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Lady Lions Pull Off 74-64 Win Over Northwestern

Penn State women’s basketball (13-10, 4-8 Big Ten) took down Northwestern (8-14, 1-10 Big Ten) Thursday night by a score of 74-64.

The win was massive for the Lady Lions, who have won just two games of their last seven against Big Ten opponents.

How It Happened

Ali Brigham led the Lady Lions early on. She took four of the team’s first five shots and sunk all of them in the first three minutes before Northwestern called a timeout as it trailed by four.

Penn State kept that lead out of the break, partially due to a confusing technical foul called on Northwestern’s head coach Joe McKeown. That foul allowed Shay Ciezki to make two free throws and increase her team’s lead to 15-10 with just over four minutes left in the quarter.

That difference held for the rest of the quarter. Four different Lady Lions scored to give them a 23-18 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.

That lead didn’t hold up in the second quarter. Within four minutes, Northwestern had tied the game up at 25 points apiece and forced Penn State to call a timeout. Penn State’s lone basket came from Leilani Kapinus on an impressive hustle play.

Kapinus was the only Lady Lion to score for most of the second quarter until Ciezki converted on a drive down the lane with two minutes remaining. Ciezki earned one last bucket before the close of the half, but the Lady Lions scoring troubles caused them to enter the trailing 36-34 to the Wildcats.

Despite a slow start on offense for the second half, Ciezki eventually got her team rolling. A deep three-pointer while down 42-39 turned into a quick six-point combination from Ciezki and Makenna Marisa. With the 45-42 scoreline switched in Penn State’s favor, Northwestern called a timeout just under halfway through the third quarter.

That run continued for another two minutes and concluded after the Lady Lions had scored 13 points unanswered and gone up 49-42. Penn State stayed a cut above Northwestern for the duration of the quarter and went into the final 10 minutes of play up 56-47.

Northwestern pulled the score back quickly at the beginning of the fourth quarter. A pair of steals and success on offense brought the score to 60-55 in under two minutes.

However, as the Wildcats’ offense slowed down, Penn State’s started up. With three minutes left in the game, the Lady Lions had a 66-59 lead that was feeling increasingly comfortable.

With two minutes left and the Lady Lions up 68-61, Northwestern started to play aggressive defense, though Penn State stuck it out. With a healthy lead, the Lady Lions waltzed to a Big Ten victory and took care of business 74-64.


  • Ali Brigham carried Penn State through the first quarter. Her 10 points in the first 10 minutes were good enough to be her second-highest game total of the year, and her lone bucket in the second quarter beat her season-high by halftime. In total, she finished with 19 points, two blocks, and an assist. She also made nine of her 10 shots from the field.
  • Penn State’s three-ball continues to be an issue. While it often serves as the centerpiece for the offense at the beginning of the year, the team has increasingly struggled to find success from long range. Against Northwestern, the Lady Lions shot just 20% from beyond the arc.

What’s Next?

Penn State will remain at home to face No. 6 Iowa for the Pink Zone game at noon on Sunday, February 5.

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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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