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Lady Lions Beat Youngstown State 77-63 With Strong Fourth Quarter

Penn State women’s basketball (3-0) took down Youngstown State (1-1) on Tuesday night with a 77-63 win.

After a slow start, both teams put together good stretches of offense, which the Lady Lions were able to take advantage of more and more as the game progressed.

Graduate student Johnasia Cash also scored her 1,000th point against the Penguins, making her the third active member of the Lady Lions to join the club alongside Makenna Marisa and Taniyah Thompson.

How It Happened

A two-and-a-half-minute drought of eight missed fight goals by both sides started off the game, as the game went back and forth while neither side found the basket. Eventually, Youngstown State’s Paige Shy opened up the scoring with a three-pointer, while Penn State’s Alexa Williamson followed with a layup and missed a free throw that was inches from a three-point play.

The game continued as a defensive showdown for several more minutes, as with under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, both teams had turned the ball over more than they had scored as the Penguins led 8-4.

Penn State’s defense held its own for the duration of the first quarter, creating seven turnovers and giving up 13 points. However, Youngstown State’s defense was better, creating seven turnovers and giving up 12 points while the Lady Lions shot 31.3% from the field.

To their credit, the two sides heated up offensively in the final two minutes of the quarter, scoring eight of the game’s 25 points late. Both teams went into the break with momentum on their side.

Penn State took its first lead just seconds into the second quarter when a quick pass from Anna Camden to Marisa created a shot that barely touched the net as it went through.

A rapid-fire seven-point run by the Penguins erased the Lady Lions’ small lead, and after two minutes, head coach Carolyn Kieger called a timeout to stop the bleeding for her defense.

The two teams battled back and forth for several minutes, as the Lady Lions worked the deficit away again halfway through the quarter. With 4:50 remaining in the half, Shay Ciezki gave Penn State a 23-22 lead with two made free throws.

Both teams’ offenses came alive in the dying minutes of the half. Each of the last eight baskets made either changed the lead or tied the game, and as the two sides went into the locker room, Penn State held a slight 33-32 edge.

Youngstown State took off early in the second half. In the first two minutes, it went on a 9-2 run to gain a 41-35 lead. However, it took Penn State less than three minutes to retake the lead, as Leilani Kapinus scored her 16th point to give her team a 42-41 lead.

While the Lady Lions scored 11 unanswered points, Youngstown State struggled and missed five straight field goals. When the Penguins called a timeout with three minutes left in the third quarter, Penn State had a 48-43 lead.

Penn State’s offense stayed alive for the duration of the quarter. Two straight scores by Ciezki gave the Lady Lions an eight-point lead, their biggest of the night before a layup from Mady Aulbach brought the score back to 56-50 when the quarter ended.

The third quarter was a massive push for Penn State, which shot 76.9% from the field while keeping Youngstown State under 50%.

The two teams stayed even through the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, scoring six points apiece. As the clock ticked down, this worked more and more in Penn State’s favor, as a two-score difference became three with a deep shot from Marisa, and with under five minutes left to play, the Lady Lions held a 65-56 lead.

By no means was the game sealed in the final moments, and the Penguins brought the fight to Penn State. All the same, the Lady Lions kept their foot on the gas and cleaned up the rest of the game with a 77-63 win.

Takeaways

  • In her second-ever start for the Lady Lions, Ciezki is fitting right in. The freshman dropped 16 points while directing her team from the arc. In a matter of a few games, Ciezki has established herself as one of the players that Kieger can rely on when the team needs a basket.
  • Penn State had no massive explosion on offense to take this game, as it had against Fairfield. Instead, steady improvement brought this win home, both on a group and individual level.
  • Offensive turnovers continue to be an issue for this team. While the group did its job defensively, the Lady Lions gave up 20 on offense. Turnovers have been something the team has tried to work on early in the season, and they continue to be one of the final cogs in the machine to iron out.

What’s Next

Penn State will continue its home stretch against Bryant at 7 p.m. on Frida at the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a sophomore journalism major at Penn State. He enjoys yelling into the Twitter void over various sports items that don't really matter. If you ever want to meet him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Find (and disagree with him) on Twitter (Joe_Lister21) or by email ([email protected])

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