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Lady Lions Control Cornell In 79-48 Win

Penn State women’s basketball (9-4, 0-2 Big Ten) took down Cornell (6-6) handily, 79-48. The win was the Lady Lions’ last out-of-conference game of the regular season as they head down the stretch into Big Ten play.

The Lady Lions also made a number of personal achievements against the Big Red. Ali Brigham made her first start of the season, Taniyah Thompson scored her 500th career field goal, and Makenna Marisa reached 15th in the Lady Lion all-time scoring list with 3,215 points.

How It Happened

Both teams played an aggressive game from the jump. Despite tough defensive strategies from both sides, each team scored on their opening two possessions. A tight defense from Penn State resulted in the Lady Lions giving up three fouls in the opening two minutes, though they maintained an early 8-4 lead.

With the Lady Lions’ lead cut down to 8-7 coming out of a Penn State timeout after three-and-a-half minutes, Marisa earned a combined four shots at the line in back-to-back possessions. The guard sunk three-of-four shots, bumping her team’s lead to 11-7 with five minutes left in the first quarter.

Both Cornell and Penn State settled in for a few moments near the end of the first quarter. A good transition offense gave the Lady Lions a 17-11 lead with two minutes remaining.

A scoring drought kept Cornell from making a dent into the Lady Lions’ lead late in the quarter, as two late field goals from Penn State bumped its lead to 21-11.

A quick six points in just under two-and-a-half minutes from the Lady Lions forced Cornell head coach Dayna Smith to call a timeout with her team down 27-14, Penn State’s largest lead of the game.

Carolyn Kieger’s team continued to capitalize on transition moments, by this point in the game the Lady Lions had scored 11 fast break points.

Penn State was slow to score coming out of the break; three missed layups created a scoring drought that lasted until the midpoint of the quarter. Eventually, Brigham was able to break the drought with a layup, while Thompson followed up with her 500th career field goal to give Penn State a 31-16 lead.

Coming out of another Cornell timeout, Penn State just kept firing. With four minutes remaining in the first half, the Lady Lions outscored Cornell 10-2, increasing their lead to a dominant 42-18.

While Cornell wasn’t dominant to start the second half, it was able to hang with Penn State in the opening minutes. The Big Red outscored the Lady Lions 7-6 in the opening three minutes, but it wasn’t able to keep that pace for long.

Four quick points preceded a drawn foul for Leilani Kapinus just four minutes into the half. However, before Kapinus could get to the line, Cornell called its first timeout of the half.

Kapinus’ scoring run gave Penn State a fresh life on offense, as the Lady Lions increased their lead to 55-27 over the next two minutes. Once again, Cornell looked out of its element and Penn State was ready to cruise to a win.

Cornell boosted its pressure in the closing moments of the third quarter. The Big Red put together an 8-0 run, making Kieger call a timeout with a minute left in the quarter. While Kieger was displeased with her team, the Lady Lions still held a dominant 20-point lead.

One last field goal from Marisa before the break bumped Penn State’s lead slightly, as it went into the break leading 58-35.

Penn State entered the fourth quarter continuing to pump out offensive production. The Lady Lions outscored Cornell 7-2 in the first 2:36 before the Big Red called a timeout. With a 65-37 lead, Penn State was just about ready to close out its rout.

The Lady Lions did just that. While Cornell wasn’t heavily outscored for the rest of the game, it wasn’t invested in cutting down the deficit. Penn State rolled to an easy 79-48 win.

Takeaways

  • As well as Penn State was shooting against Cornell, it defended Cornell’s shooting even better. The Lady Lions held their opponents to 27.9% from the field, while knocking down 50% of its own shots.
  • The Lady Lions shared the love on offense — of the 12 players who stepped on the court, 11 contributed to Penn State’s scoreline. With conference play looming ahead, it will be important for the Lady Lions to keep their roster as deep and fresh as possible.
  • Penn State’s defense was as efficient as it’s been all year long against Cornell. The Lady Lions swarmed Cornell every chance that they got, ultimately forcing 28 turnovers and generating 37 points from those turnovers.

What’s Next

Penn State will face Rutgers on Friday, December 30 at 5 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center as it enters Big Ten play for the duration of the regular season.

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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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