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Lady Lions earn Big Ten victory with 29 points off the bench

Photos by Jeff Shomo

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State women’s basketball team earned a tough 52-48 win over Rutgers on Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions were boosted by performances by Ali Brigham and Tova Sabel off the bench. Penn State is now 5-5 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. Rutgers dropped to 4-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play.


Penn State posted its first conference home opening win since the 2015-16 season against Northwestern (79-72). The Lady Lions also improved to 4-0 at home this season.


Makenna Marisa paced the Lady Lions with 16 points, adding three assists and two steals. Brigham contributed 13 points off the bench, on 6-of-10 shooting, and grabbed six rebounds. Eight of Brigham’s 13 came in the first quarter. Sabel posted 10 points, including seven in the third quarter. Penn State finished the game with a 29-13 advantage in bench points and scored 30 of 52 points in the paint. The Lady Lions forced 22 turnovers and grabbed nine steals.


Rutgers shot 44 percent from the field, but was held to 2-of-13 (15 percent) from three. Tyia Singleton led four Scarlet Knights in double-figures with 12 points. Sakima Walker contributed 11 points, while Osh Brown had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Shug Dickson added 10 points.


In a back-and-forth first quarter, neither team led by more than two points until a late three by Marisa. The Lady Lions led 16-13 after the quarter, paced by Brigham’s eight points.


Penn State extended its lead to 20-15 early in the second quarter on a jumper by Marisa and a layup by Hagans. Rutgers responded with an 8-0 run, including a pair of jumpers by Singleton, to take a 23-20 lead. Penn State answered with its own 5-0 run, beginning with a three-point play by Brigham and extending on a layup by Hagans, after a deflection by Brigham on the defensive end. Penn State led 25-24 at the half.


Trailing 31-27 with 7:01 remaining in the third quarter, the Lady Lions went on a 9-0 run. Marisa nailed back-to-back jumpers before Sabel hit a three. Sabel sank two free throws to give Penn State a 36-31 advantage with 5:17remaining in the period. Sabel added a layup and Brigham got another basket in the paint to help PSU to a 40-36 lead through three quarters.


Rutgers re-took the lead early in the fourth quarter, on a three by Dickson and a layup by Walker, to go ahead 41-40. Sabel answered with another layup before Brown hit a jumper and Walker nailed a free throw to hold a 44-42 lead at the 5:46 mark.


Penn State responded with a 7-0 run with threes by Marisa and Kelly Jekot and a free throw by Sabel. The Lady Lions held a 49-44 lead with 4:02 left. A little over 90 seconds later, Anna Camden collected an offensive rebound and a putback to extend PSU’s lead back to five. After a layup by RU’s Brown, a free throw by Marisa sealed the victory.


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