Penn State drops 74-57 decision against No. 11 Michigan

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania. –The Penn State women’s basketball team lost a 74-57 decision to No. 11 Michigan on Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions are now 7-7 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play, while the Wolverines have improved to 14-2 overall and 5-1 in conference.

Leilani Kapinus and Makenna Marisa tied for the team lead with 17 points. Kapinus added five rebounds, two blocks and a steal, while Marisa had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kapinus’ 17 points are his best in a Big Ten game. Ali Brigham contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks off the bench. Penn State shot 36.7 from the field.

Naz Hillmon beat four Wolverines in double figures with 21 points. Leigha Brown had 17 points, while Maddie Nolan had 15. Emily Kiser recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Michigan shot 43% from the floor.

The Lady Lions limited Michigan to 30% shooting in the second half, including 25% in the third quarter. Penn State also recorded 10 robberies and seven blocks. The blue and whites have had 10 or more interceptions in five games this season.

Wolverines took a 10-0 lead to start the game, including five points from LBrown. Kapinus had seven points in the first quarter, while Marisa added five. Penn State trailed 25-14 after one.

A 15-8 streak by the Lady Lions between the first and second quarters cut the deficit to eight, 33-25, with 2:40 left in the first half. Marisa recorded six points during the race, while Kapnius had four and Tova Sabel added two. A pair of free throws from Brigham brought the Lady Lions back within eight. A 6-2 run from Michigan to close out the half gave the Wolverines a 39-27 lead heading into the break.

Michigan took advantage of a 9-1 streak to start the third quarter. Seven points from Brigham and a 5:17 possession streak from Michigan without field goals helped Penn State cut the deficit to 16, 51-35, with 4:29 remaining. After six straight Wolverines points, the Lady Lions closed out the quarter with a free throw from Kapinus and a layup from Hagans. Penn State trailed 57-38 after three.

Penn State started the fourth quarter on a 10-2 streak and edged Michigan, 19-17, in the period. Kapinus contributed four points, while Marisa scored a three. After a three-point play by Michigan’s Hillmon, Penn State responded with back-to-back layups from Hagans and Kapinus to cut the deficit to 62-52 with 5:39 left. Five straight points by Hillmon helped Michigan extend their lead to 15 on their way to the final 74-57 margin.

The Lady Lions host Illinois at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, January 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. with a broadcast on B1G+.

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