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Lady Lions Lose Return To Rec Game Against No. 2 Ohio State 69-82

Penn State women’s basketball dropped its Return to Rec game against No. 2 Ohio State 69-82 on Thursday night.

The Buckeyes controlled the game right from the opening tip and went on a 13-0 run through the first four minutes of the contest. The Lady Lions defense struggled in the loss and the Buckeyes converted open looks all night long.

How It Happened

Ohio State took the opening tip and Celeste Taylor buried a three a few seconds into the shot clock. The Buckeyes pressed early and the Lady Lions couldn’t inbound the ball. Ohio State took intercepted the pass inbounds and buried another three putting Penn State in a quick 6-0 hole.

Shay Ciezki took the opening shot for the Lady Lions but couldn’t connect and the Buckeyes converted at the other end to make it 8-0. Another empty possession led to Cotie McMahon finding herself wide open on the wing as she pushed the lead to 11-0 and head coach Carolyn Kieger called a timeout.

Out of the timeout, Ciezki was denied underneath the bucket and the Buckeyes connected again on the other end making it 13-0. An errant pass from Leilani Kapinus gave the Buckeyes the ball back as the Lady Lions’ drought continued.

Penn State got its first basket of the game with just under five minutes gone in the first quarter when Kapinus collected a pass under the bucket and converted the layup. Ali Brigham doubled the total on the next trip down the floor and put the lead back to 13.

While the Lady Lions started to wake up offensively, the Buckeyes were still cutting through the Penn State defense and finding open lanes. Ashley Owusu closed out the first quarter of offense with a bucket to cut the lead to 16 with 15 seconds left. Jacy Sheldon missed the buzzer-beater attempt and Penn State closed the quarter down 26-10.

The second quarter opened with a missed three-point try from Ciezki. The Buckeyes couldn’t connect on the other end and Ciezki hit from the same spot the next time down to put the game at 26-13.

Good defense kept a prolonged Ohio State possession empty and Kylie Lavelle grabbed a quick bucket in transition. Ohio State upped the production though and Taylor knocked down a three to make it 30-15 in favor of the Buckeyes.

After trading buckets, Owusu connected on a contested bucket near the corner but was called for a charge and Ohio State went the other way. After an airball from Taylor, Kapinus knocked down a three and forced an Ohio State timeout down 32-20.

Owusu took the first points out of the timeout as Rec Hall started to come alive and the Lady Lions got themselves back within ten. After a period with no buckets, McMahon pushed the lead back to 12 with just over two minutes left in the half.

Chanaya Pinto broke free down the court and hit an open bucket to go back within ten. After a trap along the sideline, Ohio State was forced to call a timeout with just over a minute left. Sheldon knocked down a three out of the timeout for what ended up being the last score of the half as the teams headed to the locker room with Penn State down 24-37.

Ohio State turned over the first possession of the second half to the Lady Lions and Jayla Oden hit from the wing for the first points of the second half. Ohio State hit its next three spots and pushed the lead to 45-26.

Kapinus restarted the scoring for the Lady Lions with six minutes to go in the third quarter with a basket off an inbound pass underneath. After Ohio State matched the bucket, Owusu was sent to the line and knocked down both to make it 34-52.

Taylor hit her fifth field goal of the night at the other end and Kieger responded with the first timeout of the second half.

Owusu fought hard out of the timeout under the basket but eventually lost the ball after going down to the ground. Rec Hall wanted a foul but didn’t get one as the Buckeyes transitioned and Rebeka Mikulášiková converted a wide-open look from three to push the lead to 58-34.

An empty possession from Ohio State gave the Lady Lions the ball back and Makenna Marisa was sent to the free-throw line. She hit both and Penn State remained down 19 with the score 39-58. A big block by Grace Hall sent the Lady Lions the other way, but a missed shot gave the Buckeyes possession and Taylor Theirry connected.

Penn State started to press and forced a turnover in their own end that Lavelle turned into two points. Marisa knocked down two shots from the free-throw line before the Buckeyes couldn’t get a buzzer-beater up in time and the third quarter ended with the Buckeyes leading 64-42.

Hall took the first points of the fourth quarter after she hit from the elbow with almost two minutes gone in the frame. Taylor hit one free throw before Marisa was fouled at the other end and sunk both of her free throws to bring the score to 67-46.

Ohio State continued to dominate both ends of the court as the game entered the final five minutes with the Lady Lions trailing 74-48. Penn State’s press didn’t yield much and the Buckeyes continued to slice through the Lady Lion’s defense.

Owusu continued to hit shots through the final three minutes as she hit a step back from the elbow and followed it up by draining two free throws on the next possession.

Kapinus went to the line with two minutes left and hit her free throw to get the Lady Lions back within 19 at 59-78. Owusu picked up another bucket with less than a minute left to make it 61-80. Marisa delivered another bucket thirty seconds later as the clock ticked toward zero.

Owusu threw up a last-second shot from halfcourt that went in as the clock hit zero to make the final score 69-82.


  • Penn State didn’t score a bucket until almost five minutes of game time had elapsed. Ohio State started the game with a 13-0 run from which the Lady Lions never recovered.
  • Ohio State’s full-court press wreaked havoc on the Lady Lions. Their first attempt to inbound the ball was intercepted, and the Buckeyes ended the game with 30 points off turnovers.
  • The Lady Lions struggled from the field, missing their first five shot attempts and ending the night with a 49.1% shooting percentage.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions hit the road to face Purdue at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, in West Lafayette, Indiana.

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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