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Lady Lions’ Lead Evaporates As Team Falls 78-68 To George Mason

Penn State women’s basketball (3-3) couldn’t overcome a second-half surge from George Mason (4-1) and ultimately blew a 15-point lead in a devastating 78-68 loss Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Kamaria McDaniel, Alisia Smith, and Makenna Marisa tallied double-digit points in the loss but came up short in the third quarter as Penn State went nearly eight minutes without scoring.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions got off to a strong start Sunday afternoon thanks to a dominant performance by Smith. She opened the game with an emphatic and-one in the paint and quickly put five points on the board for Penn State.

Marisa also found the net twice in the first quarter, sinking two long threes and finally coming into her own on the offensive end of the floor. This gave the Lady Lions some much-needed momentum, but despite dominating on offense, they only managed to lead by one point after the first ten minutes of play.

Carolyn Kieger’s squad finally broke away from the Patriots in the second quarter following a 12-0 run. Eight of those 12 points came from McDaniel. She wound up with 10 points at the end of the first half.

Overall, Penn State had an aggressive 18 points in the paint in the first two quarters, which helped propel it to a 40-29 halftime lead.

Smith once again got things going offensively for Penn State in the third quarter by successfully converting another three-point play. However, the Lady Lions wouldn’t be able to match their offensive pace and intensity from the previous two quarters and had trouble finding the net throughout the entirety of the third quarter.

George Mason battled all the way back thanks to an 8-0 run characterized by five Nittany Lion turnovers. Kieger’s squad went nearly eight minutes without scoring a field goal and was outscored in the 22-10 in the third frame. The Patriots took a 51-50 lead at the end of that quarter after trailing by as many as 15 earlier in the game.

Penn State wasn’t able to answer back in the fourth and simply could not contain George Mason’s Cardano-Hilary, who finished the game with a whopping 41 points. McDaniel fouled out with 2:46 remaining, which exemplified a frustrating second-half. The Patriots eased their way to victory from the free-throw line and earned their first victory against a Power Five opponent in five years.

Takeaways

  • The third quarter is not the Lady Lions’ friend. They went nearly eight minutes without scoring and blew a double-digit halftime lead after dominating George Mason in the first half. This is exactly what happened when the Lady Lions lost to La Salle earlier in the week.
  • McDaniel continues to be a lethal offensive weapon for Carolyn Kieger. She led the team with 15 points and has now notched double-digit figures in 12 straight games.
  • Smith was all over the floor for the Lady Lions Sunday afternoon — a promising sign that she is healthy and back to her old self. She tallied 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting while also racking up three rebounds and a block.
  • The Lady Lions have some work to do on the defensive end of the floor. They couldn’t stop George Mason’s Cardano-Hilary. She tallied 41 points in 40 minutes of play and seemed to have her way each time down the floor.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions travel to the West Coast for the Cal Classic. They’ll face off against Long Beach State on Friday, November 29 at 6:15 p.m.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a sophomore from Binghamton, New York and one of Onward State's News Editors. She has been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley. She loves anything Penn State (especially Yallah), the Yankees and Giants, and a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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