Lady Lions Put Together Massive Comeback In 82-69 Win Over Syracuse

Penn State women’s basketball (5-0) stayed undefeated with a win over Syracuse (4-1), winning 82-69. After going down 21 points, the Lady Lions put together an incredible fourth quarter to win by 13.

Guard Makenna Marisa also moved to No. 18 on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with her 1,329th point scored.

How It Happened

Syracuse led off the scoring, draining two straight threes from the right side of the arc in the opening 90 seconds. Penn State responded well, dropping two layups and a free throw.

The Orange stayed hot, dropping eight more points before three minutes had passed across the game. Before Penn State called its second timeout to stop the bleeding, Syracuse was up 19-7 just over four minutes into the game.

From the break, both teams locked down defensively. Penn State still struggled to score, but it was still able to slow down Syracuse’s offense. While the Orange had been shooting 75% at one point in the quarter, they dropped to just under 60% by the end while leading 27-14.

Syracuse continued its hot shooting from behind the arc to open the second quarter. After shooting 6-7 from three-point range in the first quarter, Alaina Rice improved her team’s lead to 16 points.

Penn State was able to steady out the game, however. While the Lady Lions struggled to cut down on the deficit in the second quarter, they kept it from sliding further out of reach.

In most scenarios, Penn State would have been able to use the second quarter as a chance to bounce back. It took significantly more shots than Syracuse, but the Lady Lions shot under 30%. While Syracuse was slowing down, it was nothing compared to Penn State missing 11 field goals in a row. The two sides went into the half with Syracuse leading 41-23.

The Lady Lions slowly started to cut into the difference against the Orange. Halfway through the quarter, what had been a 20-point deficit was just 12 points, though Penn State was still struggling to shoot effectively.

Marisa, who had struggled until the third quarter, finally started to come alive. After shooting 1-10 from the field in the first half, she scored five points and went 2-3, as she tried to get her team to rally later and later into the game.

As the third quarter wound down, Penn State was still struggling to dent Syracuse’s lead. Chanaya Pinto made the difference, trimming the lead to single digits with two three-point shots to end the quarter before Teisha Hyman brought the difference back to ten points. All the same, the Lady Lions held solid momentum while down 55-45 going into the final ten minutes.

Shay Ciezki kept the blood pumping for Penn State, narrowing Syracuse’s lead to seven points just seconds into the fourth quarter. After a layup from Alexa Williamson and two free throws from Ciezki, the game was down to just a three-point difference.

Ciezki took over the game from that point. She scored five more points, before a layup from Pinto gave Penn State its first lead of the game. After Syracuse responded with a three-pointer, Ciezki drained one of her own coming out of a timeout.

From there, both teams went back and forth on offense. With just three minutes left in the third quarter, the Lady Lions held a 70-65 lead, and while Syracuse was able to respond, they were facing a massive rally from Penn State.

Coming out of a timeout, both sides were able to score to keep the score at a five-point gap, but two made free throws from Marisa gave Penn State a three-possession lead. With less than a minute left, Johnasia Cash, who made her first start of the season, gave the Lady Lions an insurmountable nine-point lead.

The Lady Lions cruised through game’s finish, working the final score to 82-69 in a massive statement win.


  • Shay Ciezki is her. That’s it. Ceizki dropped a career-high 18 points against Syracuse and played a massive part in getting Penn State to rally against a huge deficit. It’s not out of this realm to say that Penn State loses without her fourth-quarter efforts.
  • Penn State wasn’t great in the third quarter, but they were good enough. All they needed were those two big three-pointers from Pinto, and all of a sudden, eight minutes of just enough became ten minutes of all the team needed.
  • This team has that dawg in it. Penn State has gone up by 20 points before, and used the lead to pin teams down and close out games. However, when they went down by 20, the Lady Lions kept their head up and stayed in the game. Needless to say, this team’s vibes are enough to make them dangerous.

What’s Next

Penn State hits the road for the first time to play in the Dayton Beach Invitational. The Lady Lions will play Toledo at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, November 25.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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