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Lady Lions Fend Off Purdue Comeback In 70-60 Win

Penn State women’s basketball (11-5, 2-3 Big Ten) took down Purdue (11-4, 2-3 Big Ten) 70-60 Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center during the team’s annual PRIDE Game.

While the Lady Lions led for nearly the whole game, they often struggled to fully control the game en route to their second conference win. Makenna Marisa once again moved up the Penn State all-time scoring list, as her 24 points bumped her to 13th in the Lady Lions’ history.

How It Happened

Penn State played an aggressive game from the first possession. The Lady Lions were physical inside the paint, both on offense and defense.

However, a Shay Ciezki corner-three was the only thing that kept Penn State from missing its opening 11 shots. The Boilermakers took advantage, and after their own slow start, took an 8-3 lead.

Makenna Marisa turned the offense around for the Lady Lions, as her three-pointer inspired another by Anna Camden. When Marisa sunk one of her two free throws on the next possession, Penn State went up 10-8 on a 7-0 run.

Another three-point shot from Camden extended the run to 10 unanswered points before Purdue began to start answering on offense.

The two teams battled back and forth for the duration of the first quarter. While Penn State didn’t increase its lead, Purdue wasn’t able to cut it back, as the Lady Lions entered the break up 20-15.

Penn State led off the scoring in the second half with five points to beat Purdue’s two until the game entered a timeout for the game officials to review a play involving an intentional foul against the Boilermarkers’ Lasha Petree.

Throughout the start of the second quarter, Penn State had been able to slowly boost its lead. After starting with a five-point lead, the Lady Lions were up by nine points after five minutes.

The end of the first half was characterized by inconsistent offense. While Penn State had ample opportunity to spike its lead, the Lady Lions struggled to connect on their shots. Meanwhile, Purdue, despite a limited number of chances, managed to keep the game from slipping away.

After making just three of 10 field goal attempts in the final five minutes of the first half, the Lady Lions went into the locker room up by eight points. Still, momentum swung back toward Penn State as the first half died with a buzzer-beating long-range jump shot from Taniyah Thompson.

Despite the second-quarter inconsistencies, Penn State came out of the break looking as calm and controlled as ever. The Lady Lions opened the second half with five points in under a minute before Purdue responded with two free throws.

However, the Boilermakers responded quickly. They forced a backcourt violation from Johnasia Cash before sinking a three-point shot.

Penn State responded with five more points of its own before a Purdue timeout. With 6:44 left in the third quarter, the Lady Lions had a 51-38 lead.

Both offenses were electric from that point. Over the two minutes, Penn State and Purdue combined for 11 points, while the Lady Lions still held a 55-43 lead before a timeout halfway through the quarter.

Penn State struggled as the third quarter waned. While the team argued against plenty of calls made by the officials, the team was struggling to shoot and defend. When a triple-team at the three-point arc left Purdue’s Caitlyn Harper open under the net, head coach Carolyn Kieger called a timeout to reset her team.

Leilani Kapinus earned one late point for Penn State after that timeout, as the Lady Lions entered the fourth quarter up 60-49. While Penn State still held a good lead, Purdue was clearly making a late push for a road win.

After just over three minutes, Purdue had cut Penn State’s lead to nine points. A poor turnover from Cash cut that number to just seven points, and Kieger called another timeout as her side struggled to control the competition late while leading 62-55.

Out of the break, Marisa was the first to score after several failed attempts by Purdue. Her mid-range jumper gave Penn State its nine-point lead back with under five minutes remaining.

That lead didn’t hold long. Purdue scored five straight points over the next two and a half minutes and brought the game to 64-60.

Marisa responded with another jump shot, and when a timeout was called for an injured Purdue player with two minutes left, Penn State had a 66-60 lead.

It was then that Kapinus played hero for the Lady Lions. A late steal and score brought the Bryce Jordan Center to its feet and Kapinus to the line for a three-point play.

Though she missed the free throw, Kapinus’ effort gave Penn State a 68-60 lead with 90 seconds left. One more score from Ciezki certified the victory, as the Lady Lions won 70-60.


  • Three-point shooting saved the Penn State offense. Despite going 25-65 from the field, the Lady Lions shot at an even 50% clip from beyond the arc. This isn’t necessarily unique from Penn State though, as it’s often relied on the deep ball to get them through tough games.
  • Late-game turnovers killed the Lady Lions. After giving up seven in the opening 30 minutes of the game, Penn State suffered eight turnovers in the fourth quarter. While they pulled off the win, the Lady Lions weren’t always clean with the ball.
  • If Penn State had an MVP for its game against Purdue, it would most certainly be Kapinus. Her efforts brought the Lady Lions 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 steals. It’s hard to imagine Penn State leaving with a victory without her.

What’s Next

Penn State will go to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, in the first of two straight road games.

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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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