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Lady Lions Drop Double Overtime Thriller To Minnesota 98-96 In Big Ten Opener

Penn State women’s basketball (7-2, 0-1 Big Ten) dropped its second-straight loss 98-96 against Minnesota (5-3, 1-0 Big Ten) Saturday night. Despite leading by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Lady Lions were unable to close out on the road.

How It Happened

After scoring just seven points in the first quarter against Virginia earlier in the week, it took the Lady Lions under three minutes to reach that mark against Minnesota.

While Penn State held an early five-point lead, Minnesota brought the score back and took a 12-10 lead just over six minutes into the quarter. Both sides battled back and forth for the duration of the quarter and finished nearly even at 16-14 in favor of the Golden Gophers.

Penn State scored the next seven points to begin the second quarter, five of which came from Makenna Marisa. The Lady Lions allowed four points from Minnesota before responding with five points from Shay Ciezki and Chanaya Pinto.

Minnesota went on a late rally in the first half and closed out a 6-0 run that included a three-pointer just before time expired to take a 31-28 lead at the halftime buzzer.

Both teams came out of the break firing, combining for 12 points in just over two minutes. Eight of those points fell to Minnesota, giving it a 39-32 lead.

Despite allowing Minnesota plenty of points from beyond the arc, Penn State retook the lead after another six minutes. A 9-0 run for the Lady Lions forced the Golden Gophers to call a timeout, while big plays from Leilani Kapinus on defense and Marisa on offense gave their team a 46-44 lead.

Minnesota’s timeout failed to stop the bleeding from Penn State’s daggers. The Lady Lions put together an 18-2 run to close out the third quarter while up 55-46. Marisa and Taniyah Thompson generated 12 of those points, half of which came from beyond the arc.

After just two minutes of action in the fourth quarter, Penn State’s lead was trimmed down to just four points. The Golden Gophers clearly were attacking with new energy, which the Lady Lions were simmering down.

After a few minutes, Penn State finally started to meet Minnesota. For several possessions midway through the quarter, the Lady Lions’ lead oscillated between two and four points.

With three minutes left, the Lady Lions saw their lead increase to seven points with a Ciezki three-pointer. With that, the team began to slow the game down.

However, Penn State’s lead didn’t hold. Despite being up by six with 90 seconds left, Penn State was up by just one with 23 seconds left.

Two free throws from Pinto gave Penn State a three-point lead, but Minnesota’s Mara Braun tied the game with three free throws of her own to tie the game at 74 points each with 13 seconds each.

Two possession flips gave Penn State the ball with 6.3 seconds left. The Lady Lions gave the ball to Ciezki, and she did not disappoint, making a layup with 1.2 seconds left.

However, Thompson gave up a foul as time seemed to expire, giving the Golden Gophers the chance to tie. Katie Borowicz sunk both shots, and sent the game to overtime with the two teams tied at 76 points each.

After 85 seconds of silent offense, Minnesota opened the overtime scoring with a layup. Penn State was unable to match that and Kapinus missed two free throws.

Both teams traded shots, and Marisa brought Penn State within one point with her seventh three-pointer of the night. Moments later, she brought them within two from the free throw line, recording her 30th point of the night while trailing 84-82.

Marisa kept shooting and tied the game with a short jump shot. After she missed a three-pointer to take the lead, Minnesota called a timeout with 27.1 seconds left in the game.

With three seconds left, Braun drew a foul from Alexa Williamson and sunk both free throws to take an 86-84 lead.

With nearly no time left of the clock, Ciezki was not ready to go home. She dropped a deep shot for two points with just one second left on the clock and sent the game to double overtime.

Kapinus gave Penn State a lead early on, rebounding Ciezki’s three and dropping it for an 88-86 lead. A moment later Marisa laid off a pass to Pinto for a 90-87 lead.

A three-point play for the Golden Gophers tied the game at 90 points, and with just under three minutes left, Minnesota took a 92-90 lead.

Williamson tied the game back up on a breakaway, but Minnesota quickly made it 94-92. With 47.8 seconds remaining, Braun increased that lead to five points.

Williamson brought the game to 97-94, and soon after, Kapinus forced a travel against the Golden Gophers with 25.9 seconds left.

Down three, Marisa got a tough two-pointer off with nine seconds remaining in the game. Penn State wasted no time in getting a foul off, but Minnesota made just one of two shots.

However, Kapinus wasn’t given enough time to make a solid play, and Penn State fell 98-96 to Minnesota in double overtime.


  • Makenna Marisa is the Steph Curry of Lady Lions basketball. Despite the loss, Marisa recorded a career-high 34 points and went 7-for-10 from beyond the arc. It was the best single performance thus far into the Lady Lions’ season, and truly impressive to watch.
  • Penn State jumped the gun on its third-quarter run. After outscoring the Golden Gophers 27-15 in the third, it ran out of gas and gave up 30 points in the fourth quarter. Had the Nittany Lions maintained their energy for a moment more, this game would’ve been Penn State’s first conference win.
  • It’s tough to critique this loss. While Penn State often failed to match the energy of Minnesota, it played some of its best basketball of the year against the Golden Gophers.

What’s Next?

Penn State returns to the Bryce Jordan Center for a matchup against No. 5 Indiana at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 8. Folks can stream the Big Ten home opener on BTN+.

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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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