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Lady Lions Come Up Short Against No. 17 Maryland 82-71

Penn State women’s basketball (9-11, 3-7 Big Ten) lost 82-71 to the No. 17 Maryland Terrapins (15-6, 7-3 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State complicated matters for the Terrapins throughout the game and almost came back despite being down by significant margins throughout the game. Ultimately, Maryland was too much for the Lady Lions to handle, though.

How It Happened

Coach Carolyn Kieger went with her usual lineup against a tough Maryland foe. Kieger and the team honored Makenna Marisa for scoring her 1,000th career point before the game.

Maryland quickly scored first, but Shay Hagans had a nice steal-and-score play to even up the score. The Lady Lions looked good starting off against the No. 17 Terrapins. Kelly Jekot then stole the ball and proceeded to score, the second such play of the quarter for the Lady Lions.

Both teams were tied at six at the first timeout. The team teams were neck-and-neck with each other, arguably a positive sign for Kieger’s squad.

After a timeout on the floor, the Terrapins grabbed a 12-8 lead, their largest lead of the day so far. However, the Lady Lions caught the Terrapins off guard and quickly stormed back to tie the game at 14. It was a game dominated by offense at that point in the contest.

A nine-point scoring run from Maryland prompted Kieger to call a timeout with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter. It didn’t help, though, as the Lady Lions trailed 27-14 at the end of the first.

Jekot began the second quarter by immediately sinking a three-pointer. At this point, however, Penn State was struggling to keep up with a talented Maryland team, as it trailed by 11 points.

Maryland was in firm control of the game come halftime. The Terrapins led 45-29 and were playing a better overall game than the Lady Lions.

Despite trailing, Makenna Marisa led all players with 12 points, which has been a recurrence this season. Penn State had a better field goal percentage, but it just couldn’t get in done in the first half against a better team.

Penn State continued to trail behind Maryland in the third quarter. However, the Lady Lions had a nice defensive scoring play again. Leilani Kapinus stole the ball and passed it to Marisa, who then passed it back to Hagans for the layup.

Although they were down by a significant margin, the Lady Lions showed fight. They were down big at the half, but they managed to cut the lead to within ten in the third quarter. The score ended up being 64-52 at the end of the third quarter in favor of Maryland.

Penn State continued to make life difficult for Maryland in the fourth quarter. The Lady Lions even began to mount a legitimate comeback. At the 7:13-mark in the fourth quarter, Maryland’s lead was only eight points, with Jekot continuing to be a catalyst in the game.

The Sunday afternoon crowd at the Bryce Jordan Center was getting even more into the game as the Lady Lions continued to barely trail, erupting every time the Lady Lions made a good play.

With just under five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions were down 73-64. However, stopping Maryland continued to be a challenge for the defense.

Ultimately, Penn State couldn’t keep up with Maryland in the end, as the Terrapins won 82-71. Penn State showed plenty of resilience and determination to stay in the game, a very impressive feat against one of the best teams in college basketball.

Takeaways

  • Despite being down by large amounts throughout the game, Penn State never stopped fighting. The Lady Lions continued to score points and play with energy. That’s a very good sign for a rebuilding team under Carolyn Kieger.
  • Kelly Jekot proved once again she is a reliable piece on the team. Her 16-point game shows she is capable of stepping up and playing well against good teams like Maryland.
  • The Lady Lions ultimately lost to a better team. However, this type of play is potentially a good sign for the future, as the squad kept it close against a tough Maryland team.

What’s Next

Penn State will hit the road and take on Nebraska at 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 3.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a freshman majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to debate anything about sports with him, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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