Women’s Basketball To Face Toledo and Fresno State at Daytona Beach Invitational

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UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State women’s basketball team plays in the Daytona Beach Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend, facing Toledo Friday at 1:15 pm and Fresno State Saturday at 11 am

WATCH ON FLOHOOPS

Both games are available to be streamed on FloHoops. A subscription must be purchased to be able to watch on the streaming platform. Penn State’s Dec. 18 game at Drexel will also be on FloHoops.

The games are still available to be listened to through Penn State Sports Network – 93.3 FM, 1390 AM and online.

OPENING TIP

  • Penn State is coming off the program’s biggest comeback, a 21-point deficit turned into an 82-69 win over Syracuse at home Monday.
  • The Lady Lions trailed 45-24 three minutes into the third quarter and then outscored the Orange 58-24 to end the game.
  • Freshman Shay Ciezki sparked the Lady Lions’ rally with 16 of her 18 career-high points during the second half run, and Makenna Marisa had 18 of her 22 points during the rally.
  • The Lady Lions are off to the best start since the 2017-18 season (5-0) and have won 14-straight home nonconference games, fourth-longest in program history.
  • A win over Toledo would be the longest winning streak since the 2016-17 team achieved the feat during the nonconference season.
  • Wins over Toledo and Fresno State would tie for the best start since the 1996-97 season (7-0).
  • Penn State faces its four reigning conference champion (Norfolk State (MEAC), Fairfield (MAAC) and Youngstown State (Horizon League)) this season, last year’s MAC Regular Season Champion Toledo.
  • Makenna Marisa has averaged 19.7 points per game with three 20-point games and a double-double in the first two contests: 24 points and 11 rebounds against the Spartans and 14 points and 10 assists against the Stags.
  • Penn State has forced opponents to an average of 25.2 turnovers per game, ranking 18th in the nation.

SCOUTING TOLEDO

  • Are 3-1 to start the season with wins over Wright State (88-56) and Canisius (93-66) at home, a road victory at Cincinnati (74-71, overtime) and a loss at Duke (58-41) last Sunday.
  • Ranked sixth in the most recent College Insider Mid Major Top-25 Poll.
  • Return all five starters and 98.7 percent of its offensive production from last year’s squad that tied a school record for wins (29) and won the MAC regular season championship with a 19-1 record.
  • Senior guard/forward Quinesha Lockett, a two-time All-MAC First-Team and Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award preseason selection, leads the team in scoring (16.3 points per game), along with averaging 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

SCOUTING FRESNO STATE

  • Started the season 3-2 with wins over Fresno Pacific (66-49), UC Riverside (54-40) and UC Merced (71-28) and losses to CSU Bakersfield (56-53) and Cal Poly (48-47) , all at home.
  • Picked ninth out of 11th in the Mountain West Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll and return two starters from last year’s squad that went 11-18 overall and 7-10 in league play.
  • Have limited opponents to 44.2 points per game, fourth-best in the nation.
  • Senior guard Yanina Todorova (14.4) leads the team in scoring along with 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

AGAINST THE ROCKETS AND BULLDOGS

  • This is the first matchup against Toledo.
  • Penn State defeated Fresno State 90-67 on Dec. 20, 1990 in the Golden Bear Classic hosted by California in Berkeley, Calif. in the only matchup between the two programs.

A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES

  • Penn State recorded its largest comeback in program history against Syracuse, bouncing back from a 21-point deficit three minutes into the third quarter to win 82-69.
  • The previous school record for a comeback was 17 against Wisconsin (W, 58-56 in overtime on Jan. 22, 2009, trailed 24-41 with 10:21 remaining in the second half).
  • The 21-point comeback is tied for the second largest in Big Ten history (Nebraska over Creighton, Dec. 6, 2015).
  • Penn State was able to cut the deficit to 10 (55-45) at the end of the third and then took over in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Orange 37-14 to hand them their first loss of the season.
  • Makenna Marisa and Shay Ciezki scored 13 points apiece to lead the charge for Penn State in the fourth quarter.
  • The duo combined for 9-of-14 shooting, highlighted by a 3-for-5 mark beyond the arc by Ciezki.
  • Chanaya Pinto pulled down six rebounds in the fourth quarter, which was three more than Syracuse had as a team.
  • Alli Campbell had a pair of steals to account for two of the Orange’s five turnovers.
  • The Lady Lions didn’t commit a turnover in the quarter and held the Orange off the free-throw line.
  • They also dished out eight assists on their 13 field goals while shooting 65 percent from the field.
  • The 37 points in the fourth is the third-most scored in a quarter, two off the school record (Michigan State, Jan. 17, 2016 and Saint Peter’s, Nov. 13, 2016).
  • The Lady Lions went 13-20 (65%) from the field in the final quarter, including 7-15 (46.7%) from three.
  • In the third quarter, Penn State went 8-16 from the field and 4-8 from three.
  • Penn State got 20 bench points in the second half with none by Syracuse and had a 13-1 fast break, 19-5 second chance points and 27-11 rebounding advantages in the last two quarters.
  • Marisa led all players in scoring in the game with 22 points while adding eight rebounds and seven assists.
  • Johnasia Cash just missed a double-double as she led all players with 12 rebounds in addition to her nine points.

ONE OF THE TOP POINT GUARDS IN THE NATION, MAKENNA MARISA

  • Senior Makenna Marisa was one of 20 point guards selected to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List heading into the season and named to the All-Big Ten Preseason Team by the coaches and media.
  • Through five games, she leads the team in scoring (19.6 ppg) and assists (5.0 apg) in addition to 6.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game.
  • She notched a double-double in the first two contests: 24 points and 11 rebounds against Norfolk State and 14 points and 10 assists against Fairfield.
  • In the program’s largest comeback against Syracuse, she produced 22 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, eight rebounds and seven assists.
  • She has recorded 62 double-digit scoring games, including 34-straight dating back to the start of last season, and 27 20-point games with three this year.
  • With 1,342 career points, she is 18th in school history, moving ahead of Cheryl Ellison (1979-83, 1,320) and Maren Walseth (1997-01, 1,328) against the Orange.
  • Starting this season ranked 24th, she needs 87 more to pass Jen Bednarek (1977-80, 1,428) for 17th.
  • In program history she also ranks fifth in career free throw percentage (83.4%) and 30-point games (five), ninth in career scoring average (15.3 ppg), tied for ninth in career double-digit assist games (three), 11th in career three-point field goals made (135) and 14th in career assists (337).
  • In the nation, she ranks 13th in career free throw percentage and 74th in career points.
  • For the 2022-23 season, she ranks in the nation 27th in double-doubles, 31st in points (98), 34th in made field goals (36), 38th in steals (14) and 43rd in assists (25).
  • In the Big Ten she is fourth in steals, sixth in scoring, seventh in assists, 10th in free throw percentage and 19th in field goal percentage (46.8).

A TRIO OF 1,000 POINT SCORERS

  • Johnasia Cash notched her 1,000 career point in last Tuesday’s win over Youngstown State, becoming the third current Lady Lion to accomplish the feat: Makenna Marisa (1,342) and Taniyah Thompson (1,244).
  • Cash has produced 360 combined from the 2020-21 and 2022-23 seasons as a Lady Lion for an average of 12.4 ppg.
  • She produced 659 in her seasons at SMU.
  • Thompson accomplished the feat in her three seasons at East Carolina.
  • Among active career scoring leaders in Division I, Marisa ranks 68th, Thompson 96th and Cash 190th.

SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN FOR ALL-FRESHMAN KAPINUS

  • Much like last season, Leilani Kapinus has proved she can do it all for the Lady Lions.
  • This year she leads the squad in rebounding (7.4 per game), steals (18) and blocks (three) in addition to 11.0 points per game, 14 assists, a 55.6 field goal percentage and 77.8 free throw percentage.
  • Kapinus ranks in the Big Ten second in steals (11th in the nation), eighth in rebounding and 14th in free throw percentage.
  • She has scored in double-figures in three games, pulled down at least seven rebounds in all but one contest and gotten at least three steals three times.
  • After redshirting the 2019-20 season, Leilani Kapinus earned All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors last years.
  • Kapinus averaged 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, tallied 46 assists, 33 blocks and 59 steals, shot 43 percent from the floor and collected 16 double-figure games (two with 20+ points and three double-doubles)
  • She was one of eight Division I players with 30+ blocks and 55+ steals.
  • She ranked third in the Big Ten in blocks per game (1.14), third in the Big Ten in steals per game (2.03) and fourth in total steals (59)
  • She led Big Ten freshmen in steals, sitting 13th among all Division I freshmen and held second among Big Ten freshmen in blocks, ranking 13th among all Division I freshmen.

FRESHMAN IMPACT

  • Shay Ciezki has made an instant impact as a freshman.
  • After coming off the bench in the opener, Ciezki has started every game since.
  • In 111 minutes of action as the main ballhandler after Marisa, she has committed just four turnovers with 11 assists.
  • She was pivotal in the team’s 21-point comeback against Syracuse, scoring 16 of her 18 points during the team’s second half rally.
  • She notched her first double-digit scoring performance against Youngstown State with 16 points along with five rebounds and three assists.
  • She produced her first collegiate basket as part of a seven-point, four-rebound and two-steal performance against Fairfield.

UP NEXT

Penn State returns home to face Virginia Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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