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Lady Lions Dominated By No. 10 Maryland 106-78

Penn State women’s basketball (7-6, 1-2 Big Ten) dropped its three-game win streak after a 106-78 loss at the hands of No. 10 Maryland (11-4, 3-1 Big Ten) on the road Thursday night.

Makenna Marisa posted 29 points, but couldn’t do it by herself as the Terrapin defense shut her down from effectively combining with her teammates on offense. Ali Brigham was sorely missed off the boards and in the lineup.

Maryland showcased a lineup at full health for the first time this season and dominated on both ends of the court. Diamond Miller put up 24 points against the Lady Lions in her first start of the season following an injury.

How It Happened

Head coach Carolyn Kieger rolled out a dependable starting five against ranked Maryland on Thursday night. Shay Hagans and Kelly Jekot earned starts over Brigham and Niya Beverley. Beverley made it off the bench for the Lady Lions but Brigham was sporting her warmups.

The Terrapins won the tipoff and put up a quick bucket to start the game. Anna Camden missed two three pointers during Penn State’s first two possessions, but Hagans was the first Nittany Lion to find the basket after four possessions.

Kieger started the game with a tight man-on-man defense, however, Maryland still managed to put up lots of early shots and beat Penn State off the glass. The Terrapins secured an early lead after a 6-0 run to open the game. Maryland put up a similar man-on-man defense that seriously quieted the Lady Lions offense in the first quarter.

Marisa found her rhythm early and sunk a three-pointer to try to catch up to Maryland on the scoreboard. She put up five of the Lady Lion’s seven points midway through the first quarter. Camden and Leilani Kapinus kept letting the threes fly, but their shots didn’t convert.

A 10-0 Maryland run forced Kieger to call a timeout with two minutes left in the quarter, but there was little that could be done to slow down Diamond Miller and the Terrapin offense. Maryland dominated the opening quarter to lead 26-11.

Jekot opened up the second quarter with an easy three-pointer followed by a quick bucket from Kapinus. The Lady Lions picked up some momentum out of the break and finally found an offensive spark.

Marisa and Kapinus took a few well-deserved minutes on the bench and freshman Kayla Thomas made an appearance along with Maddie Burke. Veterans Beverley and Tova Sabel tried to keep up with Maryland, but the Terrapins continued to pull away on the scoreboard.

The Lady Lions looked a little lost at the end of the half. Marisa suffered two big blocked shots in a row followed by an air-ball. Maryland completed a 13-3 run in four minutes, with only Camden breaking the streak with a three-pointer. Additionally, the Terrapins were able to convert 15 points off of Penn State turnovers. Kieger’s squad only put up 17 points during the second quarter in contrast to Maryland’s 30. The Nittany Lions headed into the locker room down 53-28.

Camden knocked down her second three-pointer of the night to get the Lady Lions’ offense going in the second half. Marisa followed up with a quick layup and then was sent to the free throw line on the next possession. Beverley and Hagans added to the scoreboard to rack up ten fast points against the Terrapins. Maryland responded on nearly every possession, but it was a consistent Penn State offense that hadn’t been seen yet from College Park.

Terrapin Diamond Miller made her comeback against the Lady Lions after suffering an early season knee injury. She truly showed up in the third quarter and helped Maryland extend its lead to 30. Miller contributed to a 9-0 run against Penn State, forcing Kieger to call a timeout with three minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Lady Lions closed out the third quarter trailing 81-50. Maryland earned its largest lead during the quarter at 33 points over Penn State.

Maryland maintained just about 30 points on the Lady Lions throughout the remainder of the game. Marisa continued to fight to stay competitive with the Terrapins on the scoreboard, but the game was far from within reach.

The Lady Lions closed out the game trailing 106-78 and couldn’t keep up with the ranked squad.

Takeaways

  • That’s the end of a three0game Lady Lion win streak, folks. A Rutgers win and two non-conference opponent wins against Youngstown State and Duquesne felt obsolete after No. 10 Maryland silenced Kieger’s lineup.
  • Where is Ali Brigham? The Lady Lions couldn’t make it happen off the boards and Brigham’s presence was definitely missed in the lineup.
  • Makenna Marisa and Leilani Kapinus led the squad with 29 and 12 points, respectively, but the Terrapin man defense proved to seriously slow down the Penn State offense.
  • It will be interesting to watch how the Lady Lions continue to fare in the Big Ten throughout the remainder of the season. Kieger’s overall Big Ten coaching record of 16-38 does not bode well with this tough schedule.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will face off at the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time in over a month against Michigan. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on January 13 and can be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a first-year journalism major from Richmond, Va. and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She is a lover of grilled cheese, sports, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to discuss the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley. Please direct all hate mail to her email [email protected]

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