Lady Lions Snap Eight-Game Losing Streak, Beat Nebraska 83-76
Penn State women’s basketball (10-15, 3-11 Big Ten) beat Nebraska (19-7, 8-7) 83-76 Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Lady Lions snapped their eight-game losing streak and captured their first win since January 20. Makenna Marisa led the scoring with 22 points, but it was a strong defensive effort in the second half from Leilani Kapinus, Niya Beverley, and others that ultimately turned things around.
How It Happened
Makenna Marisa got things started with a three for the Lady Lions on the first possession. Nebraska took advantage of its first three possessions, as they put themselves in the lead by three. Leilani Kapinus tied things back up with a driving layup. However, the Cornhuskers scored five more that kept the first half of the quarter in their favor.
After two made free throws from Marisa, the three-poinyers started to fall in the Bryce Jordan Center. Nebraska’s Jaz Shelley knocked in two, but Maddie Burke answered with one of her own. Both teams continued to trade buckets, but the Cornhuskers remained up six after the first quarter.
Isabelle Bourne sank a jumper to get the scoring going in the second quarter for the Huskers. After two minutes with no buckets for either squad, Bourne completed a layup, too. After nearly five minutes without a point, Marisa ended the drought for Penn State with two free throws, but Nebraska remained up eight.
After a completed and-one try from Allison Weidner, Kelly Jekot got those three points back with a three-pointer of her own. Following a media timeout, Alexis Markowski easily found the paint for a layup. However, Burke answered with her second three of the night to keep the deficit in single digits.
The Cornhuskers then went on a 6-0 run before it was stopped by an Anna Camden layup. Marisa and Shay Hagans joined in on the layup party to bring this game within seven. However, Nebraska answered with a buzzer-beater bucket from Sam Haiby.
As both teams headed into the locker room, Nebraska held a 37-28 lead.
After a Nebraska bucket, Jekot got the Lady Lions started with a three-pointer in the second half. However, consecutive Husker buckets extended their lead to 44-31 two minutes into the quarter. The Lady Lions quickly cut into the lead, though. Back-to-back buckets from Niya Beverley, paired with another Burke three-pointer, brought the squad back within single digits.
A few minutes later, Penn State cut the lead to eight points, but four consecutive Husker points stretched the lead out once more. Back-to-back Marisa buckets and a Leilani Kapinus layup brought the Lady Lions back within seven in the final minutes of the third quarter. The third quarter ended with the Huskers up 61-52.
The start of the fourth quarter featured a lot of back-and-fourth action, and it stayed that way until the seven-minute mark. Kapinus came up with a steal and score, followed by a Camden bucket, to make it a 68-62 game with 6:40 remaining in the game.
Multiple steals from the Lady Lions led to several buckets, and just like that the Lady Lions trailed by just one. After yet another steal from Hagans, the Lady Lions found themselves with their first lead of the night after an and-one try from Hagans. After a couple of made free throws from Haiby, Beverley drained one from beyond the arc to hold the lead for the Lady Lions.
After a few traded buckets, Penn State remained up by four with just two minutes left. After a missed shot, Marisa blocked a three-point attempt to keep a two possession lead for Penn State. Jekot splashed one from downtown to put this game out of reach, then Marisa dribbled around Nebraska’s defenders and got herself an easy layup to extend the lead to nine. Markowski made a layup, but it was too little too late.
As the buzzer sounded, Lady Lions escaped with a win. The final score ended at 83-76
- Lady Lions finally get a win! For the first time since January 20, Penn State finally found themselves back in the win column.
- Tonight’s game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Lady Lions were outscored 37-28, and the game looked over before the second half even started. However, after some explosive defensive stops, Penn State was able to take over in the second half, outscoring the Cornhuskers 55-39.
- Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Well, the Lady Lions did! As a team, they registered 13 total steals, with Kapinus and Beverley leading the pack with three each.
The Lady Lions will travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Monday, February 21. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m and can be streamed on Big Ten Network.
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About the Author
Nittany Lions old and new have received new jersey numbers ahead of the 2022 season.