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Lady Lions Fall To Kent State 81-74 To Finish Out Gulf Coast Showcase

Penn State women’s basketball (4-3) lost to Kent State (5-1) in the third-place matchup for the Gulf Coast Showcase Sunday night

Despite keeping this game close all game, the Lady Lions were out-rebounded by 23 boards and just couldn’t close out this game, resulting in an 81-74 loss.

How It Happened

Head coach Carolyn Kieger added junior guard Shay Hagans and senior Kelly Jekot to the starting lineup for its third-place matchup in the Gulf Coast Showcase with the Golden Flashes.

Kent State won the tip and immediately went down the court as Nila Blackford drew the first foul of the game. She only sank one free throw to tally the first point of this matchup.

Both teams traded possessions and looked rusty as the first quarter continued. Leilani Kapinus eventually was able to find the paint but got fouled on the attempt. After sinking both free throws, the Golden Flashes answered right back with a three pointer by Katie Shumate. Both teams traded buckets, but it was Shumate again to give Kent State an early 9-4 lead.

The Nittany Lions’ offense started to wake up towards the end of the first quarter, but it was Kent State who remained on top by 10 after a 9-4 run to finish the quarter.

Penn State started the second quarter off strong with three-pointers coming from Niya Beverley and Shay Hagans. After trading buckets, it was Hagans again from deep to bring this game within two. Bridget Dunn decided to join in on the fun and hit a three of her own to keep the lead for the Golden Flashes. The Lady Lions answered with two quick buckets, but it was Dunn who kept the offense flowing for Kent State. She is now the first to reach double-digit points with 10.

The Nittany Lions finally gained a lead in the game all thanks to Nyam Thornton who sank both of her free throws with three minutes left in the half. However, that lead was short lived as Kent State quickly regained it with two easy buckets coming from Shumate and Nila Blackford.

Makenna Marisa was able to hit her last-second free throws to bring Penn State within two to close out the first half with the score 32-30 in Kent State’s favor.

Both teams started the half by trading lay-ups. Ali Brigham finally found her grove and scored her first bucket of the game. After a quick answer from the Golden Flashes, Beverley slowed this game down as she hit an and-one fast break lay-up for Penn State. After turning the ball over, it was Beverly again who went coast to coast to bring her point total to 10 and Penn State the lead.

The lead continued to flip back and forth throughout the third quarter with no team able to pull away. Kent State outscored the Lady Lions to end the third keeping a four-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

The Golden Flashes got it going early with a three ball from Lindsay Thall to give Kent State its largest lead of the game. Kent State kept its foot on the pedal by scoring seven unanswered points as they began to pull away from the Lady Lions.

Sieger started the full-court press to help the Lady Lions slowly chip away at the lead. Marisa was able to bring this game back within single digits thanks to a few points from the charity stripe. With just five minutes left, Hagan sank her third three of the game, but Penn State remained down by nine.

Marisa started to put the game in her own hands as she hit back-to-back lay-ups to cut the lead to six. Shumate and Blackford fought back for Kent State, but Marisa hit another three to bring her total to 21. Hannah Young answered quickly with a jumper of her own, but it was another three from Anna Camden that brought Penn State within five.

With two minutes to go, the Golden Flashes remained up four, but after a few missed shots and a forced foul, Katie Shumate and Co. were able to extend that lead to seven. Maris hit a late three, but that lead proved to be too much as the Lady Lions fell to Kent State 81-74.

Takeaways

  • Penn State got dominated on the glass today, both offensively and defensively. After being out-rebounded 46 to 23, the Lady Lions will have to touch up on that as they continue its season.
  • You can’t win games if you turn over the ball, folks. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Penn State did after totaling 11 turnovers tonight against Kent State.
  • Ali Brigham was quiet tonight. After being so dominant early this season, she only put up two points, three boards, and shot 1-of-6 from the field in tonight’s matchup. Be on the lookout for a bounce-back performance later this week.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will travel to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College on Thursday, December 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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