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Makenna Marisa scores 26 points as Nittany Lions fall to Purdue in women’s basketball

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Purdue’s Kayana Traylor shoots over Penn State’s Constance Thomas during Sunday’s game at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions lost, 91-87.

STATE COLLEGE — The Penn State women’s basketball team came out on the short end of a 91-87 nail-biter Sunday afternoon to Purdue in Penn State’s Big Ten opener at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Sophomore Makenna Marisa led five Nittany Lions in double figures with a career-best 26 points. Kelly Jekot chipped in 14 points, Anna Camden and Johnasia Cash added 11 each. Freshman Tova Sabel rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.

Marisa’s career-high 26 points bested her previous high of 17. She is now averaging 14.4 points per game.

“I’m very disappointed in our defensive effort. To give up 91 points in our first Big Ten game. We’ve been focusing on it all offseason, since the moment we got into workouts with this new team,” Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger said. “I have to go back to the drawing board and we have to get better there.”

The Nittany Lions’ scheduled road game at No. 19 Michigan (Wednesday) has been postponed due to COVID-19 related concerns within the Michigan program. No makeup date has yet been determined.

Purdue had the edge in the early minutes before back-to-back 3-pointers from Marisa and Jekot pulled Penn State within 15-13 with 4:29 left on the first-quarter clock. The Boilermakers answered with a 12-4 run over the next three minutes, but Shay Hagans tossed in a layup to end the quarter and pull PSU within 27-18 through the first 10 minutes.

The Nittany Lion offense caught fire in the second quarter as Penn State shot 10 for 14 from the field led by eight points from Sabel. Purdue didn’t slow down, however, as the Boilermakers controlled a 46-39 edge heading into halftime.

Purdue led 55-48 with seven minutes to play in the third quarter before Penn State came alive. The Lady Lions went on a 12-5 run and tied the game at 60-all with a layup by Nyam Thornton with 3:11 on the clock.

“I thought we saw some good spurts offensively with some good execution down the stretch, but we have to get more assists and we have to stop people from getting in the paint,” Kieger said.

Penn State took its first lead of the game, 66-65, with 51 seconds left in the third quarter following back-to-back layups from Hagans. PSU ended the quarter with a one-point advantage, 68-67, thanks to two free throws by Camden with one second left.

Penn State would get as close as two, 89-87, with eight seconds left in the game, but Traylor hit a pair of free throws at the other end to put the game away.

Purdue 91, Penn State 87

PURDUE (4-2)

Diagne 4-8 5-6 13, Farquhar 3-7 2-2 8, Layden 2-4 4-4 9, Moore 8-12 1-2 19, Traylor 9-16 8-10 28, Gony 0-0 0-0 0, Grant 0-1 0-0 0, Hardin 3-3 0-0 9, McLaughlin 0-1 0-0 0, Stallings 1-1 0-2 3, Shaya Kyle 1-2 0-0 2, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 31-55 20-26 91

PENN ST. (3-2)

Camden 3-7 4-4 11, Cash 4-10 3-4 11, Hagans 3-10 0-0 6, Jekot 6-14 1-1 14, Marisa 12-20 0-0 26, Beverley 0-1 0-0 0, Thornton 4-5 1-1 9, Burke 0-0 0-0 0, Sabel 5-8 0-0 10, Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Team 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 37-76 9-10 87

Purdue 27 19 21 24 — 91

Penn St. 19 20 29 19 — 87

3-Point Goals–Purdue 9-15 (Layden 1-3, Moore 2-3, Traylor 2-3, Grant 0-1, Hardin 3-3, McLaughlin 0-1, Stallings 1-1), Penn St. 4-14 (Camden 1-4, Jekot 1-3, Marisa 2-5, Thornton 0-1, Sabel 0-1). Assists–Purdue 19 (Moore 6), Penn St. 10 (Thornton 3). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Purdue 34 (Diagne 2-9), Penn St. 31 (Cash 3-3). Total Fouls–Purdue 16, Penn St. 20. Technical Fouls–None. A–144.

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