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Lady Lions pick up win at Minnesota

From Mirror, wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS – A strong second half and big play off the bench led the Penn State women’s basketball team to its first road win at Minnesota in nearly nine years, as the Lady Lions took down the Gophers, 69-60, Sunday night in Big Ten action at Williams Arena.

“A total team effort and 24 points of the bench. I thought our bench was phenomenal,” PSU coach Carolyn Kieger said. “Not only by their production, but also how they were with their juice on the bench. I thought that was the best chemistry we had all year and it obviously showed.”

Penn State picked up its first win in Minneapolis since Feb. 5, 2012 and the Lady Lions earned their first conference victory of the season.

“Getting your first Big Ten win on the road is huge. Extra special when it’s in my hometown, which is awesome. Very thankful for the team and how they performed today and stepped up,” Kieger said.

Graduate transfer Kelly Jekot led the team with 15 points. Senior Johnasia Cash recorded her second-straight double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Freshman Maddie Burke rounded out the double-digit scoring with 13 points.

“Johnasia Cash with back-to-back awesome performances. If we can keep her rolling and keep her in the game, she’s going to be a difference maker for us,” Kieger said.

A back-and-forth first quarter saw two tie scores and three lead changes as neither team led by more than two. Senior Niya Beverley drilled a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put the Lady Lions ahead 15-14.

Minnesota made the first basket of the second quarter, but Burke followed with back-to-back 3-pointers, and Cash added a pair of free throws to comprise an 8-0 run that put Penn State on top 23-16.

Freshman Tova Sabel aided a quick 5-0 Penn State run that knotted the score at 31-all. The Gophers ended the half with a pair of free throws to take a 34-33 edge into the break.

Five points from Jekot, and five from sophomore Makenna Marisa, helped Penn State kick off a strong third quarter with a quick 10-2 run. That helped give Penn State a 54-44 lead going into the final frame.

Strong free throw shooting sealed the deal for Penn State in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Lions went 10-for-12 from the charity stripe. Minnesota never got closer than eight.

PENN STATE (4-5, 1-4): Camden 1-5 0-0 3, Cash 4-11 6-8 14, Hagans 2-3 0-1 4, Jekot 5-18 4-5 15, Marisa 3-6 2-2 9, Beverley 2-4 1-2 7, Burke 4-12 2-2 13, Sabel 1-1 1-2 4, Thornton 0-1 0-0 0, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 22-61 16-22 69

MINNESOTA (2-6, 1-5): Mershon 2-3 2-2 6, Sissoko 0-5 2-2 2, Hubbard 3-12 1-2 8, Powell 6-16 3-4 19, Smith 2-8 0-0 4, Bagwell-Katalinich 3-7 6-8 12, Sconiers 3-6 1-2 7, Borowicz 1-7 0-0 2, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 20-64 15-20 60

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Penn State…..15 18 21 15 — 69

Minnesota……14 20 10 16 — 60

3-Point Goals–Penn St. 9-26 (Camden 1-4, Hagans 0-1, Jekot 1-6, Marisa 1-3, Beverley 2-2, Burke 3-9, Sabel 1-1), Minnesota 5-28 (Sissoko 0-1, Hubbard 1-10, Powell 4-10, Smith 0-2, Borowicz 0-5). Assists–Penn St. 11 (Jekot 4), Minnesota 16 (Hubbard 6). Fouled Out–Penn St. Cash, Minnesota Sissoko. Rebounds–Penn St. 37 (Jekot 3-8), Minnesota 31 (Sconiers 4-6). Total Fouls–Penn St. 20, Minnesota 24. Technical Fouls–None. A–0.

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