MADISON, Wisc.- Penn State women’s basketball lost tough road game to Wisconsin by a 69-64 final score. Despite holding as much as a 17-point edge in the first half, the Lady Lions could not hold the Badgers on their second half comeback. Penn State moves to 16-8, 7-6 Big Ten while Wisconsin improves to 11-11, 4-8 Big Ten.
The Lady Lions were hot shooting the rock from distance in the first half, with six shots from three-point range in the opening stanza. Shay Ciezki led the way with four threes in just the first quarter. PSU created as big as a 17-point cushion throughout the first half but could not maintain momentum through the second.
Ashley Owusu led the Lady Lions in scoring for the sixth time this season with 24 points on the night. For her ninth-straight game, she surpassed the double figure mark on 11-of-21 shooting, a season high field goal attempts for the graduate guard. Owusu also posted five assists, leaving her just one shy of the 500 career mark. The Virginia native also grabbed five boards and three steals.
Ciezki was red-hot from range in the first half, totaling 15 points, 12 of them from three-point range. The sophomore totaled 15 points on the day. Leilani Kapinus also reached the double figure mark in her home city of Madison, posting 11 points marking her fifth consecutive game in double figures. Kapinus was one rebound shy of her third-straight double-double, grabbing nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A steal from Owusu following a strong start by Wisconsin winning the opening tip, led the Lady Lions to their first points of the day, with Owusu finding Kapinus down the court following the turnover. Ciezki could not be tamed from distance in the opening minutes, sinking three shots from beyond the arc in under three minutes of play to give PSU a 13-4 edge. The teams traded baskets but the Lady Lions built on a steady lead throughout the quarter. At the final buzzer of the stanza, Owusu sank a long, buzzer beater from the logo to leave the score at 25-12 after 10 minutes of play.
Wisconsin came back strong in the opening minutes of the second quarter, creating. 7-2 run and narrowing the margin to 27-19. PSU responded with their own 11-2 run using momentum from Ciezki’s three-point opportunity on a foul after sinking a layup and her fourth three pointer of the afternoon. Penn State saw its biggest advantage of the day following another and one situation created by Kapinus on a driving layup to bolster the team’s lead to 38-21 at a 21-point deficit. The Badgers managed to cut the margin by three points leaving the score going into the halftime break at 40-26.
The Badgers owned the third quarter, coming out of halftime on a 17-2 run through five minutes to claim the lead for the first time in the game at 43-42. PSU and Wisconsin traded baskets to push the Lady Lions back in the lead one more time before the home team extended their advantage to two possessions. Owusu was responsible for two shots to keep Penn State in the half.
Penn State battled itself in turnovers all game but opened the final period with one in a crucial spot, allowing Wisconsin to get the ball back on two occasions to add a shot from beyond the arc and another shot from the field. This ballooned the Badgers to their largest lead of the day at 55-47. Penn State gained some momentum back after Owusu grabbed a pair of second chance points and Marisa forced a turnover on the defensive end. Kapinus drove to the basket following the steal and was fouled sending her to the line. Her two free throws narrowed the margin to 57-54 with just over four minutes to play.
Marisa found her only basket from the field at the most crucial time in the game, finding a step back three to knot the score at 57-57. Wisconsin had an answer and grabbed the lead back but PSU relentlessly did what it does best and found Ciezki for an open three to tie the score once again at 60-60. A three-point shooting foul allowed the Badgers to build on their advantage. Owusu drove to the basket to close the margin to 65-62. Back-to-back missed three pointers from both teams including one for Marisa to tie the game after a steal from Chanaya Pinto on a Wisconsin inbound made for no scoring in the final minute until Wisconsin went to the line for free throws. Despite Owusu adding two more points to the total, the disadvantage was too much to overcome leaving the final score at 69-64.
Penn State at Wisconsin
February 11, 2024
Kohl Center (Madison, Wisc.)
- Three Lady Lions scored in double digits: Owusu (24), Ciezki (18) and Kapinus (11)
- Makenna Marisa tied Tanisha Wright with most games played by a Lady Lion at 134 and also tied Nikki Greene with most games started in program history with 131. Wright was a letterwinner from 2002-05 and Greene from 2010-13.
- Ciezki easily surpassed double figures in the first half marking her 16th game surpassing the double-digit mark. The sophomore guard shot 6-of-12 from the field including 5-of-10 from three-point range. She had four threes in the first half.
- Owusu continued her streak of consecutive games in double figures with nine-straight totaling 24 points.
- Kapinus was one rebound shy of her third consecutive double-double with nine rebounds and 11 points, her 12th game in double figures.
- Penn State totaled 12 steals and 27 fast break points.
The Lady Lions return home to host Illinois on Thursday, Feb. 15. Tip off in the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 6 p.m.
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