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Lady Lions Allow Late Surge To Minnesota In 75-67 Loss

Penn State women’s basketball (11-8, 2-6) lost to Minnesota (9-10, 2-6) Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center by a tight scoreline of 75-67.

The game was the second time the Lady Lions had lost to the Golden Gophers, as they’re a few months removed from a double-overtime thriller on the road. The loss is Penn State’s third in a row after getting blown out the previous two games.

How It Happened

Immediately after tip-off, Leilani Kapinus stole the show. Before either team could score, Kapinus notched three steals in fewer than two minutes.

While Kapinus took over on defense, neither team found much footing on offense. Minnesota scored the game’s first four points, while a difficult layup from Taniyah Thompson gave the Lady Lions their first points after they began 0-for-4 from the field.

The score was just 4-3 in favor of the Golden Gophers after the opening six minutes, but from there, both teams’ offenses took off. In the course of a minute, the Lady Lions overtook Minnesota with a 9-8 lead.

A late effort that included a buzzer-beater from Minnesota gave it a 15-11 lead coming out of the first quarter.

The Golden Gophers boosted that lead early in the second quarter, helped by a series of fouls that went against the Lady Lions. In total, Penn State committed four fouls in the first four minutes while down 23-17.

The Lady Lions changed the tide of the game soon after. A Shay Ciezki three-pointer was followed by two free throws from Makenna Marisa. Another strong defensive play led to a conversion from Alexa Williamson, giving Penn State a 24-23 lead with four minutes left.

Minnesota finished the half strong. As they had in the first quarter, the Golden Gophers put together a strong late effort and went into the locker room leading 33-26.

Minnesota scored the first two points of the half, but Penn State responded with eight of its own, including back-to-back three-point conversions from Ciezki and Marisa.

Both teams traded points after that Lady Lion run, and while Minnesota held a lead throughout the next few minutes, the Golden Gophers were only up 41-40 when Penn State called a timeout halfway through the quarter.

The next two minutes of play generated another scoring run for the Lady Lions. They scored six unanswered points, taking their largest lead that far into the game with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Once again, the Golden Gophers finished the quarter strong. They scored seven points to the Lady Lions’ three and tied the game at 48-48 going into the final 10 minutes of play.

Both teams held their own to start the fourth quarter. After three minutes, Minnesota held a 54-53 lead that improved to 58-55 with 4:29 left in the quarter. Despite plenty of chances, Penn State was struggling on offense late in the game and couldn’t break through.

After a Minnesota timeout, the Golden Gophers created some comfortable space between them and the Lady Lions. A few successful possessions gave them a 64-55 lead with 2:32 left, forcing Penn State to call a timeout.

While Penn State put together a strong effort late in the game, it wasn’t able to foul its way to a victory and lost 75-67.

Takeaways

  • The Lady Lions registered a whopping 18 steals and generated 27 turnovers against Minnesota. The group’s defensive performance was a massive reason it was able to compete with the Golden Gophers throughout the whole game.
  • In each quarter, Penn State allowed its opponent to generate enough momentum to significantly alter the scoreline. Ultimately, it killed the team’s chance to set right a losing streak.
  • Penn State’s worst stat line on the night was comfortably its assist-to-turnover ratio. The Lady Lions gave up 22 turnovers while registering 12 assists. While the team has spent the full season trying to improve those numbers, it is still a ways away from doing so.

What’s Next

Penn State will stay at the Bryce Jordan Center to face Wisconsin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 22.

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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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