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Lady Lions Basketball Fall at Home on Senior Day

Penn State made a late push at a comeback but ultimately fell at home during Senior Day.

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Lady Lions Basketball
Purdue Boilermakers guard Cassidy Hardin (5) defends the shot of Penn State Nittany Lions guard Shay Ciezki (4) during the NCAA women’s basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue won 86-62. © Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK Pupsuwbb022223 Am07637

Penn State Lady Lions basketball (13-16, 4-14 Big Ten) closed out the regular season on a sour note, falling to Michigan State (15-13, 7-10 Big Ten) 80-65 at home on Senior Day.

After a difficult season, the Lady Lions missed an opportunity Saturday to improve their seeding for the Big Ten tournament. Missing out on a first-round bye, Penn State now awaits Sunday’s result to determine its fate.

Cold Start in the First Half

The Lady Lions started the game cold, going 1-10 to start the first quarter. As a result, Michigan State used an 8-0 run to jump out to an early 11-3 lead. Shay Ciezki drained a three with under 10 seconds remaining in the first to pull the score within five. But bad transition defense allowed the Spartans to run the length of the floor for an easy layup, and the Lions trailed 23-14 after one quarter.

Unfortunately, it was more of the same in the second quarter. The Lions went scoreless for over two minutes, allowing the Spartans to gain a commanding 35-19 lead halfway through the quarter.

Penn State could not get out of its own way. The Lions turned it over 13 times in the first half, including eight second-quarter turnovers. Penn State shot an abysmal 33% from the field in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Lions allowed the Spartans to shoot 43%. Penn State had no answers for Kamaria McDaniel and DeeDee Hagemann, who each had 10 points in the half. The Lions trailed 43-30 going into halftime.

Too Little, Too Late

Whatever Carolyn Kieger told the Lions during halftime, it appeared to have worked on the offensive end of the floor. Penn State opened the second half with 12 quick points to trail 53-42 with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter. Michigan State did its best to reestablish control, but a late three-pointer from Ciezki brought the game within 10 going into the final quarter.

The Lady Lions continued to use the deep ball to pull themselves back into this game. A three from Chanaya Pinto made the score 61-55 with 8:05 remaining. Going into the final five minutes, the Lions were shooting 50% from the field for the half, including 57% from three. It was then Michigan State’s turn to go cold, shooting 36% and 27%, respectively, for the half.

However, it was ultimately too little, too late for the Lady Lions. Michigan State went on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 72-57 with under two minutes remaining. This last push proved to be too much, and the Lady Lions closed out their regular season with an 80-65 loss at home.

Standout guard Makenna Marisa had an uncharacteristically poor performance on Saturday. Marisa scored only two points on 1-11 shooting. With three rebounds, Marisa fell just shy of the five she needed to reach 500 for her career. Marisa will go into the Big Ten tournament looking to become the second Lady Lion to record 1,750 points, 500 rebounds, and 400 assists for their career.

The biggest bright spot in the game for Penn State was Ciezki. The freshman had 27 points, surpassing her previous season high of 21. She did so on 10-19 shooting, including seven made three-pointers.

What’s Next for Lady Lions Basketball?

The Lady Lions now await their spot in the Big Ten tournament, which kicks off on Wednesday.

With a win, Penn State could have been seeded as high as 10th. This would have given the Lady Lions a first-round bye. However, the loss now ensures that the Lions will take the floor in day one action. Penn State will now be seeded either 12th or 13th, pending the results of the Minnesota and Purdue game Sunday.

At this point, all the Lady Lions can do is wait.



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Matt is a Co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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