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Lady Lions Fall To No. 15 Indiana 90-65 In Lopsided Effort

Penn State women’s basketball (8-8, 5-7 Big Ten) lost to No. 15 Indiana (12-4, 10-2 Big Ten) 90-65 on the road Wednesday afternoon, snapping a four-game in-conference winning streak.

Following a stellar first half resulting in a 40-39 advantage in favor of the upset-minded Lady Lions, the visitors sputtered behind a 10-turnover output in the third quarter. Penn State entered the fourth quarter down by 15 points, but the deficit continued to climb quickly for Carolyn Kieger’s young squad.

Despite the difficult second half, Niya Beverley and Anna Camden both had stellar individual performances. Beverley finished the contest with 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting, while Camden totaled 12 points of her own at just under a 50% conversion rate from the field.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions controlled the initial possession from the tip-off, but the Hoosiers struck first behind a nifty cut and lay-in from guard Ali Patberg. Without missing a beat, Penn State answered with a 4-0 run of its own to jump out to an early lead.

The early trend of runs continued, as Indiana quickly responded with a 5-0 scoring span to regain a 7-4 lead. Towards the midway point of the quarter, Makenna Marisa nailed a fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired to help the visitors get back on track. The bucket led to two straight scoring possessions for Penn State, as the crafty point guard then found Johnasia Cash slashing to the rim for an easy fast break conversion.

Sitting at a 10-9 advantage with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Lady Lions struggled to buckle down on both ends of the floor to end the period. In a two-minute span, Penn State was outscored 9-3 behind sloppy defense and poor shooting. Needing a spark, Niya Beverly nailed her first three-point attempt to cut the deficit back to two scores.

Penn State weathered the storm in the best way possible to conclude the opening quarter. Marisa’s fabulous court vision helped find freshman Tova Sabel in the corner, who instantly buried a three-pointer as the horn sounded. Despite two, long scoreless stretches, the Lady Lions entered the second quarter down 22-20.

Indiana center Makenzie Holmes began to cook the Penn State front court early in the quarter, as she finished two effortless post moves to start a 4-0 run of her own. To return the favor, Lady Lion Anna Camden decided to answer the call by herself on the other end. The sophomore scored a midrange jump shot followed by a layup in two consecutive sequences to cut the Hoosier advantage to four points.

Camden’s scoring ability opened the window for the involvement of other Lady Lions on the offensive end. In four possessions, the visiting squad made three daggers from beyond the arc to tie the game at 32-a-piece. During the span, Maddie Burke went 2-for-2 from deep and Niya Beverly added yet another three of her own.

Both squads continued to trade baskets as the half winded down, with the Lady Lions hanging tough against a fundamentally-sound, nationally-ranked Indiana team. Penn State ended the half with two savvy Camden jumpers to enter the locker room on a 4-0 run spurred by the sophomore forward, and a 40-39 lead.

Shay Hagans began the second half with an instant steal for Penn State, but the do-it-all guard couldn’t convert the open layup. On the other end, the Hoosiers started the half 3-for-4 from the field, including a timely three-pointer, to re-establish a six-point lead. Poor effort on the defensive end caused a Carolyn Kieger timeout early in the third quarter.

In a season-long theme, Penn State’s realistic opportunity at an upset bid took a considerable blow in the third quarter. The Hoosiers began the period on a 12-0 run, as the Lady Lions went scoreless until a Niya Beverly hit a huge three-pointer nearly five minutes into the 10-minute quarter. The deep-ball conversion cut the Hoosier advantage to 51-43, but Penn State continued to sputter in its half-court offense.

A flurry of turnovers on the offensive end committed by the Lady Lions led to more open looks for the Hoosiers on the opposite side of the floor. The home team continued to own the third quarter, as the veteran squad’s lead vaulted to a 58-44 edge with under three minutes remaining.

Down but not out, the spirited Lady Lions found momentum behind a spinning Anna Camden finger-roll with less than two minutes left in the quarter. Her fancy move cut the Penn State deficit to four possessions, leaving the visitors with a burst of hope.

The Lady Lions ended the quarter behind consecutive offensive fouls, leaving limited chances for the underdogs to pick up the third-quarter slack. To Kieger’s dismay, the stingy Hoosiers forced 10 turnovers throughout the period, contributing to a 65-51 lead for Indiana.

Burke picked up the offensive slack to begin the final quarter for the Lady Lions by hitting another three-pointer to keep Penn State under a 15-point deficit. Despite the struggles in the half court, the squad continued to convert three-point attempts at over a 40% clip.

Following a Shay Hagans layup to keep the deficit at 15, Indiana’s fast-paced attack went on a tear. The Hoosiers jumped out to a 83-62 lead with just over a three minutes remaining in the final half of play. Despite two fantastic individual performances from Beverley and Camden, the Lady Lions fell in convincing fashion by a score of 90-65.

Takeaways

  • Following a stellar first half of play, the Lady Lions sputtered in a lopsided third quarter in favor of the home team. The stingy Hoosiers forced ten turnovers in ten minutes of play, which led to a lopsided 26-11 period favoring Indiana.
  • Johnasia Cash’s run of dominance stalled against a physical Indiana front court. The former Big Ten Player of the Week scored just five points on 2-for-11 shooting. Comparatively, Hoosier center Makenzie Holmes finished with a 25 point output at a conversion rate of over 80%.
  • Niya Beverley is turning into a lethal scoring threat for the Lady Lions. The Wisconsin transfer tallied 16 points on 3-4 shooting from beyond the arc for her third double-digit output of the season.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday, February 13 for a pivotal matchup against Michigan State. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. and will air live on Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Connor Krause

Connor Krause is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania double majoring in journalism and business. He is a lifelong Penn State football and basketball fan and enjoys rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. In his free time, Connor can be found playing golf or pick-up basketball. You can follow his Twitter and Instagram @ckrause_31.

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