No. 17/16 Lady Lions Post Comeback Win at Michigan State, 66-54
Jan. 19, 2014
EAST LANSING, MICH. - In a game of runs, the #17/16 Penn State Lady Lions (13-4, 4-1 Big Ten) had the last run as they came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to earn a 66-54 win at Michigan State (12-6, 4-1) to hand the Spartans their first conference loss. This marks the first time since 2003 and 2004 that the Lady Lions have won back-to-back games in East Lansing.
Senior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) led the charge for the Lady Lions with 18 points, including 10 makes from the free throw line, four rebounds, two assists and four steals. Senior guard Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) scored 11 of her 16 points in the opening frame. She also added six rebounds and a pair of assists.
Senior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) moved into 10th place on the Big Ten's career scoring chart with 16 markers today. She passes Purdue's Stephanie White for the position. Lucas also had four rebounds and four steals in the victory. Freshman Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) was stellar off of the bench with six points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 16 minutes.
The Spartans sprinted out to a 7-0 lead in the first 2:42, but the Lions fought back with a jumper by Lucas and one Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) free throw to close within four (7-3). After a score by Annalise Pickrel, the Lady Lions clicked off a 9-3 run to tie the game at 12-12 with 12:11 remaining. Edwards paced the run with four points, while Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) and Taylor added two points each and Mitchell made one of two free throws.
The Spartans came out of the 12-minute timeout and posted a 12-4 run to establish a 24-16 lead with 6:50 on the clock. Edwards sparked a 7-2 run that helped the Lady Lions to close the gap. Lucas hit a jumper and after one free throw by the Spartans, Edwards hit one of two from the line and Lucas connected on a deep two-point field goal to make it 25-23 with three minutes to play.
After a three-pointer by Klarissa Bell, the Lady Lions scored four of the game's next five points thanks to two freebies by Taylor and another layup for Edwards to make a 29-27 Spartan lead with 1:34 on the clock. However, Michigan State scored the final five points of the frame to take a 34-27 lead into the break.
The Spartans scored the first basket of the second half to extend their lead to 36-27, but the Lady Lions fought back by scoring six of the game's next 10 points on two free throws by Edwards and baskets by Taylor and East to make it a 40-33 game with 12:14 to play. Lucas then spurred on another Lady Lion run with her first three-pointer, which was followed by a score by Taylor, two free throws by East and a rebound and a putback by Mitchell to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 42-40. Taylor capped the 11-0 run with two free throws to make it a 44-40 game with 14:30 left.
Michigan State scored the next four points to even the score at 44-44, but the Lady Lions clicked off nine consecutive points thanks to a three-pointer by Lucas and scores by Taylor, Edwards and East to make it a 53-44 game with 7:32 remaining. The Spartans scored three of the next four points to close the gap to 54-47, but Penn State got two freebies from Lucas and one free throw from Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) to make it a 10-point lead (57-47) with 4:49 left.
The Spartans scored the next four points to close the gap, but the Lions sealed the win with nine free throws in the final two minutes.
GAME NOTES: With 16 points on Sunday, Maggie Lucas is moved into 10th place on the Big Ten all-time scoring list with 2,193 points in her storied career, passing Purdue's Stephanie White (2,182; 1996-99) ... Tori Waldner reached the 75 career block milestone with a rejection in the first half and became just the 16th player in Lady Lion program history to accumulate 75 swats ... Waldner is tied Tyra Grant (75; 2007-2010) for 15th in Penn State history in career blocks ... Dara Taylor swiped the 200th steal of her collegiate career in the first frame on Sunday ... With 18 points, Taylor equaled her personal best mark for points in a Big Ten game, matching her previous high of 18 against Michigan State (1/6/13) a season ago ... Talia East hit the first of two free throws in the second half to reach the 300-point mark for her Lady Lion career ... Kaliyah Mitchell set a career high for most rebounds in a game with 10, besting her previous mark of eight against Bucknell (11/20/13) ... With the victory, Penn State is now 28-14 in the all-time series against Michigan State ... The Lady Lions won back-to-back contests in East Lansing for the first time since 2003 and 2004.
The Lady Lions are back in the BJC to host Indiana on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. It's Dollar Dog Night and Centre County Women's Resource Center Day. Fans that bring items from the CCWRC needed item list and receive a $5 ticket. It's also another Dollar Dog Night, as well as Greek Night for Penn State students.
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.