Penn State wins key Big Ten duel
Lucas tallies game-high 28 points as Nittany Lions down Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- In a game that featured seven ties and 12 lead changes, No. 12 Penn State (21-5, 11-3) claimed a 74-63 win at No. 17 Purdue (19-6, 9-3) on Thursday night in front of 8,681 fans at Mackey Arena. The Lady Lions won in West Lafayette for the first time since Jan. 2, 2004, snapping a six-game road losing streak to the Boilermakers.
The Lady Lions landed four players in double figures, led by Maggie Lucas, who was 5-for-7 from three-point range, en route to a game-high 28 points. She scored 20 points in the second half to help Penn State push past the Boilers. Mia Nickson had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. She also blocked a career-high two shots.
Alex Bentley added 10 points, four rebounds and four steals, while Zhaque Gray chipped in with 10 points, three assists and two steals. Nikki Greene was solid on the boards with eight rebounds to go with three points and a block. The victory marked the Lady Lions' 10th road win of the season, the most by a Penn State team since the 1993-94 squad won 11 games away from Happy Valley.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 6 Miami (Fla.) 73, NC State 61|
|Alabama 77, No. 7 Kentucky 75|
|No. 8 Maryland 73, Virginia 56|
|No. 9 Ohio State 75, Indiana 54|
|No. 10 Delaware 89, Hofstra 79|
|No. 11 Green Bay 90, Cleveland State 59|
|No. 12 Penn State 74, No. 17 Purdue 63|
|No. 13 Tennessee 57, Mississippi State 41|
|Northwestern 63, No. 16 Nebraska 51|
|No. 18 Georgia 61, No. 25 South Carolina 59|
|No. 20 Georgia Tech 67, Wake Forest 52|
|San Francisco 71, No. 23 BYU 64|
The teams were evenly matched early on with neither squad establishing a lead of more than three points in the first 13 minutes. With a layup by Talia East and a layup in transition by Bentley, the Lady Lions took a 25-21 lead with 6:39 on the clock.
The squads exchanged scores until six consecutive points by Penn State, featuring buckets by Lucas, Nickson and Bentley, pushed the Nittany Lions to a six-point advantage (35-29) with 1:39 remaining in the half. However, the Boilermakers scored the final six points of the opening frame to send the teams into the locker room with Penn State leading 35-33.
Lucas tallied eight points and two rebounds in the opening frame, while Bentley and Nickson added six tallies each. East was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and had five points in the first half. The Lady Lions shot 44.1 percent from the field, but were outrebounded, 20-19.
The Boilers evened the score at 35-35 on a basket by Sam Ostarello about a minute and a half into the second frame. However, a personal 8-0 run for Lucas that featured a pair of three pointers gave the Lady Lions a 43-35 lead with 16:41 remaining and forced Purdue to take a timeout. The Boilers came out strong after the timeout as they clicked off a 6-1 run to close within three (44-41) with 14 minutes remaining.
Following a bucket by Nickson, the Boilermakers scored five of the game's next six points to make it a one-point game (47-46) with 10:41 to play. A Lucas three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Gray extended the PSU lead back to six (52-46) with nine minutes left.
The teams swapped scores over the next several minutes until back-to-back scores by Gray and Lucas extended the Nittany Lion lead to eight (66-58) with three minutes remaining. A three-point play by Purdue's Courtney Moses sliced into the lead, but a pair of free throws by Gray pushed the lead back to seven.
The Boilers once again got within five, but Nickson connected on a 16-footer as the shot clock expired to make it a 70-63 game. The Lady Lions sealed the win going 4-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch.