Lady Lions Unable to Bounce Back After Slow Start Against Virginia And Snap Seven-Game Win Streak
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In the first matchup of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Penn State Lady Lions hosted Virginia in a battle of the undefeated in State College.
Nittany Lions’ fans were encouraged to ‘wear white’ to support the team in Wednesday night’s matchup, but it was not enough juice to pick up the win as they dropped their first loss of the season, 89-68.
Penn State, led by coach Carolyn Keiger, were red-hot heading into their matchup against Virginia with seven straight wins. The largest win in the stretch came over Bryant on Nov. 18, 96-33.
A rough start in the first quarter got the best of the Lady Lions as they were not able to catch up. Excluding the first 10 minutes, Penn State was outscored by only six points against a very sharp Cavaliers offense.
On the other side of the ball, the Cavaliers' defense held Penn State in check to seven first quarter points as the Lady Lions shot 2-15 from the field. As the matchup between two well-respected programs developed, the Lions were able to find their groove in the second quarter, with a sense of momentum at Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State notched 21 second quarter points, with eight coming from Shay Ciezki. The shots were falling all around the quarter, including from beyond the arc as the Lady Lions shot 50% from three-point range in the period.
But, the Cavaliers ran away with this one as their star players rose to occasion.
Junior guard Mir Mclean led the scoring for Virginia with 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. The junior from Baltimore, MD shot 7-11 from the field and 9-11 from the line.
Camryn Taylor also had a very strong game with the ball in her hands for the Cavaliers. Taylor tallied 17 points, six rebounds and an assist.
As one of the most psychical and competitive defenses in the Big Ten, Penn State allowed easy points to Virginia all game which resulted in a tough deficit to climb out of.
The Lady Lions are looking to move forward on the defensive side and Coach Keiger said, “We talk about ‘no mercy, no letup’ and that was something Virginia absolutely had tonight.”
“Our physicality was a big thing tonight and we backed down, and that’s disappointing and that’s something we’ll fix and address,” Keiger said. “We can’t let teams push us around especially on our home floor.”
Senior guard Makenna Marisa continued to fill the box score for the Lady Lions with 15 points, a rebound and an assist. Marisa tallied her seventh game in double-digit points in eight games this season.
Ciezki also had a very productive game for the Lady Lions with 11 points, three assists and a rebound. As one of Penn State’s most notable recruits this season, Ciezki has played great in her first games as a Lady Lion.
The freshman guard continues her five-game streak with three or more assists, and has scored double-digit points for the fourth time this season.
The Lady Lions fall to 6-1 and aim to get back on track as they begin Big Ten conference play on Dec. 3 at Minnesota.
Jasper Abrahams is a first-year studying communications. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Jasper Abrahams is a freshman at Penn State University. Jasper is majoring in Communications and studying in Public Relations. Jasper has experience managing his high school’s (Paul D. Schreiber, Port Washington, NY) varsity athletic social media accounts (@portvikings, @portvikingsmlax). Additionally, Jasper hosted a weekly high school radio show, and broadcasted his school’s varsity sports on WDOT Radio (portradio.org). At Penn State, Jasper writes about various Penn State athletic teams as well as professional and collegiate teams through CommRadio. Jasper also does Play-by-Play broadcasts for CommRadio.