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Lady Lions Fall To Michigan State 79-58 For Third Straight Loss

Penn State women’s basketball (9-10, 3-6 Big Ten) was flat-out dominated by Michigan State (11-8, 5-3 Big Ten) in a 79-58 loss Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Despite starting the first quarter hot, the Lady Lions quickly found themselves in a hole that was too deep to climb out of. With little luck on offense and practically zero production from behind the arc, they dropped their third straight loss.

How It Happened

Thursday night was nothing new for Coach Kieger, who rolled with a very familiar starting lineup in Makenna Marisa, Shay Hagans, Leilani Kapinus, Kelly Jekot and Ali Brigham.

Michigan State won the tip, but Penn State’s Marisa hit one from deep to start the scoring for the Lady Lions. Just a few possessions later, Kapinus blocked a shot from Alisia Smith that then turned into a steal and score for Hagans on the other side.

The Spartans were finally able to score thanks to a layup from Tamara Farquhar, but suffocating defense from Penn State kept them up five halfway through the first quarter. The Lady Lions had forced two turnovers, blocked three shots, and registered two steals in just the first five minutes.

Michigan State started to turn the tides of the first quarter when it went on a 10-0 run that gave the Spartans their first lead of the matchup. Nia Clouden led the run with five points and a steal. Brigham ended the run by using her body in the paint and getting a layup to fall.

Penn State scored eight quick points in the first 2.5 minutes of the first quarter but finished the frame with just three more points while shooting 1-for-8 from the field. The Spartans took advantage and ended the first quarter up 18-11.

Deedee Hagemann hit one from beyond the arc to give Michigan State the first double digit lead to start the second quarter. Penn State then went on a run of its own, outscoring the Spartans 8-2 to bring this game back within reach. However, as time continued in the second, the Lady Lions remained down by two possessions.

The second quarter ended in Michigan State’s favor, too. The Spartans used an 8-4 run to take a 38-29 lead into halftime.

Marisa hit a baseline jumper to get things started in the second half. Brigham kept it going and completed the and-one try to bring this game back within four. However, that was short-lived, as the Spartans immediately marched down and sank one from deep. Clouden joined in on the three party and hit two of her own to increase the lead.

After yet another made three for the Spartans, Brigham was able to get a bucket for Penn State after going scoreless for nearly three minutes. During that span, Michigan State scored nine points and extended its lead to 14. The Lady Lions answered with a few buckets of their own, but after a buzzer-beating lay-up from Clouden, the Spartans headed into the fourth with a 61-43 lead.

Marisa hit a three just one minute into the fourth quarter to get things rolling for the Lady Lions. Matilda Ekh answered with a pull-up jumper, but on the next possession, she fouled Hagans, who completed the and-one bucket.

After a very long media timeout, the two teams finally continued the action with just seven minutes to go. Parks and Marisa quickly traded buckets, but both teams continued to struggle to put the ball in the basket, collectively shooting 5-for-12 from the field.

The Spartans finished the game on a 12-5 run that let Michigan State cruise to an impressive 79-58 win over Penn State.

Takeaways

  • The Lady Lions struggled to shoot the ball tonight. Although they were able to get some good looks, as a team, they shot 35.8% from the field and 15.8% from three. That just won’t cut it in conference play.
  • On the other side, Michigan State shot the ball well, especially from beyond the arc. The Spartans finished shooting 50% from three with Nia Clouden leading the pack on a perfect 3-for-3 clip.
  • After crossing 1,000 career points with a 32-point performance against Iowa, Makenna Marisa had a quiet night. Although she notched 19 points, she shot just 6-for-13 from the field and didn’t seem to spark the Lady Lions as well as she has been throughout the season.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will stay at the Bryce Jordan Center to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday, January 30. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a junior 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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