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Lady Lions’ Taniyah Thompson Stepping Up Ahead Of Late-Season Push

When Penn State women’s basketball guard Taniyah Thompson came to Happy Valley before the 2022 season, she arrived with an impressive resume. She had established herself as one of the AAC’s best over the previous three years at East Carolina.

Thompson averaged 18.5 points per game as a junior at the end of a three-year stint with the Pirates that saw her log 1,189 points, 230 rebounds, 81 assists, and 120 steals. Despite her previous acclaim, Thompson’s numbers significantly dropped upon joining the Nittany Lions.

Since starting in the Lady Lions’ first game against Norfolk State, Thompson has failed to make head coach Carolyn Kieger’s first five. Even still, Thompson has averaged 8.5 points per game this season and has the fourth-highest point total on her team

It will be hard, however, for Kieger to leave Thompson out of the starting lineup after her 27-point performance against Wisconsin on Sunday, which led Penn State to a slim five-point victory over the Badgers.

While Thompson hasn’t yet had much opportunity to shine through the 2022 season, she’s slowly built a claim for a larger role. In the team’s last 10 games, she’s reached double-digit point totals six times for a grand total of 109 points.

Although Thompson says her success came from a strong week of practice, Kieger sees her player’s success as a long-term build that is a culmination of time in the gym and film room.

“She has been battling all year. Been patient, been waiting for a time, been growing, been in the film room,” Kieger said. “I can’t say enough about her character, her resiliency, and toughness… I think everybody saw that tonight.”

“Her teammates are really excited for her too,” Kieger continued. “They know she’s been grinding in practice and doing extra work.”

The win over Wisconsin, however close it may have been, was an opportunity for Penn State to generate momentum toward the season’s final 12 games. This may be the team’s first chance to eclipse a .500 win rate since the 2017-18 season.

For Thompson individually, it may serve the same purpose. Kieger understands that Thompson’s role through the rest of the season may build some momentum for her.

“I know that this is only the beginning for her, and we’re going to continue to propel on what we did tonight,” Kieger said.

Thompson’s goal is to be the best she can be for her team as the Lady Lions aim to generate a successful postseason.

“I just want to keep going up,” Thompson said. “I just want to keep going up with my team and continue to build these wins.”

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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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