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Guard Play Leads Lady Lions To Dominant 112-76 Win Over Maryland

Penn State women’s basketball (15-5, 6-3 Big Ten) defeated Maryland (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten) 112-76 behind its impressive guard play Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Lions shot 62% from the field and never trailed the Terrapins.

How It Happened

Before tipoff, Makenna Marisa was greeted by a standing ovation, highlight reel on the jumbotron, and commemorative basketball to honor the 2,000 career point mark she reached against Northwestern this past Thursday.

Marisa wasn’t stopping at 2,000, though, as she splashed in a three from the left wing to open the scoring. Ali Brigham scored after a turnaround in the post on the following possession, then Ashley Owusu took on contact and banked in a floater to make it a 7-0 run to begin the game.

After starting three-for-three from the field, the Lady Lions ran into trouble, making one of their next nine attempts, allowing Maryland to cut its deficit to two. However, Tay Valladay went on a 5-0 run by herself to extend it back to seven.

As time ticked off the clock in the first quarter, Carolyn Kieger yelled from the sideline to send a double team at Maryland’s Shyanne Sellers, and it paid off, as she turned it over to Alli Campbell. On the fast break, Marisa laid it in seconds before the buzzer sounded, and Penn State was up 18-9 at the end of the period.

The second quarter got underway with Owusu drilling a triple from the top of the key, but Bri McDaniel answered with one of her own. McDaniel made two more jumpers, going on a solo 8-0 run for the Terrapins.

Marisa and Owusu each hit a shot to end Penn State’s scoring drought, and Chanaya Pinto scored on a run out off a left-handed bounce pass from Owusu, and the Lady Lions quickly brought their lead back to 12.

Owusu, playing against her former team, converted on a three-point play, bringing her point total and lead to 11 before Lavender Briggs scored five straight for Maryland. Owusu then scored while being fouled again for three more points.

Shay Ciezki was fouled with 2.3 seconds remaining in the first half, making both free throws and sending the Lady Lions to the locker room with a 45-32 lead.

A halftime girl scout cookie toss got the crowd energized before the second 20 minutes started, but both teams struggled, beginning the second half with a combined two-for-seven. Despite the cold start, both teams caught fire and went back and forth, making eight consecutive field goals. Penn State held onto its lead 56-45.

Ciezki drove into the paint and kicked it to Leilani Kapinus for a triple, and immediately after, Ciezki nailed one of her own to make the lead 17 and force a Maryland timeout.

With inside a minute remaining in the third quarter, Ali Brigham missed a shot but grabbed the rebound and put it back in for two. McDaniel made two from the free throw line with six seconds to go, but on the other side, Pinto hit nothing but net from the right wing to beat the buzzer, and with 10 minutes to play, the Lady Lions led 79-60.

Penn State went on a 7-0 run over the first minute of the final quarter, and Maryland head coach Brenda Frese wanted to talk things over with her team.

With just over eight minutes to play, Kieger subbed out all but one starter, but after an 8-0 Maryland run, three of them returned to the floor.

Marisa continued her incredible day, making a three to bring her to 24 points and the lead to 21 before heading to the bench for the remainder of the contest. Owusu also checked out for the final time with 4:21 left in the game.

Kylie Lavelle hit a corner triple to make it 94-70, sending her teammates and fans into a frenzy. Jayla Oden then knocked one down to make the lead 27 — the largest of the game.

Grace Hall weaved her way into the paint for an and-one, and less than 20 seconds later, made a fastbreak layup to make the score 101-72, the fourth time all season the team hit triple digits.

Oden and Moriah Murray then made back-to-back threes, and the Bryce Jordan Center erupted with the score at 107-74. Ciezki added salt to the wound when she made another three from up top, and the lead was 36.

Ciezki dribbled the final seconds off the clock, and Penn State left with a comfortable 112-76 victory over the Terrapins.

Takeaways

  • Penn State found several easy buckets in transition, finishing the game with 35 fast break points, many of which resulted from accurate long passes.
  • The Lady Lions were unconscious from distance as they went 16-for-26 from three-point land.
  • One hundred twelve points is the second-highest total all season. Prior to this, the team’s highest total in a conference game was 95.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will travel to Minnesota at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31. The game will be broadcast on BTN+.

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About the Author

Michael Siroty

Michael Siroty is a freshman from Westfield, New Jersey, majoring in broadcast journalism. When he isn't writing articles or making TikToks for Onward State, Siroty is either taking a peaceful walk around Beaver Stadium or at his summer day camp job. You can contact him to discuss your sushi order or music taste on Instagram and Twitter @msiroty or by email at [email protected].

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