Game Grades: Penn State Women’s Basketball vs. Minnesota
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women’s basketball fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, 94-83 ending its regular season with a record of 11-17.
Minnesota controlled this game from wire to wire. It was a discouraging performance from the Lady Lions on senior day.
Junior Makenna Marisa was the lone bright spot from Sunday’s performance for the Lady Lions. Marisa has been the heartbeat of this Penn State team and Sunday she totaled 28 points and made 11-of- 20 shots from the field.
However, it was Marisa’s supporting cast that let her down. The front court especially didn’t provide any spark offensively. Head coach Carolyn Kieger opted to play some small ball as junior forward Anna Camden couldn’t get anything going.
Out of the starting five, Marisa was the only player to score in double digits. Sophomore Tova Sabel has proven she is a capable three point shooter, and she was the only other player to reach double digits with 19 points.
Outside of Sabel, Penn State wasn’t that effective from behind the arc. As a team Penn State only shot 18.8% from three.
Scoring wasn’t a huge issue Sunday, but Penn State still needs to find that consistent second option. Marisa needs someone to take some of the pressure off of her.
Penn State had no answer for Minnesota defensively. Redshirt junior Kadi Sissoko had career highs with 32 points and 14 rebounds.
Minnesota dominated the boards and crashed the offensive glass. The Golden Gophers had 22 second chance points.
Minnesota and Penn State coming into the contest seemed to be two very comparable teams, but Minnesota bullied their way into an impressive win.
Penn State just had too many lapses defensively. After a shot went up, there was no recovery and boxing out.
Defense has been a problem for the Nittany Lions all season long. Penn State ranks last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and is giving up an average of 76.2 points per game.
This year was supposed to be a step up for Penn State. Last year they were one of the younger teams in the Big Ten, and with most of their roster returning this was going to be a special season.
This is Carolyn Kieger’s third year as head coach. Marisa is one of the better players in the Big Ten and the talent is there for Penn State.
The third year for every head coach is supposed to be the defining season. However, this year has not gone to plan. Penn State has constantly struggled definsely and hasn’t found that second scoring option.
After such promise and hope, Penn State has found themselves in the bottom of the Big Ten. Last year, Penn State was 6-13 in conference play. This year, Penn State finds itself with a 5-13 record in conference. There hasn’t been much improvement.
Penn State’s regular season is now over. The Lady Lions are now scheduled to play Rutgers in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday, Mar. 2.
Aidan Torok is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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