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Difficult Second Half Gives Lady Lions 67-58 Loss To No. 4 Indiana

Penn State women’s basketball (7-3, 0-2 Big Ten) lost to No. 4 Indiana (10-0, 1-0 Big Ten) 67-58 Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

While the Lady Lions put up a strong first-half fight, a third-quarter surge from the Hoosiers gave them the advantage in their Big Ten opener.

How It Happened

In her first-ever NCAA start, Alli Campbell played a key role in Penn State’s scoring early on. Campbell contributed two assists to Alexa Williamson, which gave the Lady Lions an early 4-2 lead.

Penn State’s offense struggled for a few minutes after that and went 3-of-10 from the field in the opening five minutes of the game. Still, the defense forced five turnovers from Indiana and kept the score at 9-6.

While Penn State’s struggles continued offensively, Indiana’s did not. The Hoosiers exited the break with a five-point run and led 14-6 with just under four minutes left in the quarter.

After a few moments, a pair of three-point shots started off a run that brought the Lady Lions back to 16-15 with a minute and a half left in the quarter. That scoreline held until the end of the first quarter, which was a small victory for the underdog Penn State.

It took 90 seconds, but Penn State opened the scoring in the second quarter. Campbell dropped a three-pointer to give the Lady Lions an 18-16 lead, their first since 1:57 into the first quarter.

A floater from Leilani Kapinus gave Penn State a four-point lead just before the game went into a media timeout three minutes into the second quarter.

Coming out of the break, Indiana ended Penn State’s 11-0 run with a quick two-pointer. Another two-pointer tied the game at 20 points apiece.

Penn State responded with five points from Campbell and Makenna Marisa to give it the biggest lead that the Lady Lions had all game.

After Marisa’s shot, both teams entered a scoring drought of almost two minutes before Indiana’s Sydney Parrish brought the game back within three points.

The two teams combined for four points each, as Penn State went into the locker room up 29-26. While the offense had shot 32.4% from the field and 33.3% from the free throw line, the team’s defense kept it up against one of the best in the country.

Both teams traded points to open up the second half. After one minute, Penn State was up 32-28 courtesy of a three-point play from Alexa Williamson.

From there, Indiana went on a 7-2 run, leading 35-34. It was the Hoosiers’ first lead in over 12 minutes, but they had clearly shown improvement in the third quarter.

The Hoosiers kept up their pace of play, leading 44-36 with two and a half minutes left. The Indiana three-pointer from Chloe Moore-McNeil that gave the Hoosiers the eight-point lead forced Penn State head coach Carolyn Kieger to call a timeout to try and kill the 14-2 run.

A late bucket kept the Lady Lions down eight points going into the fourth quarter down 48-40.

While Penn State needed points, Indiana scored the next five, taking a 55-40 lead with just under eight minutes remaining. Offensively, the Lady Lions had gone 0-for-3 from the field in the fourth quarter when Kieger called another timeout to try and reset for the remainder of the game.

Campbell opened up the scoring after the break with a steal and score on Indiana’s first possession, but Penn State still struggled to cut into its deficit. With just over five minutes left in the game, the team was down 12.

Still, the Lady Lions had made their last three field goals. However, time was winding down, and Penn State wasn’t scoring fast enough.

With four minutes left, Penn State was down 63-51. The team’s shooting was struggling to improve, and Indiana was coasting to a win.

While Penn State put together a good fight at the end of the fourth quarter, it wasn’t able to significantly cut down the margin and lost 67-58.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s defense put on a clinic for how to beat Indiana in the first quarter. The Hoosiers give up 11 turnovers a game, but the Lady Lions forced nine in the first. However, the press slowed down and Penn State only forced a total of 17 turnovers for the whole game.
  • The Lady Lions haven’t exactly been the best of shooters all year long, but Thursday night took that to an extreme. The team shot 35.9% from the field, and Penn State only stayed in the game because it took 13 more shots than Indiana.
  • While Penn State’s fourth-quarter collapse wasn’t what the Lady Lions wanted, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Indiana’s strength showed after its pep talk at halftime, and the Hoosiers were able to show why they’re No. 4 in the nation. All the same, Penn State can look at its first-half play as a sign that it has more than what it showed on the court.

What’s Next

Penn State will stay at home for a matchup against West Virginia at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 11, 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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