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Lady Lions Survive Michigan State In 79-71 Victory

Penn State women’s basketball (11-15, 5-11 Big Ten) took down Michigan State (14-12, 8-7) 79-71 Monday night at the Breslin Arena in East Lansing.

Despite a final-quarter push from the Spartans, the Lady Lions were able to escape with a win. Makenna Marisa notched her fifth game over 30 points, as she finished the night with 32. Niya Beverley, Leilani Kapinus, and Anna Camden also scored in the double digits with 12, 11, and 10, respectively.

How It Happened

Alisia Smith found herself wide open in the paint to get the scoring started for Michigan State. On the next possession, Anna Camden marched down and answered with a three. However, after some traded buckets and free throws, no team separated themselves, as the score remained tied at eleven midway through the first quarter.

Makenna Marisa and Maddie Burke sunk back-to-back threes that gave Penn State the largest lead of the game, by four, thus far. Following a Michigan State timeout, Camden hit another three which was followed by two free throws from Kelly Jekot. Finally, DeeDee Hagemann sunk one from beyond the three point mark that helped stop the bleeding from a Lady Lions scoring run. However, as the first buzzer sounded, Penn State finished the quarter on an 18-6 run as they shot 50% from three.

Both teams struggled to find the basket early in the second quarter. Finally, after two minutes with no points, Marisa sunk two from the charity stripe that extended Penn State’s lead to twelve. Tamara Farquhar found two easy buckets in the paint that brought some life to the Spartans.

The second half ended on an 8-2 scoring by the Spartans, but the Lady Lions remained up by eight. Marisa led all scorers with 16, while shooting 2-for-4 from three and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.

Leilani Kapinus got an early steal and fast-break score that started things in the second half. Marisa found Niya Beverley and Shay Hagans for easy fast-break points that brought the Lady Lions’ lead back to double figures. After four scoreless minutes, Taiyier Parks knocked one off the glass to get the Spartans started. Michigan State added five more unanswered points that brought this game back to five. Jekot stopped the run after she knocked down her first three of the night.

Both teams traded buckets to end the third quarter, but Penn State remained up by seven, thanks to a last second lay-up from Beverley.

Smith sank two early free throws the start the final quarter of action. Marisa marched down and sank a lay-up that brought her point total to 20. With that bucket, Marisa now has 17 games this season with 20-plus points. Both teams continued to trade buckets, but Penn State kept the lead. Beverley hit another three which brought her point total to ten.

Marisa scored back-to-back buckets midway through the fourth quarter. Matilda Etk answered with a three which sparked a 10-2 run for the Spartans as Penn State remained up only by three with just under three minutes left of action. Marisa ended the run after two made free throws. However, on the next possession, Hagemann sank one from the corner that kept this game close.

Marisa marched down the court to and completed an and-one play with just under two minutes left on the clock. Farquhar and Marisa traded free throw’s, but the Lady Lions remained up six with just 50 seconds left. Following a Michigan State timeout, Nia Clouden sank a three to make it a single possession game. Then, Marisa found Beverley wide open in transition for an easy lay-up.

After getting fouled twice, Kapinus sank three free throws that put this game out of reach. The Lady Lions survived after a last second push from the Spartans with a final score of 79-71.

Takeaways

  • After a tough loss back in late January to the Spartans, the Lady Lions sought revenge as they were able to defeat the Spartans on their own court.
  • The Lady Lions haven’t been too great to start games this season, but tonight’s game was much different. They started off the first quarter HOT, as they escaped the first quarter with a ten-point lead. That quarter ultimately came back to save them as the game ended.
  • It was a block party for Penn State tonight. Penn State out-blocked Michigan State nine-to-one. Anna Camden led the way with seven blocks and Maddie Burke and Kapinus contributed one each, as well.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will continue on the road as they will travel to Columbus to take on No. 17 Ohio State this Thursday, February 24. Tip off is set 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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