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Jan. 5, 2014
IOWA CITY, IOWA - The #17/15 Penn State Lady Lions (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten) landed five players in double figures as they won a hard-fought 87-71 win over #23/22 Iowa (12-4, 0-2). Senior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) paced the scoring effort with 27 points, while fellow senior Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Lucas had an interesting day with 11 points in the first six minutes of the game and then scored the other 16 points in the final seven minutes of the contest. She also pulled in three rebounds and had two steals while playing the full 40 minutes.
East was 4-for-6 from the field and had a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays en route to her 10 points for her third double-digit output of the season. She corralled 10 rebounds for her third game with 10 boards or more. East also rejected one shot on the day.
Fellow senior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) added 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals, while Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) added 11 points, three rebounds and two helpers despite battling foul trouble in the second half. Junior Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) was 5-for-7 from the field en route to 10 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and nabbed two steals. Fellow Georgia girl Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) had a career game with personal bests of eight points and six rebounds.
The Lady Lions came out strong as Edwards made her first attempt and after a score by Iowa's Theairra Taylor, Lucas nailed her first three-pointer and Edwards had an aggressive drive in the lane to give the Lions a 7-2 lead just 1:15 into the game. The Hawkeyes would score on the next possession to make it a three-point game (7-4) before Lucas hit her second three-pointer of the game and Edwards converted on an old-fashioned three-pointer play, which was sandwiched around a pair of Iowa free throws by Samantha Logic to give Penn State a 13-6 lead with 17 minutes left.
The Hawkeyes scored to cut the PSU lead to five points before Taylor and Lucas combined for a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 20-8 with 14 minutes left. During the run, Lucas connected on her third three-pointer in the first six minutes of the game.
The squads exchanged scores over the next few minutes until a bucket by Taylor and one free throw by Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) extended Penn State's lead to 15 (31-16) with 7 minutes remaining. Iowa fought back with a 9-0 run of their own to close the gap to 31-25 with 3:20 on the clock, but the Lady Lions responded with a rebound and putback by Mitchell and a hook shot by Waldner to push the lead back to double figures. The Hawkeyes scored the game's next five points, all thanks to Melissa Dixon, but the Lady Lions netted the final three tallies of the half to go into the break with a 38-30 lead.
The Hawkeyes came out with a spark in the second half, scoring five points in the first 37 seconds thanks to a three-point play by Taylor and steal and layup by Logic to cut the Penn State lead to 38-35. The teams exchanged scores with the Lady Lions scoring six of 10 points to make it a 44-39 game with 16:33 to play. Iowa would close within two after a 6-3 spurt to make it 47-45 with 15:20 remaining.
Penn State scored the next five points, but once again the Hawkeyes fought back with five points of their own to make it 52-50 with 13:10 left. The Lady Lions went on a 9-2 spurt thanks to a three-point play by East, four free throws by Taylor and a rebound and layup by Whitted to take a 61-52 lead with 10:21 on the clock. Iowa got back-to-back three-pointes from Dixon and Logic to slice the Penn State to 61-58 with nine minutes left.
Led by Lucas, the Lady Lions responded with an 18-7 run to take control of the game and push their lead to 14 points (79-65) with four minutes left. Lucas snapped a 27-minute scoreless streak with a pair of free throws as part of her 10 points during the run. Taylor also added four points, while East and Waldner had two each. The squads swapped scores down the stretch as Penn State secured the 87-71 win.
GAME NOTES: Penn State is now 13-9 in Big Ten season openers and Big Ten road openers ... Maggie Lucas moved into 12th place on the Big Ten all-time career scoring list by netting 27 points, moving her career total to 2,118 ... Lucas passed Minnesota's Carol Ann Shudlick (2,097; 1991-94) with the performance ... Lucas became the third player in Lady Lion history to surpass the 2,100-point mark in her career, joining Susan Robinson (2,253; 1989-92) and Kelly Mazzante (2,919; 2001-04) ... With a steal in the first half, Lucas becomes the 14th player in Penn State history to swipe 200 or more steals in her career ... Lucas scored at least 20 points for the eighth time this season and 22nd time in a Big Ten contest in her career ... Lucas's six makes from the charity stripe moved the senior into sixth place on Penn State's all-time career free throws made list with 444 for her career, passing Tanisha Wright (439; 2002-05) ... Tori Waldner set a career high for points in a Big Ten game with 10 against the Hawkeyes, besting her previous best of six points that she scored three separate times in her career with the most recent coming on Feb. 5, 2012 against Minnesota ... Waldner's block in the second half extends the junior's streak to 12 consecutive games ... Peyton Whitted turned in a career day, setting personal bests with eight points and six rebounds ... Talia East notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds ... The double-double performance is the first of any Lady Lion this season ... East's 10 points are a career high for a Big Ten game, besting her previous best of nine points which she scored twice before in her career (Purdue; 2/4/13 and Indiana 2/2/12) ... Five Penn State players scored in double figures for the second time this season (Bucknell - 11/20/13) ... The Lady Lions are now 27-17 in the all-time series against the Hawkeyes ... The win marks the second victory over a ranked opponent this season with the first coming in a 66-58 takedown of #20/24 Texas A&M on Dec. 15, 2013
The Lady Lions continue their road swing to open conference play at Illinois Thursday at 9 p.m., a game that will air on the Big Ten Network. Penn State's Big Ten home opener will take place on Sunday, Jan. 12 against Purdue at 3 p.m. on ESPN. The game will feature Military Appreciation Day and a Dara Taylor mini-bobblehead giveaway.
Lady Lion Basketball single-game and season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Single-game tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2013-14. New this year, the Lady Lions have introduced a Family Season Ticket package. For $200, fans will get two adult tickets and two youth tickets for the 2013-14 campaign. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.
The 2014 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 as the Lady Lions take on Wisconsin in the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $260,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.