Penn State Women’s Basketball vs. Rider Preview

Story posted November 11, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Maclain Young

The Penn State Lady Lions will take on Rider University Thursday night after thrashing Long Island University 85-66.

Transfer Ali Brigham was the star of the game scoring 20 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots. The sophomore transfer from George Washington made her presence felt every time she was on the court.

Brigham averaged just under 12 points per contest last season and was selected to the A-10 All-Rookie team. Many expected the 6-foot-4 forward to make an impact on this Lady Lions squad with her imposing size and Brigham has already done it in game one.

Another bright story from the Lady Lions opener was seeing graduate student Kelly Jekot back on the floor after a season-ending injury interrupted her fantastic start last season. In her nine games played, Jekot led Penn State, averaging just under 16 points per game.

In just 14 minutes of action against the Sharks, Jekot showed flashes of her former self scoring 11 points including a trifecta of 3-pointers.

The Lady Lion defense was also phenomenal, coming up with 13 steals and forcing 21 total Long Island turnovers. Third-year head coach Carolyn Kieger had Penn State in a stout 2-3 zone that continuously gave the Sharks problems.

Penn State will look to keep its foot on the gas during its season opening nonconference home slate when it takes on Rider University Thursday.

The Broncos are opening their season at Penn State after going 8-18 in the 2020-2021 campaign. Most recently Rider played an exhibition game against The College of New Jersey winning by a score of 68-42.

Rider was led by Raphaela Toussaint who had a double-double with 20 points and 12 boards.

The story for Penn State is similar to the one against Long Island, and for most of its nonconference slate.

The Big Ten is an extremely tough conference, so it is imperative that the Lady Lions win the games they should early on, so they are in good shape by the time conference play rolls around in December.

One storyline to keep an eye on in the Lady Lions' second game of the year is the performance of Maddie Burke. The reigning Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year was shut out of the score sheet despite the Lady Lions putting up 85 points as a team against Long Island.

Burke was an excellent 3-point shooter last season, with 58 3-point field goals made but went 0-4 from 3-point range against the Sharks and 0-5 from the field overall.

It will be interesting to see if Penn State can take advantage of their tremendous depth and get some of their other scorers like Burke involved in the matchup against Rider.


Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email