Lady Lions Lose Regular Season Finale To Michigan State

Story posted February 26, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Sam Kirk

The Michigan State Spartans routed the Penn State Lady Lions on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center by a final score of 80-65.

Michigan State started out fast in the first quarter. The Spartans defense and ball pressure forced the Lady Lions to three first quarter turnovers.

Penn State senior forward Alexa Williamson was their lone source of offense in their slow first quarter. The play of redshirt sophomore Leilani Kapinus also helped the Lady Lions stay afloat early in this game while finishing with a double double on the day. Grad student and former Nittany Lion Kamaria McDaniel was the spark plug for this Michigan State team with eight first quarter points, helping propel the Spartans to a 23-14 lead.

Michigan State's defense picked up right where they left off in the first quarter to start the second. The Lady Lions had trouble moving the ball up the court against the Spartans press, who forced another slew of turnovers while extending their lead to as much as 19 as they headed into halftime. Michigan State silenced the Lady Lions senior stars Anna Camden and Makenna Marisa to zero first half points.

Michigan State guard DeeDee Hagemann and Theryn Hallock were the stars of the second quarter for the Spartans and helped provide a consistent flow to an offense that scored 43 points in the first half. Without the shooting of Penn State freshman guard Shay Ciezki, who went 4-forp5 from downtown for the Lady Lions in the first half, Penn State would have been down an insurmountable amount.

The Lady Lions offense finally woke up a bit in the third quarter, getting some 3-point field goals to fall. But even though they were finally able to score a bit more in the third, defensively they could not control the Spartans who were taking advantage of open looks inside.

On the other hand, Penn State struggled to convert from close, missing several layups that could have cut the lead even more heading into the fourth quarter. Ciezki again kept the Lady Lions in this game with 24 of the team's 49 points heading into the final quarter. Ciezski finished with 27 points, a career-high for the freshman.

Penn State continued to ride Ciezki’s hot hand in the fourth quarter, cutting into the Spartans’ lead. Michigan State was forced to bring more defenders onto Ciezki which spaced the floor and allowed for the rest of the Lady Lions to get better looks.

Hagerman finished with 18 points, including a huge jumper that she was fouled on with just under four minutes to go. That was followed by another and one by Michigan State’s denior forward Taiyier Parks who continued her great day on the boards with a putback that put Penn State away and the lead back to double digits. The Spartans had a great plan for the Lady Lions today and dominated all four quarters of basketball.

Both teams finished below expectations this year in the Big Ten, but will get one final chance during the Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis to change the narrative on their season. The tournament will take place March 1-5.

Penn State finishes its regular season with a 13-16 overall record and 4-14 in-conference, and Michigan State finishes with a 15-13 record overall while going 7-10 in conference matchups.

Sam Kirk is a third year broadcast journalism major at Penn State to contact him email