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Lady Lions Dominate In 83-69 Win Over Rider

Penn State women’s basketball (2-0) topped Rider University (1-1-0) 83-69 Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Ali Brigham, Niya Beverley, and Makenna Marisa each scored in double figures during the game to silence the opposition.

How It Happened

Head coach Carolyn Kieger embraced the success of Tuesday night’s starting five against Long Island and brought out the same skilled lineup.

The Lady Lions won the opening tip, and Brigham headed straight to the net for the first basket of the night.

Beverley and Marisa were fired up from the start and drained several three-point shots out of the gate. From there, the Lady Lions held a consistent lead over the Broncs for the reminder of the first quarter.

After a closing basket from Brigham, Penn State closed out the first quarter with a 24-14 lead.

After a slow second-quarter start, Brigham drew a foul while sinking a layup to earn her 11th point of the night. Seconds later, Rider’s Raphaela Toussant experienced a nearly identical foul as Brigham did, converted her layup, and added a third point to the play.

The Lady Lions did a great job of slowing down Bronc guard Makayla Firebaugh, who proved to be a constant threat outside of the arc. Firebaugh put up eight points in the first half but was otherwise decelerated by the Penn State defense.

Both Penn State and Rider traded baskets throughout the second quarter, but Penn State managed to maintain a comfortable lead thanks to Beverley and Marisa. The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room up 44-27 at the halftime buzzer.

To kick off the second half, the Nittany Lions could not convert on their first two possessions, but Brigham ultimately found the basket for an easy layup. After settling into the second half, Beverley cranked it up a notch and reset the tone for the Lady Lions. She earned the and-one shot and Penn State never looked back.

The Broncs responded to this change of pace with an increased intensity of their own. While Penn State held a consistent four-point minimum lead at all times, the game was looked more competitive during the third quarter than previously.

The Nittany Lions implemented a full-court press midway through the quarter and put serious pressure on the Broncs, who had difficulty reacting.

In the final two minutes of the third quarter, Leilani Kapinus was removed from the match with what looked like a shoulder injury. She did not re-enter the game and came out of the locker room sporting a sling on her right arm.

Brigham continued to lead on the stat sheet with 19 points, followed closely by Beverley at 15 points. The Lady Lions closed out the third quarter with a seven-point lead at 59-54.

Penn State continued to find Brigham in the paint and Marisa outside of the arc to extend the lead in the fourth quarter. A tired Rider lineup could not sink its shots and put up just 15 points compared to the Nittany Lions’ 24.

Brigham finished the game with 23 points, followed closely by Beverley and Marisa each with 20 points. This game was the first time since 2014 that the Lady Lions have had three players hit double figures.

Player Of The Game

Ali Brigham | Forward

Brigham has established her importance to the Lady Lions’ lineup after two massive games this week. Brigham ended the game with 23 points, showcasing her ability to make a difference in the paint and boost the score. She also added six rebounds, six assists, and a steal.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will continue their three-game home stretch on Tuesday, November 16, against Delaware State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on BTN+.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a first-year journalism major and one of Onward State's associate editors. She is from Richmond, Virginia and you can typically find her DoorDashing quesadillas or religiously listening to Harry Styles. If you would like to get into an argument about the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or via email at [email protected] The only correct answer is Kevin Jonas.

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