ball. With 1:46 left in the third quarter and Penn State down 39-46, Banks had one of the bigger plays of the game when she jumped a pass like a cornerback and hit the layup to cut the lead to five. Teniya Page drilled a three to cut the lead to four but was quickly answered by a Tori Jankoska’s layup that ended the quarter 44-50. While this game may have started out slow, it certainly had an exciting finish.

The tide started to turn as Michigan State stopped making shots. The Spartans first possession played a key role in their downfall. Tori Jankoska missed an open three, Jenna Allen was able to grab the rebound but missed the put-back, only for Morgan Green to grab the rebound. The Spartans reset but Branndais Agee missed another layup and grabbed her own rebound. Michigan State called a timeout but Green turned the ball over to give the Lady Lions a chance at grabbing the momentum. Teniya Page found Kaliyah Mitchell who finished the And-1. Mitchell hit the free throw to cut the lead to three. Brianna Banks hit a contested three to tie the game which was quickly followed by Candice Agee’s jumper that gave the Lady Lions their first lead of the game with 7:52 left in the game at 52-50. The back-and-fourth game continued, as the Spartans were not yet ready to concede. After a Jenna Allen layup tied the game at 52, Aerial Powers (18 points, 14 rebounds) scored five straight to give the Spartans a five-point lead with less than five minutes to go.

Penn State turned to their two stars to capture the victory. Teniya Page drew Aerial Powers’ fourth foul and connected with both free throws to make it a one-point game. With Penn State up 62-61, The Spartans had the chance to take the lead with 43 seconds left but were stopped thanks to Brianna Banks. Banks made the play of the game, drawing Aerial Powers fifth foul on a charge. Page (who scored or assisted on 10 of Penn State’s last 11 points) followed with a beautiful dribble drive and finish off the glass to give the Lady Lions a 64-61 lead with 20 seconds remaining. The Spartans threw up an air ball to give the Lions a shot to ice the game.

Lindsey Spann, an 88 percent free-throw shooter was fouled and given two chances to win the game. Spann missed the first free throw but connected with the second to give the Lions a four-point lead. The Spartans were out of timeouts and out of time as Penn State secured one of their biggest wins of the season.

Player of the Game

Teniya Page | G   | Freshman

The freshman guard continued her strong campaign with a masterful 16 points off 8-16 shooting from the field. Whenever the Lady Lions fell into a hole, Page answered to keep the game within reach. Page showed how versatile her offensive game is, making tough layups, dribbling off screens and drilling mid-range jumpers and even connecting on two threes.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will be home for another Big Ten giant on Sunday against #7 Ohio State and superstar Kelsey Mitchell. Tip-off at the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 2 p.m.

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