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Lady Lions Defeat Purdue 93-88, Snap Six-Game Skid

Penn State womenโ€™s basketball (17-11, 8-9 Big Ten) outlasted Purdue (12-15, 5-11 Big Ten) 93-88 in its final road game of the regular season Wednesday night in West Lafayette.

After struggling in recent games, the Lady Lions’ offense fueled the winning effort as they had five double-digit scorers, led by Ashley Owusu who finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.

How It Happened

The Lady Lions won the tip and went straight to work as Ali Brigham found a cutting Shay Ciezki who laid it up and in to draw first blood. They found themselves back down on the offensive end of the floor, and Ashley Owusu found Makenna Marisa who knocked down a three to take a 5-0 lead.

Purdue answered with a three of its own from Madison Layden to make it a 5-3 game. Owusu navigated her way through the lane to get her first bucket of the night to drop, but Layden knocked down another three for Purdue to make it 7-6.

The Lady Lions’ offensive success continued as Leilani Kapinus sunk a late-clock fadeaway jumper. Purdue’s Jeanae Terry picked the pocket of Ciezki but was denied under the hoop due to a massive chase-down block from Kapinus in transition. Marisa found Ciezki in the corner where she knocked down a three to put the Lady Lions up 16-13.

Penn State forced a stop fresh out of a Boilermaker timeout, and Marisa then got a tough finish to drop to extend its lead to five. Purdue responded with a 6-0 run to take a 19-18 lead after a fastbreak layup dropped in for Sophie Swanson. Kapinus nabbed a missed Marisa three-pointer and put it back up for a second chance bucket, making it a 22-20 game as the first quarter came to an end.

The Lady Lions cooked up a flashy start to the second quarter, as Marisa threw a backdoor lob to Kapinus who caught it mid-air and got the basket to fall. Kapinus’ dominance in the paint continued as she laid in another bucket off of an Owusu inbound pass.

Owusu got to her spot and knocked down a mid-range jumper to make it a 28-24 ballgame in favor of Penn State. In a blink of an eye, Purdue snatched the lead back at 29-28 thanks to a quick bucket in the paint, an errant pass from the Lady Lions, and a three from Swanson.

Off the bench, Jayla Oden provided some offensive firepower as she knocked down two shots from beyond the arch and a turnaround mid-range jumper within two minutes of each other. The game remained tied at 38-38 thanks to another bucket from Swanson and the Boilermakers.

A great screen from Brigham freed up Owusu in the lane, but she put too much on it and missed the layup. Ciezki found Grace Hall under the basket, where she put up a strong finish to give Penn State a 40-38 lead. Hall went back to work in the paint as she finished a dime from Alli Campbell.

Jayla Oden continued her flaming hot night with a corner three, putting the Lady Lions up 45-40 as the clock trickled just below one minute left in the second quarter. With the final possession of the first half, Kapinus rebounded a missed Chanaya Pinto three-pointer and put it back up as time expired to give Penn State a seven-point lead going into the half.

Marisa came out swinging for Penn State as she got a reverse baseline layup to fall for the first score of the second half. However, Purdue answered with a three from Abbey Ellis to make it 49-43. Owusu rebounded her own miss in the paint and then got fouled on the way back up, sending her to the line where she made both free throws. Again, Purdue answered Penn State’s score with a three from Caitlyn Harper.

A 6-0 run from Purdue prompted Penn State to take a timeout and regroup as the Boilermakers only trailed by a point.

Out of the timeout, Oden was called with an offensive foul, resulting in a turnover. Penn State rebounded a Purdue miss and then sent the ball down to Hall in transition where she dropped in an easy bucket. The resilient Boilermakers continued to scratch and claw as Ellis splashed a three to knot it up at 57-57.

With sheer confidence, Oden bullied her way into the paint to get the layup to fall and earned a trip to the line thanks to contact from a Boilermaker. Purdue’s Harper knocked down yet another three to make it 63-60. Purdue sent a double at Kapinus, but she wasn’t fooled as she made the right read and found a wide-open Campbell in the corner who knocked down a jumper to put Penn State up 65-62 as the third quarter came to a close.

Harper knocked down a three to start the fourth quarter, her 25th point of the night. Purdue took a 67-65 lead off of a reverse layup from Ellis. Penn State salvaged some momentum as Marisa responded with a three-pointer to snatch the lead back for the Lady Lions.

Marisa continued her strong start to the fourth, getting a layup in traffic to fall and then getting sent to the charity stripe on the next possession where she knocked down both shots to keep Penn State up 74-73. The Boilermakers knocked down yet another three to take the lead, which blew the roof off of the arena, but Owusu silenced the crowd with a blow-by layup to tie the game at 76-76. Pinto found Kapinus in the paint who fought through contact and got the and-one to fall, however, she did miss the free throw.

As crunch time began, Owusu sunk a three from the top of the key to put Penn State up 83-79. Again, Owusu knocked down a clutch bucket, a late shot clock mid-range jumper. A rejection from Hall then gave the Lady Lions a fastbreak opportunity, but they came up empty on the possession. With an opportunity to force Purdue into the bonus, Kapinus let out an errant pass, resulting in a brutal turnover.

Ciezki was fouled on a defensive rebound and went to the line, making one of two, but Purdue refused to roll over as Swanson got the and-one bucket to fall making it a 90-86 game with 21 seconds left in the game. With ice in her veins, Owusu knocked down both free throws to put the game out of reach at 93-88.

Takeaways

  • The Lady Lion offense was firing on all cylinders. They limited their turnovers, finishing with only seven on the night. In addition, they shot 56% from the field and 40% from three.
  • Jayla Oden and Grace Hall were x-factors off of the bench for Penn State. Oden finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting and Hall supplemented that with eight points, two rebounds, and a block.
  • The Lady Lions were struggling from the line all night but especially during the final few minutes of the fourth quarter. They missed seven of their 18 attempts, including four in the fourth quarter.

What’s Next?

The Lady Lions will celebrate Senior Day during their season finale against Minnesota at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, in the Bryce Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Cadyn Gill

Cadyn is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. Hailing from the great state of Texas, he is a die hard Dallas sports fan. You'll often see him voicing his complaints about the Cowboys play calling on Twitter @cgill214.

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