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Lady Lions Lose To No. 25 Rutgers 60-55 On Senior Day

Penn State women’s basketball (9-12, 6-11) couldn’t hold on to get the win against No. 25 Rutgers (12-3, 8-3) Sunday afternoon, falling 60-55 to the Scarlet Knights. This game was Senior Day and the final home game of the season.

Shay Hagans had a big game, scoring 15 points for the Lady Lions. Johnasia Cash had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds before leaving the game with an injury.

How It Happened

Shay Hagans kicked off the scoring for the Lady Lions by connecting on a floater. Rutgers was able to knock down a three to take the lead, but Johnasia Cash was able to draw a foul on the way to the basket and made one of two free throws.

Penn State was able to get the rebound off of the Cash miss, and she made up for the miss with a basket in the paint. Both teams were playing great defense to start the game, as only five points were scored in the first five minutes of the game.

The Scarlett Knights were able to get a couple of buckets in the paint before Maddie Burke hit a three. That didn’t bother Rutgers, though, as it kept finding some big baskets. It also helped that the Lady Lions kept traveling and turning the ball over.

It was a low-scoring first quarter, but Rutgers had the advantage at the end, 13-8.

Rutgers was the first to score in the second quarter, even though Penn State had multiple opportunities to get some points. Turnovers kept plaguing the Lady Lions, though, and that prevented them from getting into any rhythm.

Niya Beverly was able to get to the free-throw line but made only one free throw. Burke was also able to get to the free-throw line and made both of them.

Tova Sabel was able to get to the free-throw line as well but connected on one of two. She then hit a wide-open three, and suddenly, Penn State was on a roll.

Anna Camden, who had been relatively quiet during the first two quarters, injured her finger after getting it caught in a Rutgers player’s jersey. The Scarlett Knights kept putting the pressure on the Lady Lions, extending the lead to double digits.

Makenna Marisa was able to score her first basket with under 30 seconds left in the second quarter. That would be the last made shot of the first half, and the Lady Lions went into halftime trailing 27-17.

Marisa got the scoring started in the second half with a three-pointer. Hagans and Cash then followed that up with some big buckets in the paint, and Burke was able to get to the free-throw line and make both.

Cash was able to get another basket and Rutgers’ lead was cut down to two. Marisa then drove it in and got a layup to fall, and then Hagans hit a three to take the lead, capitalizing on an 18-3 run in the third quarter.

Rutgers broke that streak after coming out of a timeout, scoring off of a mid-range shot. Hagans then hit another three, only her 11th of the season. Cash was able to get a wide-open layup, and then Marisa hit a wide-open three. The momentum had totally shifted in the third quarter.

The Scarlett Knights started to hit some threes and they were back in the. game. They were also able to hit a last-second shot to retake the lead, and the Lady Lions went into the fourth quarter trailing 42-41.

Marisa hit a mid-range jumper to get the first points of the fourth quarter. Cash was able to get to the free-throw line on the next possession, making both.

Coming off a timeout, Rutgers was able to get a layup to fall to cut Penn State’s lead to one. Then, the Scarlett Knights hit a three to retake the lead.

Camden, who left in the first half with a finger injury, re-entered the game. Unfortunately, Cash rolled her ankle and needed help to walk off of the court.

Rutgers went on a 10-0 run to extend the lead with under three minutes left to go in the game. Hagans was able to get to the free-throw line and make both, but Rutgers responded by making a layup of its own.

Nan Garcia was able to hit a big-time three for her first points of the game. But the Scarlett Knights were also able to hit a very clutch shot to extend the lead.

Garcia hit another significant shot, but Rutgers was able to quickly make one soon after. Hagans responded with a big three that made the contest a one-possession game. It wasn’t enough, though, as Rutgers won 60-55.

Takeaways

  • Turnovers were a huge issue for the Lady Lions in the first half. The team turned the ball over 12 times, and that affected its offensive production significantly. Penn State never got into a groove, which makes it very hard to beat Rutgers.
  • Makenna Marisa can’t get into a trend of getting cold. She is the offensive spark for this team, and if she isn’t scoring, the rest of the team isn’t either. She needs to play at a high level if Penn State wants to win out the last two games on its schedule.
  • This team proved that it can compete with any squad, especially with that fantastic third quarter. Despite losing the game, the Lady Lions pushed Rutgers to the brink, and there is a lot to take away from this game when preparing for a rematch.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions will have another chance to win again against Rutgers when they travel to Piscataway on Tuesday, March 2. The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in Secondary Education and minoring in Social Justice in Education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the tv show Survivor, and yes mom, actually doing schoolwork. If you would like to talk about sports or Survivor, the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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