No. 13/12 Lady Lions Top No. 16/19 Purdue, 75-72
Jan. 30, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. - In the kind of game you would expect from a pair of ranked teams, the #13/12 Penn State Lady Lions (16-4, 7-1 Big Ten) landed four players in double figures and held off a late run as they posted a 75-72 over #16/19 Purdue (15-5, 5-3) Thursday night. Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) scored 23 points on the night to move into second place on Penn State's career scoring list and ninth place in Big Ten history (2,259 points).
Lucas turned in a complete performance to go along with her 23 points, she had five rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals. She was efficient, hitting on 9-of-15 shots from the field for her 23 tallies. Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) also turned in a 20-point performance with 21 tallies with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Fellow senior Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) turned in her third double-double of Big Ten play with a career-high tying 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds. Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) also reached double figures with 13 tallies. She also chipped in six rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
The free throw line was the story of the game as the Lions shot just 38.1% (8-21) from the charity stripe, including 1-of-9 in the final five minutes, while the Boilers were 27-of-30 from the line. The game featured six ties and seven lead changes.
The Boilers jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in just over the first four minutes. However, the Lady Lions responded with a 10-3 run that featured two scores from Lucas and three layups for East, two of which came on passes from Lucas, to take a 12-11 lead at the 12:15 mark. Purdue responded with a run of its own with an 11-3 spurt that included two triples from K.K. Houser to extend the Boiler lead to 22-15, forcing Coquese Washington to call a timeout with 9:40 left.
Penn State bounced back out of the timeout starting with another score by East, followed by four straight points by Lucas on a pair of free throws and a jumper to close the gap to one (22-21). Edwards gave Penn State the 23-22 lead and a third scorer for the game with a jumper at the 6:39 mark. Lucas closed out the 10-0 run with a high floater that bounced around and in to give PSU a 25-22 lead with 6:11 left.
The Boilers retook the lead and made it a 28-25 game in their favor thanks the six consecutive free throws with 3:32 left. Edwards knocked down a three-pointer and Taylor scored a fastbreak layup off of a pass from Lucas to give the Lions a 30-28 lead with 2:50 on the clock. After a pair of Purdue freebies, Alex Harris (Lorain, Ohio) made on of two free throws to make it a 31-30 Penn State lead. The Boilers scored the game's next four points before Edward closed the first half scoring with a jumper to make it a 34-33 Purdue lead at the break. Penn State held the Boilermakers to just one field goal in the final 9:42 of the opening frame, but Purdue was 10-for-10 from the free throw line in that span.
Edwards came out strong in the second half, scoring Penn State first four points to give the Lions a 37-34 lead just two minutes in. After an April Wilson score for the Boilers, Lucas hit her second three-pointer of the game to push the lead to 40-36 and move into second place on Penn State's career scoring chart. The Boilers scored the next four points to even the game at 40-40 less than four minutes into the second frame.
Taylor hit a triple and on the next offensive possession made one of two free throws to give PSU a 44-40 lead less than 15 minutes remaining. However, the Boilermakers would score the next four points from the charity stripe to even the score at 44-44 less than a minute later.
East made another great post move off of a pass from Lucas to reach double figures and then the Lions ratcheted up the defense as Taylor nabbed the steal for the layup and Edwards got a steal and found Lucas on the fastbreak for a layup and a 50-44 lead with 13:15 on the clock.
Purdue climbed back into the game with an 8-4 spurt to get within two points (54-52) with nine minutes to play. Lucas started another Penn State run with a three-pointer, followed by two free throws by Edwards and a bucket by Taylor to establish the Lions' biggest lead of the game at 61-52 with 7:29 remaining. The Boilermakers would continue to fight and clicked off a 9-2 run to get within two points (63-61) with 5:33 left before Edwards made a layup and Taylor hit one of two free throws to push the lead back to five at 66-61 with five minutes left.
The squads split the next 12 points before the Boilers made one last push with a 5-2 run to get within two. The Lions struggled to seal the win from the free throw line, missing three of their final four shots, but Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) made it a three-point game with 1.4 seconds left. Courtney Moses' last-second, half court heave fell short to secure the win.
GAME NOTES: The victory gives Penn State back-to-back wins in West Lafayette for the first time in school history ... Maggie Lucas (2,259) moved into ninth place on the Big Ten all-time career scoring list with 23 points, passing Purdue's Shereka Wright (2,251; 2001-04) with the performance ... Lucas surpassed Susan Robinson (2,253; 1989-92) for second place on the all-time Lady Lions' career scoring list ... With two makes from the charity stripe, Lucas moved into a tie for fourth place on the program's career free throws made chart with 478 career makes, joining Helen Darling (478; 1997-00) ... Dara Taylor surpassed the 200 assist milestone in her Penn State career, becoming the 30th player in school history to accomplish the feat and did it in just two years ... Taylor's 13 points propel the guard past the 700 point mark in her four-year playing career (702) ... Talia East recorded her third double-double of the season with 12 boards and 12 points ... Ariel Edwards poured in 21 points on 21 shots, which mark a career-high in attempts, besting her previous high of 18 that came earlier this season against the Boilermakers (1/12/14) ... Alex Harris matched a career high in blocks with three rejections, the most the freshman has recorded in a Big Ten contest ... The win marks the Lady Lions' third over a ranked opponent this season.
The Lady Lions continue their road trip at Northwestern on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). Penn State is back in the BJC to host Iowa on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. The game is a Dollar Dog Night and the Hat Drive. Fans that donate a new hat to benefit THON receive a $5 ticket.
Lady Lion Basketball single-game 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). 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.
For the 15th time, Penn State will host the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds on March 23 and 25, 2014. All-session tickets are $30 for adults and $17 for youth and students. There is also an all-session group rate for groups of 20 or more of any age at $20 per package. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or visiting the Penn State athletics ticket office between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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.