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Cash, Marisa star, but Lady Lions lose

UNIVERSITY PARK — Fifteen days after beating Minnesota, the Penn State women’s basketball team fell to the Lady Gophers, 85-76, on Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Lady Lions won the first meeting, 69-60, on Jan. 10 in Minneapolis.

Monday’s game saw 13 lead changes and 12 tie scores as Minnesota used a strong fourth quarter to come away with the win.

Senior Johnasia Cash and sophomore Makenna Marisa led PSU as Cash finished with a season-best 22 points and 15 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year. Marisa led all scorers with 25 points, just one point shy of her career high. Senior Niya Beverley finished with eight points, eight assists, four rebounds and no turnovers.

Minnesota hit three of its first four 3-point attempts to get out to a quick 17-10 lead midway through the first quarter. Penn State responded with the next seven points, thanks to baskets from Cash and Marisa and a 3-pointer from Tova Sabel that knotted the score at 17. The Gophers then took a slim 21-19 lead into the second quarter.

Penn State’s lead in the second quarter reached as much as 37-32 before the Gophers closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 41-39 lead at the break.

Penn State took control at the opening and closing moments of the third quarter to take a 60-53 lead into the fourth.

“We had a great third quarter that I was really proud of,” PSU coach Carolyn Kieger said. “I thought it was one of our best third quarters, followed by one of our worst fourth quarters. We have to toughen up, we have to have a team that can command and direct and slow the pace down when we need to.”

Penn State clung to the lead until Minnesota’s Jasmine Powell hit from long range to put the Gophers up 68-67 with 4:42 left in the game, which capped an 11-0 run. The game remained close into the final minutes as Marisa made a bucket and a free throw to tie the game at 72-all with 3:08 to play, but the Gophers scored 13 of the game’s final 17 points to pull away for the win.

Minnesota turned 17 offensive rebounds into 28 points. Penn State had 16 points on 13 offensive boards.

“We have to keep learning and growing the basketball IQ for our team,” Kieger said. “Johnasia Cash had another monster game, and I thought Makenna Marisa was locked in on the offensive end.

“A lot of things to fix. Credit Minnesota for their tough finish. We have to learn from it and be ready to play four quarters against Illinois.”

Penn State hits the road for its next two contests, beginning with a 7 p.m. Thursday night showdown at Illinois.

MINNESOTA (4-7): Sissoko 7-17 1-1 15, Sconiers 0-0 0-0 0, Hubbard 6-12 4-4 18, Powell 4-11 5-6 16, Scalia 7-17 2-2 21, Bagwell-Katalinich 4-6 0-0 8, Mershon 2-6 3-6 7, Borowicz 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 30-72 15-19 85

PENN ST. (4-7): Garcia 0-0 0-0 0, Camden 1-6 0-0 3, Cash 10-18 2-2 22, Burke 3-13 0-0 8, Hagans 1-3 0-0 2, Marisa 10-22 2-3 25, Beverley 3-6 2-3 8, Sabel 3-5 0-0 8, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 31-73 6-8 76

Minnesota 21 20 12 32 — 85

Penn State 19 20 21 16 — 76

3-Point Goals–Minnesota 10-29 (Sissoko 0-1, Hubbard 2-8, Powell 3-6, Scalia 5-12, Mershon 0-1, Borowicz 0-1), Penn St. 8-27 (Camden 1-1, Burke 2-10, Hagans 0-1, Marisa 3-9, Beverley 0-3, Sabel 2-3). Assists–Minnesota 22 (Powell 8), Penn St. 16 (Beverley 8). Fouled Out–Penn St. Cash. Rebounds–Minnesota 48 (Mershon 6-8), Penn St. 39 (Team 4-5). Total Fouls–Minnesota 14, Penn St. 16. Technical Fouls–None. A–180.

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