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Nittany Notebook

Notebook (1-11): O’Brien to be Alabama’s new OC: report

Update: 8:17 p.m.

**Former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is expected to become the new offensive coordinator at Alabama, according to Bruce Feldman.

Here is what we wrote last week about O’Brien’s future and the Alabama possibility.

Update: 10:10 a.m.

**The Penn State women’s basketball team snapped a 19-game conference losing streak and won a Big Ten game for the first time in a full calendar year, as the Lady Lions pulled off a 69-60 victory at Minnesota on Sunday.

Penn State ended last season with 15 consecutive losses in the Big Ten, and the Lady Lions started this season 0-4 in the league. Their last Big Ten victory had come on Jan. 9, 2020 with an 86-73 win over Michigan State.

One year and one day later, the Lady Lions finally tasted victory again. They improved to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the league.

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

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Penn State went just 1-17 in the Big Ten last season. Sunday’s win was PSU’s first at Minnesota in nine years, since Feb. 5, 2012.

Kelly Jekot led the Lady Lions wit 15 points, while Johnasia Cash had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Maddie Burke added 12 points.

“A total team effort and 24 points of the bench,” Kieger said. “I thought our bench was phenomenal. 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.”

Game recap from PSU’s release:


  • A back-and-forth first quarter saw two tie scores and three lead changes as neither team led by more than two. The Penn State defense held the Gophers to a 31 percent (5-for-16) mark in the term and senior Niya Beverley drilled a three-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 three-pointers and Cash added a pair of free throws to comprise an 8-0 run that put Penn State on top 23-16. The Gophers clawed back with a 15-3 run over the next 4:14 that gave Minnesota a 31-26 edge with 3:19 left in the first half.
  • Two more points from Burke were followed a three-pointer from freshman Tova Sabel as a quick 5-0 Penn State run 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 its strong third quarter with a quick 10-2 run that put the Lady Lions in front 43-36 less than two minutes into the stanza. Penn State’s defense stepped up to hold the Gophers to just four third-quarter field goals and Beverley put the cherry on top of the strong quarter as she ended it the same way she ended the first, with a last-second three-pointer that gave Penn State a 54-44 lead.
  • 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 as Penn State picked up the 69-60 road victory for its first Big Ten win of the season.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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