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Lady Lions Defeat Coppin State 84-45 In Season Opener

Penn State women’s basketball started its season on a high note, defeating Coppin State 84-45. This victory marks Penn State’s first win in an athletic competition since March 10, 2020.

Four players tallied double digits for the Lady Lions in the win. Tova Sabel led the way with 14 points, while Anna Camden, Makenna Marisa, and Kelly Jekot chipped in 13, 12, and 11, respectively.

How It Happened

The new-look Lady Lions seemed rusty and out of sync early in the first quarter. After trailing 7-2, however, Coach Kieger’s squad went on a 13-2 run and turned things arond, thanks to a spark provided by sophomore Shay Hagans.

The speedy guard scored a quick seven points off the bench — including a massive three-ball — which helped Penn State gain momentum and cruise to a comfortable 20-11 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes of play.

Things continued to picked up offensively for the Penn State in the second quarter, in what many would call a true team effort. Twelve minutes into the contest, seven different Lady Lions had already put points on the board. By the end of the half, five different Lady Lions were responsible for the team’s five three-pointers.

Hagans’ nine first-half points and eight a piece from Marisa and Sabel propelled Penn State to a 42-26 lead at halftime.

Sabel got things going again early in the third quarter with a crafty euro-step and bucket. She went on to score a total of eight points in the second half, showcasing her ability to drive to the basket and juke defenders.

Camden also came into her own and continued to shine, scoring 10 of her 13 total points on 4-of-4 shooting and racking up six rebounds in the second half alone.

For the most part, the Lady Lions looked like a cohesive, well-oiled unit right until the clock expired. They moved the ball on offense, crashed the glass, and pushed the pace on both ends of the floor, allowing them to cruise to a 84-45 victory.

This game marks 14th win in the last 15 season openers for Penn State women’s basketball. The Lady Lions finished the night with 16 assists on 31 made field goals.

Takeaways

  • Anna Camden is here to play, and not just from three-point range. The sophomore had an impressive outing, scoring 13 points and securing 10 rebounds in her new role for the Lady Lions. Camden was much more aggressive in the paint compared to last season, and her presence was definitely felt on both ends of the floor. Dual threat, baby.
  • Kelly Jekot absolutely shined in her debut for the Lady Lions. Not only did she pick up her 1,000th career point early in the fourth quarter, she earned herself a double-double. Jekot racked up 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks in just 26 minutes of play, establishing herself as a reliable weapon for Kieger going forward.
  • Tova Sabel is a walking bucket. The freshman was one of the most impressive Lady Lions on the floor tonight. She shot 60% from the field and led the team in scoring with 14 points, while often making the Coppin State defense look silly. So, yeah. Four years of Sabel rocking the blue and white sounds pretty good right now.
  • Bench points (35 total) were crucial for the Lady Lions and provided a spark when they needed it the most. It’s clear that this team has a lot of depth on the bench and Kieger can rely on multiple players to take over and score the basketball. This collaborative, team effort is something that was definitely missing last season and could play a major role in turning the program around.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions will be back in action at the BJC Monday, November 30 against the St. Francis Red Flash. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a junior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. 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, Knicks, 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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