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Lady Lions Fall To Long Beach State 64-56 In Cal Classic Opener

Penn State women’s basketball (3-4) couldn’t take care of business against Long Beach State (2-4) to kick off the Cal Classic Friday night. The Beach led for all but 24 seconds in the game and forced a total of 24 Nittany Lion turnovers.

Makenna Marisa finished with a career-high 16 points and drilled four deep shots from beyond the arc.

How It Happened

Alisia Smith opened the scoring for the Lady Lions with a layup in the paint, but a Long Beach State three-pointer on the next possession set the tone for the entire first quarter. Carolyn Kieger’s squad was repeatedly tested and had trouble gaining any sort of offensive rhythm.

The Beach went on a 9-0 run late in the opening quarter and managed to take a comfortable 22-13 lead by its end. Penn State stormed back in the second quarter, however, and eventually cut the deficit to four following a Kamaria McDaniel and-one.

Marisa then boosted the offense by nailing two three-pointers to limit the Lady Lions’ deficit to 34-28 at halftime.

The Beach expanded its lead to 10 midway through the third quarter, but another pair of threes by Marisa kept the Lady Lions in the ballgame. McDaniel chipped in four points and Smith created havoc under the basket, yet Long Beach State always seemed to have an answer.

The Lady Lions went 1-for-6 from the three-point line and had five turnovers in the fourth quarter. Despite cutting the deficit to six points with 5:02 remaining, they failed to find any momentum and launch a much-needed offensive run. Long Beach State ultimately cruised to a 64-56 victory.

Takeaways

  • Makenna Marisa has finally found her groove. She’s tallied double-digits in two-straight games and has been one of the more consistent three-point shooters for the Lady Lions alongside fellow freshman Anna Camden. Marisa made four of Penn State’s six baskets from beyond the arch Friday evening.
  • Alisia Smith continues to show that she is truly an all-around player. She racked up nine points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and a steal against Long Beach State while making her presence known on both ends of the floor.
  • Where was Lauren Ebo today? The sophomore only scored four points on 2-of-4 shooting and seemed pretty much absent in the paint. The Lady Lions will need her to step up and take on a bigger role in the future if they want to start winning more games.
  • This new era of Penn State women’s basketball isn’t off to a great start. This marks the Lady Lions’ third loss in their last four games. Although most of the team’s early struggles can be attributed to the growing pains that come with a new coach, there should be some sort of urgency going forward in making adjustments. The talent is certainly there, but Kieger and her squad certainly need to work out some kinks.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions will be back in action on Saturday, November 30 to close out the Cal Classic against North Carolina Central. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for 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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