Lady Lions Dominate Navy 107-44 In Historic Victory
Penn State women’s basketball (1-0) defeated Navy (0-1) 107-44 Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions submitted their fourth-largest margin of victory in the history of the program, winning by 63 points.
The Lady Lions were led by a scoring effort from Shay Ciezki and Leilani Kapinus, who combined for 41 points, and a defensive effort from Tay Valladay and Makenna Marisa, who combined for seven steals.
How It Happened
Navy started the game off hot from three, knocking down their first three attempts to take a 9-4 lead. A clever inbound pass from Valladay to Kapinus cut the lead down to 9-6. Valladay followed up her assist with a steal on the defensive end that led to a transition three by Kapinus to tie the game at 9-9, forcing a Navy timeout.
Out of the Navy timeout, Marisa knocked down a mid-range jumper to give the Lady Lions their first lead of the night. The Midshipmen retook a 13-12 lead off of a Maren Louridas corner three. Ciezki found Kapinus cutting backdoor for a nice finish to give Penn State a 17-14 lead.
The Lady Lions forced a stop to get the ball back where Ciezki knocked down a three to push the lead to six for Penn State at 20-14. Marissa went to work in the pick and roll with Ali Brigham finding space and finishing in the paint extending the 24-14 lead. Moriah Murray brought in a tough defensive rebound off of a missed Navy three-pointer, pushing the ball up into transition where Chanaya Pinto converted an and-one on the fast break to build on the 12-0 run for the Lady Lions. The Lady Lions finished the first quarter with a 33-14 lead thanks to a Kapinus free throw with 23 seconds left.
Marisa gave the Lady Lions their first points of the second quarter with a craft finish in the lane. Navy’s ice-cold offense, which hadn’t scored since the 4:54 mark of the first quarter, finally got back on the board with a Zanai Barrett-Gay jumper to bring the score to 37-16. On the next possession, a rejection by Kapinus was rebounded by Pinto, prompting a fast-break layup back to Kapinus. Continuing her hot start to the second quarter, Kapinus got another layup to fall in the paint, adding to the 41-16 Penn State lead.
A block from Kylie Lavelle sparked a fast break, where the ball was pushed ahead to Marisa, who dropped in a layup, forcing a Navy timeout with the score sitting at 45-16. Out of the timeout, Navy attempted a corner three but it was stuffed by Marisa. The Midshipmen retained possession as the ball went flying out of bounds and were able to knock down a second-chance jumper to cut down the 45-18 Penn State lead.
Another transition three attempt fell for the Lady Lions, this time from Ciezki. Valaday tried to sneak through the lane but was blocked by Navy. In the final seconds of the second quarter, Navy missed a shot that was rebounded by Jayla Oden who went coast to coast to drop in a fast break layup just before time expired to push the score to 56-21 at the half.
The Lady Lions got to work quickly to start the third quarter with Marisa finding Brigham in the paint, who then knocked down a close-range jumper. The very next possession, Ciezki picked the pocket of Navy’s Barnett-Gay and flushed a fast break layup to push the score to 60-21, forcing the Midshipmen to burn an early timeout.
Fresh out of the timeout, Valladay got a steal of her own and pushed the ball up to Ciezki for an easy layup. Navy responded with back-to-back buckets of their own including an and-one opportunity for Gia Pissott. Kapinus landed awkwardly on her ankle after the foul and went down for a minute or two but ended up walking off the court. She returned to the game with 1:56 left in the third quarter. Pissott was unable to convert the free throw leaving the score at 64-25 in favor of the Lady Lions.
Ciezki continued her hot night from three, knocking down another deep jumper to push the score to 67-27. Lavelle was fouled during a fastbreak, sending her to the line where she made both free throw attempts. The Midshipmen were able to grab a couple of offensive rebounds to keep their possession alive and allowed them to sink a mid-range jumper. Kapnius delivered a great pass to Murray in the corner who splashed a three to give Penn State an 85-35 lead with 0:45 left in the third quarter.
Navy drew first blood to start the fourth quarter with a turnaround jumper falling for Sydne Watts. Kapinus grabbed a defensive rebound and pushed the ball out into transition, unraveling a brilliant pass downcourt to Valladay who wasn’t quite able to haul it in and was then called for a travel.
Fresh off the bench, Marisa missed a three but Brigham snatched the offensive rebound and put it back up for an easy finish under the rim to put the score at 87-38. Fresh out of the media timeout, Marisa redeemed herself for the missed three, finding Brigham with a nifty pass and then snatching the ball out of the passing lane and jetting downcourt for an easy layup.
With the fourth quarter coming to a close, Oden assumed ball handling duties, doing so effectively, as she was able to penetrate the defense and then kick the ball out to Murray who knocked down the three-pointer to extend the Lady Lions’ large 99-42 lead over the Midshipmen. The next possession she repeated the process, knifing through the defense and then finding Pinto in the corner who splashed yet another three for Penn State.
- The Lady Lions were tenacious on the defensive end and dictated the pace of the game from start to finish which gave them countless fastbreak scoring opportunities. They finished the night with 31 points off of turnovers.
- The Penn State offense thrived all night, shooting 55% from the field. Navy’s defense wasn’t spectacular, but this was the second game this season that the Lady Lions have looked great from the field.
- The Lady Lions were all over the boards, out-rebounding Navy 57 to 33. Head coach Carolyn Kieger’s messaging of Penn State winning every 50/50 ball seems to be working.
The Lady Lions will stay home to take on Kansas for their annual Wear White night at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 13. The game will be streamed on the Big Ten Network.
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About the Author
Kotelnicki has everything he needs to succeed at Penn State. Can he break the Nittany Lions’ trend of flops at the position?
Most of our staffers have Penn State playing in the Peach Bowl for the first time in program history.
The Nittany Lions are now 11-0 all time against the Bulldogs.