Lady Lions Lose Seventh Straight Game, Fall To Northwestern 82-59
Penn State women’s basketball (7-15, 1-10 Big Ten) fell short to No. 23 Northwestern (19-3, 9-2 Big Ten), thanks to a disappointing third-quarter collapse.
This game marked the seventh straight loss for head coach Carolyn Kieger’s squad — a team that’s consistently failed to live up to expectations.
How It Happened
Penn State’s starting lineup featured guards Siyeh Frazier, Kamaria McDaniel, and Makenna Marisa, as well as forwards Anna Camden and Bexley Wallace.
After going 0-for-4 as a team to start the game, the Nittany Lions finally got on the board thanks to a hard-fought Alisia Smith layup. A couple of possessions later, Mya Bembry secured an offensive rebound and knocked down a layup of her own, setting the tone for what would be an all-around gritty contest.
Marisa sank a three pointer with a little under four minutes to go in the quarter, before forcing a steal on the next possession. McDaniel cashed in on this opportunity with a smooth fast-break layup — somehow managing to lose a shoe in the process.
A Hagans and-one on yet another fast-break opportunity created a 19-17 first quarter lead against a ranked Northwestern opponent.
Siyeh Frazier kept up this momentum early in the second, nailing a deep three-ball as the shot clock expired and extending the lead to five. That lead was erased after the Wildcats responded with two three-pointers of their own, marking the beginning of plenty back-and-forth action between the teams.
Later in the quarter, court general Marisa weaved a pass through several defenders to assist an easy layup by fellow freshman Bembry. Back-to-back threes by Marisa and McDaniel then propelled the Lady Lions to 38-37 halftime lead — a welcoming sign for a struggling squad trying to snap a seven-game losing skid.
Marisa opened the second half on a good note by turning defense into offense with a steal and layup, but things fell apart quickly after this point. Penn State had trouble matching the Wildcats’ pace and intensity throughout the remainder of the final two quarters.
Lights-out shooting and a 22-2 run from the Wildcats in the third quarter essentially sealed the Lady Lions’ fate. Penn State shot a disappointing 29% from the field in the second half and went 0-for-10 from the three-point line. This led to a disappointing collapse, characteristic of other games played at the Bryce Jordan Center this year.
Northwestern never looked back after the third quarter and coasted to a 82-59 victory.
- Having three freshmen in the starting lineup today is a sign of what’s to come for the Lady Lions. There’s no doubt that this is a young team, but Kieger has never been hesitant to throw the younger players into the middle of the action. The freshmen are certainly getting the experience and minutes they need, and hopefully this pays off in the years to come.
- The third quarter is not the Lady Lions’ friend. They always seem to put up a fight in the first two quarters of the ballgame, and then lose all momentum and steam in the second half. If Penn State wants to win, two quarters of play won’t be enough. The Lady Lions can’t just be a first half team.
- Three players tallied double-digits for Penn State in the loss. McDaniel led the way with 16 points, while Frazier and Marisa posted 15 and 12, respectively. These three players continue to be consistent on offense for Penn State, but other players will need to step up too if an eighth-straight loss is going to be avoided.
The Lady Lions will travel to Piscataway to battle the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers on Thursday, February 6. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on BTN+.
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As THON weekend approaches, a fundraising year like no other in THON history wraps up.
“Whether this team is a No. 3 seed or or a No. 4 seed, they’re going to have a real opportunity to be in the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re a Penn State basketball fan, that’s like the Final Four. That week of hype and attention gives a team a brand.”
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