Game Grades: Penn State Women’s Basketball vs. Minnesota

Story posted December 5, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

So close, yet so far.

Penn State fell 98-96 in double overtime to Minnesota, watching its record drop to 7-2 on the young season. The Nittany Lions battled, but couldn’t seal the deal against the Golden Gophers on Saturday.

Here’s how each position group performed in the Lady Lions’ Big Ten opener.

Offense: A-

The Lady Lions started out hot shooting the ball, but that slowly went away as the game went along.

They were at their best in the third quarter, outscoring the Golden Gophers 27-15 where the Lady Lions made two-thirds of their shots.

While that wouldn’t last, that didn’t stop Makenna Marisa from having a career day.

The senior guard scored a career-high 34 points while also collecting six assists and four rebounds.

Marisa wasn’t the only Lady Lion to score double figures with Leilani Kapinus, Shay Ciezki and Chanaya Pinto all doing so as well.

A big hit on the team's performance however was their inability to convert at the free throw line.

The Lady Lions made just seven of their 14 free throws on the night and only made one out of a possible six in overtime.

While 96 points is a great offensive performance and even ties their season high, it just wasn’t enough due to those late-game mistakes.

Defense: C-

Penn State’s defense was strong through three quarters, but crumbled late in the contest.

The Lady Lions held the Golden Gophers to 16 points or less in the first three quarters but allowed 30 in the crucial fourth quarter to force overtime.

Mara Braun was unstoppable for Minnesota with 26 points and six assists while also causing a ton of trouble in the paint.

Braun shot 11 free throws and made all of them allowing the Golden Gophers to win the tight game.

Overall, the Golden Gophers played a pesky brand of basketball as they were able to score 10 more second chance points on the night.

The last time the Lady Lions allowed more than 98 points was January of this year when Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes came to town.

Coaching: D

This was a game the Lady Lions should’ve won.

The blue and white entered the fourth quarter with a nine point lead before seeing it vanish away.

Minnesota was clutch at the line while Penn State wasn’t, by only missing two of a possible 25 free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime periods.

Penn State did win the turnover and rebounding battles, but couldn’t come out on top in the foul category as the Lady Lions committed 25 fouls compared to the Golden Gophers’ 20.

With how tough the Big Ten slate is, this loss will certainly linger on the minds of the Lady Lions for weeks to come as they look to make up for it the rest of the way.

Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email