Penn State women’s basketball looks to open season strong against Norfolk State and Fairfield

Story posted November 8, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Adam Sheetz

The Penn State Lady Lions tip off their 2022-23 season this week with home games, starting on Wednesday, Nov. 9, against Norfolk State. The Lady Lions return a lot of talent, and a fast start to the season could be huge for the team.

Coach Carolyn Kieger will have her star player from last season in senior guard Makenna Marisa.

Marisa has garnered national praise for her talents and was selected to the Nancy Lieberman Award watchlist. Marisa was one of 20 players chosen for the award given to the best point guard in the nation.

Penn State also expects to get great production from Notre Dame transfer Alli Campbell, who was injured last season.

Campbell is a versatile player on both ends of the floor and has received high praise for the work she has put in during the offseason in University Park.

Marisa and Campbell will need to be sharp in the season opener against Norfolk State. The Spartans have already played their season opener and were dominant in a 125-19 win over the Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Spartans guard Deja Francis was great in the win, recording 21 points and 10 assists. Francis wasn’t alone in the performance, as the Spartans had eight players in double-figures.

If the Lady Lions are going to get the win in their opener, they will need to be sharp offensively against a deep and dangerous Norfolk State squad.

After what could be a tough opener, the Lady Lions will have a quick turnaround against Fairfield on Friday night. The Stags got off to a hot start with their win against Brown on Monday night, 62-52.

Fairfield was led by star forward Callie Cavanaugh, who was sensational in their opening win. Cavanaugh recorded 36 points in 35 minutes and was an efficient 14-22 from the field.

Cavanaugh’s presence on the interior could be a challenge for Penn State, which has consistently played by committee at the forward spots. The Lady Lions acquired Johnasia Cash, who was on the Lady Lions during the 2020-21 season.

Cash was not a part of the team last season, but her return has the program buzzing as she was a force on the inside when she was on the court. Cash’s return and pairing her with forwards Ali Brigham and Anna Camden, helping create a tough interior for the Stags to try to attack on Friday.

The Lady Lions won three straight to start the 2021-22 season, and another hot start could help lead to sustained success in 2022-23.

With the veteran leadership of Marisa and Camden, along with the additions of Campbell and Cash, Penn State could be on the right track for the best season in the Kieger era in University Park.

Adam Sheetz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

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Adam Sheetz

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Adam Sheetz is a third year student from Reedsville, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism. He has been a broadcaster for WCHX 105.5 FM in Mifflin County covering high school sports. He has also been a member of CommRadio since his first semester at Penn State, being involved in both the Arts and Sports departments. Adam has extensive experience in a play-by-play setting within CommRadio, covering football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball for the station. He has done written content for CommRadio ranging from Penn State football articles all the way to discussing Disney Channel movies. To contact Adam, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).