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

Story posted February 3, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Micheal Bolger

The Lady Lions got back in the win column against Northwestern on Thursday after losing two straight to Rutgers in overtime and to No. 8 Maryland. The 74-64 win against the Wildcats improves Penn State's all-time series record to 28-8 against Northwestern.

Here is how the Lady Lions fared against the Wildcats during National Girls and Women in Sports Day:

Offense: B+

Ali Brigham got the start for the Lady Lions and wasted no time in getting involved in the offense. Brigham scored the blue and white’s first eight points of the game and finished with a team leading 19 points on the day while going 9-for-10 from the field.

Freshman guard Shay Ciezki continues to get big minutes for Penn State that has resulted in big time play. Ciezki was second in points on the team against the Wildcats, going 7-for-12 from the field.

Makenna Marisa continues to be the glue that holds and runs this team on the court. Marisa and the offense continue to win while scoring off turnovers and in a fast paced offense, which they did today while scoring 26 points off turnovers and 19 points off fast breaks.

Defense: A

Leilani Kapinus was an absolute unit on the defensive side for the blue and white on Thursday. Kapinus led the team with eight rebounds, seven steals and three blocks while helping the Lady Lions control the paint.

Kapinus was a huge reason why Northwestern couldn’t score 20 points or more in any of the four quarters of play. She could be a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner by the end of the season.

The defense as a whole contained the Wildcats players from having a breakout day, allowing only two players to record double digits points.

Coaching: A-

Head coach Carolyn Kieger continues to show off her strategic mindset with the change from a full court press zone defense to a full court man-to-man press that stunned the Wildcats. This was a turning point in the game which is why Penn State had so much success in the second half and won 74-64.

Coach Kieger continues to show how progress takes time with the Lady Lions. Starting in 2019, Kieger led the Lady Lions to win seven games, then nine games and last year 11 games.

This year, Penn State has 13 wins with six games left, which is the most since the 2017-18 season where the Lady Lions went 16-16.

The Lady Lions improve to 13-10 on the season while boosting their conference record to 4-8. Penn State is back at the Bryce Jordan Center to host No. 6 Iowa in Penn State's Annual Pink Zone and Alumni Day on Sunday,

Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email