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Nebraska topples Penn State despite Marisa’ 21 points

LINCOLN, Neb. – Sophomore Makenna Marisa and freshman Maddie Burke both put together 20-point games, but the Penn State women’s basketball team ran into a hot-shooting Nebraska squad in an 87-72 loss Sunday afternoon in Big Ten action at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Marisa finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a strong all-around effort. Burke drilled six three-pointers for the second-straight game to finish with 20 points. Senior Johnasia Cash notched her ninth double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Niya Beverley rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11 points, five assists and five steals.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Huskers jumped out to an early 10-5 lead before Penn State used three-pointers from Burke and Marisa and three points from Beverley to put together a 9-4 streak that knotted the game at 14. Penn State held Nebraska to just one point in the final 4:19 of the first quarter as a three-pointer from Marisa with nine seconds left on the clock gave Penn State a 17-15 edge at the end of the term.

Burke (8) and Cash (7) combined for Penn State’s first 15 points of the second quarter as the Lady Lions found themselves ahead 32-28 with 3:53 left on the first-half clock. But Nebraska went 5-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 from deep in the final 3:23 to put together a 12-2 run that gave the Huskers a 40-34 edge at the break.

Two threes from Burke helped Penn State rattle off an 11-7 run over the first 3:09 of the second half as the Lady Lions pulled within 47-45. Nebraska responded by going 5-for-5 from deep in the final six minutes as the Huskers strung together a 23-9 streak that gave them a 70-54 lead going into the final term.

Burke’s sixth three of the game sparked a 7-0 Penn State run to open the fourth quarter as the Lady Lions clawed back within single digits at 70-61 three minutes into the term. It would be as close as Penn State would get the rest of the way, however, as Nebraska avoided a season sweep with the 87-72 victory.

KEY NOTES

Marisa recorded her team-leading sixth 20-plus point game of the season.

Burke notched her second-straight game with 20 points and six three-pointers. She has now made three or more three-pointers in seven of the last eight games.

Cash’s double-double was her ninth of the season and eighth in the last 12 games.

Beverley finished in double figures for the fourth-straight game and the sixth time this season.

Nebraska, who entered the game averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game at a 32.3 percent clip, made 13 three-pointers and shot 54.2 percent from deep.

Penn State finished with 16 assists to just six turnovers.

UP NEXT

Penn State heads into the home stretch of the regular season as the Lady Lions return to Happy Valley for their final two home games of the season next week.

Penn State hosts #15 Ohio State Wednesday at 5 p.m. as senior Nia Staples will be honored on Senior Day.

The Lady Lions then host Rutgers Sunday in the home finale at 12:30 p.m.

Both games will be nationally televised on the Big Ten Network.

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