Lady Lions win at the buzzer

Makenna Marisa

UNIVERSITY PARK — Makenna Marisa hit a shot at the buzzer Thursday night to lead the Penn State women’s basketball team to a 70-69 win over Rhode Island at the Jordan Center.

Penn State improved to 3-0 with the win.

Marisa finished with 17 points, including a 7-for-8 showing from the foul line. Shay Hagans added 16 points while Johnasia Cash added 13 points and eight rebounds. Kelly Jekot rounded out the scoring with 11 points.

Marta Vargas gave Rhode Island a 68-67 lead when she hit a bucket to put the Rams up, 68-67, with three seconds left in the game. Penn State had just gone up 67-66 on two foul shots by Jekot.

On the winning shot, Penn State went inside to Cash, but she ran into a double-team that resulted in the ball being swatted out of her hands. Marrisa ran to the hoop just in time to grab the loose ball and put in the layup as time expired.

“Wow! What a game!,” Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Rhode Island is a very good team and they’re going to have a lot of people worried as this season goes on. They did a phenomenal job recruiting and rebuilding that program.”

This was the first time in nine years that the Lady Lions won a game in the final 10 seconds on a game-winning shot. Julia Trogele did it against Illinois.

“This is a big win for us because that’s going to be a really good team down the stretch,” Kieger said. “I’m just really proud of our composure. We didn’t play a great game, we have a lot of things we need to fix and a lot of teaching moments, but we kept our heads and kept our composure and came up huge at the end there.”

Rhode Island battled back in the second half from a double-digit deficit at one point to make a game of it.

The Rams opened the game with a quick 11-4 lead in the first quarter after a 3-pointer from Marie-Paule Foppossi.

The Rams defense held Penn State (3-0) to 2-for-8 showing from deep in the first period, however the Lady Lions used a 5-0 run to end the quarter up 18-17.

Penn State continued that momentum into the second, building its lead to 28-17. Rhode Island (0-2) finally connected on a 3-pointer from Vargas at 6:56, and a Catherine Cairns 3-ball capped a 12-2 run by the Rams to get within one (30-29). Johanna Muzet had the Rams in position to lead going into the half, making a 3-pointer to put Rhody on top 32-31 with a minute to go. But Hagans completed a classic three-point play with seconds remaining to send Penn State into the locker room up 34-32.

The third and fourth period were back and forth, and a big 3-pointer by Yanni Hendley tied it at 40 with 7:09 left in the third. Cairns drew a foul on a good 3-pointer to complete the four-point play and gave the Rams their first lead (67-66) since the first quarter with 1:28 remaining in the fourth.

The Lady Lions were solid at the foul line, hitting on 17-of-19 from the charity stripe.

“With 13 newcomers who were in that position for the first time, great to come out with the win,” Kieger said.

Penn State is off until Dec. 20 when it hosts Purdue for a Sunday afternoon game.

RHODE ISLAND (0-2): Tahane 8-12 1-2 17, Muzet 5-8 1-1 12, Hendley 3-5 2-3 9, Vargas 3-9 0-0 8, Foppossi 2-6 2-2 7, Cairns 4-7 1-1 11, Toure 1-1 0-0 3, Niang 1-2 0-2 2, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Harvey-Carr 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 27-53 7-11 69.

PENN STATE (3-0): Marisa 5-15 7-8 17, Hagans 4-7 5-5 16, Cash 6-8 1-2 13, Jekot 3-8 4-4 11, Camden 2-6 0-0 6, Burke 1-3 0-0 3, Thornton 1-3 0-0 2, Thomas 1-3 0-0 2, Sabel 0-2 0-0 0.Totals: 23-55 17-19 70.


Rhode Island……………….17 15 17 20 — 69

Penn State…………………..18 16 17 19 — 70

3-point field goals: RIU 8-23 (Muzet 1-3, Hendley 1-2, Vargas 2-6, Foppossi 1-4, Cairns 2-5, Harvey-Carr 0-2). PSU 7-24 (Marisa 0-6, Hagans 3-4, Jekot 1-5, Camden 2-5, Burke 1-2, Thornton 0-1, Sabel 0-1). Rebounds: RIU 34 (Muzet 8); PSU 27 (Cash 8). Technical fouls: None. Att: 174.


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