Penn State bounced from Big Ten tourney
From staff reports
INDIANAPOLIS–The Penn State women’s basketball team played right with Michigan State for a majority of the game before the Spartans used a fourth-quarter run to pull away for a 75-66 victory in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year freshman Maddie Burke led Penn State with 22 points behind six three-pointers. Sophomore Shay Hagans added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Anna Camden scored 11 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Penn State was hot from deep to start as the Lady Lions drilled a trio of three-pointers in the first 2:30, two of which came from Burke, to take a quick 9-5 lead. The score was tied at 11 under two minutes later before a Hagans layup and a Camden three-pointer opened an 8-2 Lady Lion streak that put PSU up 19-13. Michigan State scored the next five points, but a Makenna Marisa trey and Hagans layup ended the first quarter as the Lady Lions held a 24-18 edge.
Burke nailed two more treys in the first three minutes of the second quarter and Johnasia Cash added a layup to extend Penn State’s lead to nine at 32-23 with 7:05 on the clock. Penn State cooled off, however, as the Spartans used a 12-3 run to close the half and knot the score at 35 heading into the locker room.
Michigan State scored the first basket of the second half, but five points from Hagans helped spark a 10-0 Penn State run as the Lady Lions took a 45-37 lead just over three minutes into the third stanza. Penn State was up 52-48 after Burke’s fifth three-pointer of the game before the Spartans answered once again, putting together an 8-0 streak to close the quarter and take a 56-52 lead into the final term.
Baskets from Hagans and Burke tied the game at 56-all 2:40 into the fourth quarter, but Michigan State’s Alyza Winston nailed back-to-back three-pointers as the back-and-forth battle continued and the Spartans were ahead 62-56 with 6:21 to play. The Lady Lion offense couldn’t mount the comeback it needed in the final minutes, despite Burke adding five more points, as Michigan State pulled away to claim the 75-66 victory.
Penn State was playing without one of its floor generals in senior Niya Beverly who was unavailable due to injury. Beverley leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio and scored in double figures in seven of the final eight games of the season.
Penn State, the youngest team in the Big Ten and ninth youngest team in the nation, fought through a number of injuries this year, included veteran leader Kelly Jekot who was the team’s leading scorer at the time of her season-ending injury.
Burke proved why she was named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year and to the Big Ten All-Freshman team as the rookie drained six three-pointers for her fifth game this season with five or more triples. She finished her rookie campaign with three or more treys in 11 games, four 20-point games and eight double-digit efforts.
Hagans stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 6 rebounds and five assists. Camden nailed three triples en route to her 11 points. Makenna Marisa led the team with six assists in addition to her seven points and six rebounds.
FROM THE SOURCE
Head Coach Carolyn Kieger
“Credit Michigan State for advancing. I know that was a big win for them as they’re a bubble team. We obviously want to get our program to that point where we’re playing to get into the NCAA Tournament.”
“We took strides this year to grow and improve. But we have to take leaps next year. I know our team is motivated in the locker room. They’re ready to keep learning, keep growing, and keep coming together as a program.”