Lady Lions Let Up In Third Quarter, Can’t Complete Upset Against Indiana
The Penn State Lady Lions fall 67-58 to the No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers, as Indiana extends its win streak to ten games.
The undefeated Hoosiers came, saw and conquered the Lady Lions in their first Big-Ten road matchup of the season.
As for Penn State, it extended its losing streak to three after two heartbreaking losses to Minnesota and Virginia.
The Hoosiers came out strong, tallying an eight-point lead off the bat, but the Lady Lions clawed back to exit the first quarter only trailing by one.
Penn State electrified the second quarter, maintaining the lead through the entirety of the period while holding Indiana to only 10 points, while tallying fourteen themselves.
The Lady Lions’ defense dominated the first half, forcing 12 turnovers against a team that had only allowed 11 in a single game all season.
“I just think we were locked in mentally, really,” Kieger said. “We knew their play calls, we knew their signs and we were locked in on that.”
Despite entering as the underdogs, Penn State’s defense and rebounding kept it in the game, with Leilani Kapinus and Makenna Marisa tallying seven boards a piece, contributing to the teams 31.
The Nittany Lions led through 19 consecutive minutes of play until the Hoosiers’ reclaimed it in their lights-out third quarter performance.
Mackenzie Holmes forced the comeback for the Hoosiers with three layups and two free throws to tally eight of Indiana’s 22 points scored in the third.
“That was a composed team in the second half for Indiana, they did a great job settling down and getting the ball to Mackenzie Holmes,” Kieger said. “She only had four field goal attempts in the first half, and obviously the second half was a different story for her.”
Holmes, the senior out of Maine, is ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring, with all of her shots being scored in field goal range or at the free throw line.
This run bought Indiana insurance through the fourth quarter and signed the papers as they put up another 19 over Penn State to seal the game.
In the words of head coach Carolyn Kieger, “In order to beat a top five team you have to beat them for 40 minutes, not 20.”
Kapinus was the star of the game for the Nittany Lions, as she had a team-high 15 points as well as seven rebounds. The Wisconsin native was also 4-for-4 on the free-throw line.
Despite outshooting Indiana, Penn State’s 35% field goal completion is where they fell short.
“We’ve got to get more mature, especially with our shot selection,” Keiger said. “The key of the game was to make points and we did not get that done tonight.”
The Hoosiers remain undefeated and look to take their lucky seventh home victory against Morehead State next Sunday.
The Nittany Lions now fall to 7-3 on the season, while letting their two lone conference matchups slip through their fingertips.
They will look for a redemption matchup this Sunday against West Virginia back at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Molly White is a third-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com.