Women’s Basketball Weekly Preview: Feb. 8

Story posted February 9, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Amanda Vogt

The Lady Lions split their two games last week at the Bryce Jordan Center.

A strong second half of play pushed the blue and white to a 10-point victory over Northwestern.

However, when No. 6 Iowa entered Happy Valley, the Lady Lions were unable to roar to life and put up much of a fight, losing 95-51.

This week Penn State heads back on the road to face Michigan State over the weekend. These two will also play each other again in the BJC at the end of the month. Both games will be incredibly important to win if either team wants to end with a record above .500.

Both the Nittany Lions (13-11) and the Spartans (11-12) have records that dance near that even mark.

And in a year that has immense talent in the Big Ten conference, each team has been unsuccessful, to say the least.

The blue and white are 4-9 in the conference and green and white are 3-9.

Two of the three games the Spartans won in the conference were played on their home court. Overall, the team’s had more success in the Breslin Center with a record of 9-5.

For a Penn State team that has struggled away from University Park, location alone could be a contributing factor in the matchup.

While Makenna Marisa is the team’s top scorer averaging 17.9 a game, in the past two games she’s struggled to produce her typical high marks.

For the Spartans, Kamaria McDaniel, a former Nittany Lion that transferred after her junior year, leads in scoring. As a graduate student, the guard has a great deal of experience that she can provide her team, especially when playing her former one.

Overall, the blue and white have struggled with holding the momentum in games. Earlier in the season, there were times they came back for the win.

For instance, when they played Syracuse, Penn State rallied from a 21-point deficit to win. Since then, the team’s hardly been able to dig itself out of large gaps.

Yet, at times its defense has remained strong. Leilani Kapinus leads the team and Big Ten in steals. Her formidable defensive efforts have put her in the conversation for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award.

This Penn State team does have the potential to win considering it started the year 7-0, but since then it has been a tough road for the blue and white.

With less than a month left to go in the regular season, it is important for the team to have a short-term memory when it comes to tough losses against ranked opponents and to come out strong when it matters most.

Amanda Vogt is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email her at aev5215@psu.edu