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Penn State women’s basketball advances to the second round of the WBIT

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State women’s basketball earns 84-80 overtime win over George Mason in the Bryce Jordan Center using a full team effort. The Lady Lions advance to the second round of the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitational Tournament as they host Belmont on Monday, March 25.

Penn State erased a 12-point deficit to come back in overtime to earn a gutsy 84-80 win. The team shot and effective 49.2% from the field and more than doubled George Mason up in the paint by a 50-24 clip. This was the Lady Lions first overtime win since 2019.

Redshirt-junior Leilani Kapinus led the squad on both ends of the court with her fourth double-double of the season. She had a career high 15 rebounds along with 13 points. Graduate guard Ashley Owusu posted a team high 20 points to go with four boards and four assists. Senior forward Ali Brigham rounded out the trio Lady Lions in double figures with 15 points.

First Quarter
George Mason got the first points of the game using a three pointer, but Ciezki had the response with five straight points. The Lady Lions made four-straight stops on defense to bolster their lead to 14-5. Makenna Marisa found her first three of the game after an offensive rebound and pass across the front court from Kapinus. The teams traded baskets before PSU ignited a 7-0 run to pull ahead by a score of 19-7 and force the Patriots into a timeout.

George Mason ended its scoring drought of two minutes with five points out of the break, but Ali Brigham had the answer off a pass from Marisa. The Patriots notched back-to-back three-point baskets and a layup on their end to bring the score within one at 21-20 to conclude the first period of play.

Second Quarter 
George Mason took the lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter. A. jumper from Owusu for her first points of the evening and a three-point play created by Brigham allowed the Lady Lions to grab the edge but the Patriots had the response with seven unanswered points of their own. Moriah Murray knocked down a shot beyond the arc to tie the score again. Four-straight points from Brigham at the post pushed the home team ahead by four points but GMU closed the gap with a bucket from long range. The first half finished with George Mason in the lead by 39-34.

Third Quarter
The Lady Lions opened the half forcing a turnover on the inbound but neither team could convert on the following two possessions. Marisa earned a trip to the charity stripe to put the first points of the stanza on the board. Despite four points including a shot from beyond the arc from Owusu, the Patriots scored seven straight to extend their lead to 51-42. The score after 30 minutes of play was 58-49.

Fourth Quarter
The visitors grabbed a 12-point edge using a three-pointer out of the break. Some back and forth action was ended by four consecutive points from Owusu to pull back within seven before the media timeout. Jayla Oden brought the Lady Lions even closer driving to the basket for a layup to complete the 6-0 run. George Mason managed a basket before sending Kapinus to the line where she sunk a free shot. A stop on defense and a layup from Grace Hall lit up the Bryce Jordan Center and surged Kapinus to force a turnover on the other end of the court.

Kapinus pushed her way to the basket to notch her 10th point of the game to seal a double-double and the Lady Lions forced a shot clock violation on the other side of the court out of a timeout. Another trip to the free throw line for Owusu took PSU within one point at a score of 66-65. George Mason earned a pair of free shots to extend the margin back to three points but a response from Owusu reversed it back to a one-point deficit. The score was 70-69 with the Patriots ahead by one entering the final minute of play with George Mason in possession of the ball. Chanaya Pinto forced a turnover on the inbound. Penn State was unable to convert the following offensive possession but a massive block from Kylie Lavelle gave the ball back to the Lady Lions and Kapinus drew a foul on the offensive end. She made one of her two to tie the score at 70-70 with 4.7 seconds on the clock. The Patriots advanced the ball using a timeout and the Lady Lions drew a charge to get the ball back with .5 seconds on the clock. Head coach Carolyn Kieger advance the ball. PSU could not convert, sending the game to overtime.

The Patriots won the tip and sank a long two-point shot to start the overtime period. Owusu had the answer on the other end and Penn State forced a turnover on defense to keep the ball in its possession. Oden earned two points from the free throw line to take the lead for the first time since the first half. Another defensive stop and an offensive rebound for Lavelle extended the lead ton 76-72 and a second chance layup for Pinto closed out the 8-0 run. The Patriots pushed a three pointer across but Kapinus and Oden’s two shots from the free throw line kept the lead with Penn State at a 82-77 clip. George Mason hit another shot from deep to bring it back within two. With 16 seconds on the clock, Penn State used a timeout and Kapinus inbounded the ball to Brigham under the basket who laid it in. The Patriots advanced the ball using a timeout but PSU drew a charge on the defensive end of the court. The ball stayed with the Lady Lions for the final nine seconds of play leaving the final score at 84-80.

Penn State vs. George Mason
March 21, 2024
Bryce Jordan Center (University Park, Pa.)

  • Penn State women’s basketball advances to the second round of the WBIT to host Belmont on Monday, March 25.
  • The Lady Lions shot 49.2% from the field and outscored the Patriots in the paint by a 50-24 clip.
  • All 11 Penn State players scored.
  • Kapinus earned her fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and a career high 15 rebounds. This was the redshirt junior’s fifth-straight game in double figures.
  • Owusu notched her sixth 20-plus-point performance of the season.
  • Ali Brigham surpassed double figures in the first half and finished with 15 points for her 13th double figure performance of the year.

The Lady Lions host Belmont in the second round of the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament on Monday, March 25.

Visit GoPSUSports.com for more information on Penn State women’s basketball. Fans can keep up to date with the Lady Lion women’s basketball team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PennStateWBB.


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