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Lady Lions Blown Out By No. 17 Ohio State 78-55

Penn State women’s basketball (11-16, 5-12) was blown out by No. 17 Ohio State (21-5, 13-4) 78-55 Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio.

In a game originally scheduled for January 3, the Buckeyes were purely dominant. In the first half, it appeared as if the Lady Lions were going to make it a game. However, with Makenna Marisa struggling from the field, and given the Buckeyes’ suffocating press, Penn State didn’t stand a chance in the second half.

How It Happened

Penn State’s leading scorer Makenna Marisa, who came in averaging 22.8 points per game, got the scoring started with her signature mid-range jumper from the elbow. Kelly Jekot followed it up with a three-pointer to give the Lady Lions an early 5-0 lead.

Taylor Mikesell got things started for Ohio State, while Rebeka Mikulásiková began asserting herself down low with four early points. Mikesell put the Buckeyes up 10-5 with another jumper entering the first media timeout.

Penn State was struggling to score after converting its first two buckets. For Ohio State, it was Taylor Thierry’s turn to takeover, finishing an and-one and then again a fast-break layup to give the Buckeyes the 14-5 lead.

Penn State had six turnovers and was struggling to handle Ohio State’s press. But, Marisa was finally able to end the drought after the Lady Lions were 0-12 after making their first two attempts.

However, a Maddie Burke three-ball and a Leilani Kapinus and-one pulled Penn State within five, as it was 18-13 at the first-quarter buzzer.

The momentum carried over into the second quarter, as two quick layups by Shay Hagans and Niya Beverley, respectively, cut Penn State’s deficit to one. A few possessions later, Marisa’s patented jumper gave Penn State the 19-18 lead.

The scoring second quarter started off sparse, with the score still knotted at 20 with just four minutes left in the first half before Lady Lions head coach Carolyn Keiger called a timeout. Turns out, that’s all Ohio State needed to wake up. The Buckeyes finally got things going again on a jumper by Rikki Harris and a subsequent and-one turned in by Tanaya Beacham. Mikesell followed it up with back-to-back buckets and a three-pointer to cap off a 10-0 run.

Two free throws from Anna Camden was all Penn State could come up with to stop the bleeding. Beacham made two more layups and Ohio State went into the locker room holding on to a 34-22 lead.

At the start of the second half, the Buckeyes picked up right where they left off and came out with a quick Harris bucket and one from Jacy Sheldon a few possessions later. Kapinus would get that right back the ensuing possession and Beverley built off of that with a three-pointer to bring Penn State within 11.

Braxtin Miller responded with a triple of her own, which was only the Buckeyes’ second of the game (2-16), with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. Then, Penn State’s defense began to break down, and an outbreak of Buckeye buckets extended Ohio State’s lead to 45-29.

The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the third quarter, and the score sat at 51-36 entering the final frame of action.

Following an extensive stoppage because the shot clocks weren’t working, play resumed and so did Ohio State’s collaborative offensive attack. Kateri Poole registered a quick five points to extend the Buckeyes’ lead to 56-36.

Kapinus tallied three points for Penn State on another and-one, but Mikulásiková, Sheldon, and Mikesell added on to Ohio State’s lead even more. Still sticking with the full-court press, the Buckeyes were not letting up, and Penn State couldn’t shake it off.

A pair of free throws from Marisa and a made layup by Camden would bring Penn State’s deficit back to 20 with six minutes remaining in the game. But, that’s the smallest the Lady Lions’ deficit would end up being in the fourth quarter, as the score read 78-55 when the clock hit triple zeros.

Takeaways

  • Penn State made things competitive in the first-half, but it completely collapsed in the second and could barley keep up with Ohio State. It was clear the Buckeyes were the better team.
  • Turnovers have been a nagging issue for the Lady Lions all year long. They finished with 20 turnovers, 10 in each half, which didn’t help overcome their struggle to get anything fluid going on offense. That, combined with Ohio State’s potent press, was too much for the Lady Lions to combat.
  • The Lady Lions’ superstar guard Makenna Marisa had her worst game of the season, shooting 3-of-18 and finishing with a season-low 10 points. Without her on her game, the Lady Lions have no one to turn to on offense.

What’s Next

Penn State returns home to the Bryce Jordan Center to take the court for one final time this regular season. The Lady Lions will take on Minnesota at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 27.

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About the Author

Zach Donaldson

Zach is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer for Onward State and serves as an editor for Penn State’s CommRadio. He hails from Downingtown, Pa., or in other words "just outside of Philly." When he's not watching or ranting about Philly sports, you can probably find him at the gym. If you like sports tweets, follow him on Twitter @zachdonaldson_ and all inquiries can go to [email protected]

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