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Lady Lions Fall to Rutgers 60-55

Penn State women’s basketball (9-12, 6-11) couldn’t hold on to get the win against No. 25 Rutgers (12-3, 8-3) Sunday afternoon, falling 60-55 to the Scarlet Knights in the final home game of the season for the Lady Lions.

Shay Hagans had a big game, scoring 15 points for the Lady Lions. Johnasia Cash had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds before leaving the game with an injury.

How It Happened

Shay Hagans kicked off the scoring for the Lady Lions by connecting on a floater. Rutgers knocked down a three to take the lead, but Johnasia Cash was drew a foul on the way to the basket and made one of two free throws.

Penn State got the rebound off of the Cash miss, and she made up for the miss with a basket in the paint. Both teams were playing great defense to start the game, as only five points were scored in the first five minutes of the game.

The Scarlet Knights scored a couple of baskets in the paint before Lady Lion Maddie Burke hit a three. That didn’t bother Rutgers, though, as the Scarlet Knights kept finding some big baskets. Traveling and turnovers by Penn State further aided the Rutgers cause.

It was a low-scoring first quarter, but Rutgers had the advantage at the end, 13-8.

Rutgers was the first to score in the second quarter, even though Penn State had multiple opportunities to get some points. Turnovers kept plaguing the Lady Lions, though, and that prevented them from getting into any rhythm.

Niya Beverley got to the free-throw line and made one. Burke sank a pair of foul shots and Tova Sabel added one more. After Sabel hit a wide-open three, Penn State was suddenly on a roll.

Anna Camden, who had been relatively quiet during the first two quarters, injured her finger after getting it caught in a Rutgers player’s jersey. The Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, kept putting the pressure on the Lady Lions, extending the lead to double digits.

Makenna Marisa was able to score her first basket with under 30 seconds left in the second quarter. That would be the last made shot of the first half, and the Lady Lions went into halftime trailing 27-17.

Marisa got the scoring started in the second half with a three-pointer. Hagans and Cash then followed that up with some big buckets in the paint, and Burke was got to the free-throw line and made both.

Another basket by Cash cut the Rutgers’ lead down to two. Marisa then drove it in and got a layup to fall, and then Hagans hit a three to take the lead, capitalizing on an 18-3 Lady Lion run in the third quarter.

Rutgers broke that streak after coming out of a timeout, scoring off of a mid-range shot. Hagans then hit another three, only her 11th of the season. Cash then scored on a wide-open layup and Marisa hit a wide-open three. The momentum had totally shifted in the third quarter.

The Scarlet Knights started to hit some threes and they were back in the. game. A last-second shot put Rutgers back in front 42-41 heading into the the fourth quarter.

Marisa hit a mid-range jumper to get the first points of the final period. Cash hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to put the Lady Lions up by three.

Coming off a timeout, Rutgers was able to get a layup to fall to cut Penn State’s lead to one. The Scarlet Knights then hit a three to retake the lead.

Camden, who left in the first half with a finger injury, re-entered the game. Unfortunately, Cash rolled her ankle and needed help to walk off of the court.

Rutgers went on a 10-0 run to extend the lead with under three minutes left. Hagans made a pair of free throws, but Rutgers responded by making a layup of its own.

Nan Garcia was able to hit a big-time three for her first points of the game. But the Scarlett Knights were also able to hit a very clutch shot to extend the lead.

Garcia hit another significant shot, but Rutgers quickly got one back. Hagans responded with a three that made the contest a one-possession game. It wasn’t enough, though, as Rutgers won 60-55.

Takeaways

  • Turnovers were a huge issue for the Lady Lions in the first half. The team turned the ball over 12 times, and that affected its offensive production significantly. Penn State never got into a groove, which makes it very hard to beat Rutgers.
  • Makenna Marisa is the offensive spark for this team, and if she isn’t scoring, the rest of the team usually isn’t either. The Lady Lions will need Marisa’s offense if they want to win out the last two games on the regular season schedule.
  • This team proved that it can compete with any squad, especially with that fantastic third quarter. Despite losing the game, the Lady Lions pushed Rutgers to the brink, and there is a lot to take away from this game when preparing for a rematch.

What’s Next

The Lady Lions will have another chance to win again against Rutgers when they travel to Piscataway on Tuesday. The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.