Lady Lions Fall in Play4Kay Game 78-65 to Michigan State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Lady Lions were decked out in pink for their annual breast cancer awareness Play4Kay game, but they fell to the Michigan State Spartans 78-65 for their second loss in a row.
The first quarter was dominated by the Spartans’ efforts around the arc with four early 3s, matched by four turnovers from Penn State. Michigan State had doubled Penn State’s 11 points going into the second quarter.
Anna Camden and Niya Beverley were the only Lady Lions able to get on the scoreboard in the first quarter, while Michigan State had eight different players on the stat sheet midway through the second quarter.
The Spartans also shot 83% in the second quarter, contributing to their total of 25 points from the bench in the first half.
Penn State is the youngest team in the Big Ten with eight freshmen, and the inexperience showed, as the Lady Lions had 10 turnovers in the second quarter and only one point from the bench for the half. Michigan State dominated the first half 48-26.
However, the Lady Lions’ performance in the second half definitely showed signs of improvement, as they gained some ground with a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the Spartans’ lead to 13.
Johnasia Cash earned herself another double-double for the season with 16 points, while Camden, Beverley and Makenna Marisa all had 14. But this was not enough to counteract Nia Clouden’s stellar 17-point performance and the rest of Michigan State’s explosive offense.
In her opening statement, Penn State head coach Carolyn Kieger mentioned that her team needs to come out and be ready to play four strong quarters.
“It goes into composure, and you need leadership first before you can have composure on the court,” Kieger said. “We’re getting there.”
As Kieger mentioned, the Nittany have been able to beat the teams below them in the Big Ten standings, but they “need to take a step forward and beat the teams that are ahead [of them.]”
She remained hopeful, especially after seeing her team’s improvement within the second half.
“You end up losing that game by 13, and you possibly could not have played a worse first half which is encouraging,” Kieger said. “But at the same time, it has got to click at some point where we can put four [quarters] together and get an upset here.”
Lastly, Kieger touched upon the importance of this game in spreading awareness for breast cancer. She described this game and the significance behind it as humbling.
“This isn’t just a one-day fight—it is an important cause, and we need to make sure we are talking about it weekly and not just one time a year,” Kieger said.
While the Michigan State Spartans earned their 11th win of the season, the Lady Lions fell to 8-9 with the loss. They’ll travel to Iowa on Thursday to face another impressive offense.
Kathryn Tague is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.