Taniyah Thompson’s Lights Out Shooting Leads the Lady Lions Over the Badgers

Story posted January 23, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Ben Palillo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -  Taniyah Thompson scored a season-high 27 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Lady Lions over the Badgers 74-69 Sunday evening.

Thompson started quietly with just two points through the first 16 and a half minutes before turning it on, scoring eight straight points for the Lady Lions, giving them a 35-30 halftime lead.

Thompson saved her best for last as she just had two points in the third quarter before exploding for 15 straight points in the fourth quarter, where she was a perfect six-for-six from the field, three coming from behind the arc.

When asked what ignited her scoring touch, Thompson said it was all about practice and her guards.

“I had a great practice yesterday. We were working together at practice, and then it just translated over to the game,” Thompson said. “I mean, I didn't do it on my own. My point guards Shay and Makenna, they got me open.”

Makenna Marisa finished the game with 15 points and eight assists, while Shay Ciezki had nine points and seven assists.

Three of those points for Ciezki came on a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to end the first quarter following a long inbound pass from Leilani Kapinus.

“We know Leilani has a bullet and a gun for an arm,” coach Carolyn Kieger said. “We try to get everybody out of her way and just look long.”

Along with that spectacular assist, Kapinus also scored her 500th career point when she hit a layup in the fourth quarter.

Despite finishing strong defensively, the blue and white struggled to start the game.

After falling down 10-3 early, the Lady Lions executed a press defense that the Badgers could not seem to figure out. As a result, the Badgers had 25 turnovers following the defensive change.

“Being a team that likes to get up there and press and likes to get up there and trap, I thought, what was elite about tonight’s performances? We got some rotation steals instead of just trapped steals,” coach Kieger said. “ We got to become a team that can not just be one and done after one trap and learn how to rotate and scramble and help each other.”

Despite forcing 25 turnovers, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses on the defensive end as the blue and white were outrebounded 37 to 25.

“Gotta figure out a way to dominate those boards,” coach Keiger said. “We got to do a better job on the defensive boards so they couldn’t get offensive rebound, kick-out threes… those are back breakers.”

Next up for the Lady Lions is another conference matchup, as Thursday, they will head to New Jersey to take on Rutgers.

“We take it one game at a time. So our next game is to beat Rutgers. That’s our next goal,” coach Kieger said. “After that, like I said, postseason isn’t the goal that should be the standard here.”

Ben Palillo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email bgp5079@psu.edu.