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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- It did not come easy for the Penn State women's basketball team on Thursday (March 2) inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a 70-64 setback to Minnesota in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Lady Lions trailed by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but battled back to take the lead in the third quarter before the Gophers distanced themselves down the stretch.
Sophomore Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) kept the Lady Lions in the game early with 17 first half points. Her first basket of the game pushed her into exclusive company, giving her 1,000 points for her career in just her sophomore season. The Chicago, Ill. native, became just the fourth Penn State sophomore to reach 1,000 points. She joined a club that includes Kelly Mazzante, Maggie Lucas and Susan Robinson -- all who reached 2,000 points for their careers.
The 17 first half points were just a sign of what was to come, as the sophomore notched 18 points in the second half to set a Penn State Big Ten Tournament record with 35 tallies. Her 35 points bested Mazzante's 34 points against Wisconsin on March 3, 2002 and are tied for the third-most points ever scored in a Big Ten Tournament game in the history of the event. The 35 points are also the most scored by a player in a losing effort in Big Ten Tournament history.
Page moved up two spots on the career scoring charts, passing Helen Holloway (1,022, 1991-94) and Rashana Barnes (1,24, 1999-2002), and is seated at No. 36 with 1,033 career points.
Furthermore, Page's 35 points mark her fifth career 30-point game, which ranks No. 4 all-time at Penn State. It was her fourth such effort of the season, the most since Mazzante accounted for nine 30-point contests in 2002-03.
Graduate student Sierra Moore (Hanover, Pa.) posted her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Of Moore's 11 rebounds, nine of them were of the offensive variety, and she added three assists and two blocked shots in the game.
Redshirt-freshman Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) handed out five assists to move into a tie for No. 6 on the freshman season assists charts with Alex Bentley. Carter now has 125 helpers, equaling Bentley's total from the 2009-10 campaign.
In the game, senior Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) moved past the 700 point mark for her career. Her four points give her 703 career tallies. She added three rebounds to her total.
Penn State set a Big Ten Tournament record for rebounds in a tournament game with 50 caroms. Of Those 50 boards, an equal amount came on the offensive and defensive glass. The 25 offensive rebounds are the most in a game since grabbing 29 offensive rebounds against Ohio State on Feb. 20, 2012.
With 00:13 left in the third quarter
A Minnesota offensive rebound and putback from Jessie Edwards gave the Gophers a one-point lead, 46-45, to end the third quarter and sparked a 5-0 run that gave the Gophers the lead for good. Penn State would rally to tie the game at 49 points with 9:07 to play, but Minnesota would eventually stretch the lead back to 10 points and hold on the for the win.
- G Teniya Page --A Big Ten Tournament record 35 points came on 11-of-22 shooting, including four 3-pointers and a 9-of-10 effort from the free throw line. Added five rebounds and didn't commit a turnover in 40 minutes of action.
- G Sierra Moore -- Posted her first double-double of the season -- fourth of her career -- with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Pulled down nine offensive boards. Added three assists and two blocked shots.
- Boarding School --The Lady Lions grabbed a Big Ten Tournament record 50 rebounds against the Gophers, including 25 offensive boards.
- G Carlie Wagner -- Scored 26 points and added 10 rebounds.
- G Kenisha Bell --Added 13 points, four assists, four steals and two rebounds.
- Turning in Turnovers --Scored 23 points off of 15 Penn State turnovers.
Penn State committed seven turnovers in the opening 10 minutes, which led to 13 Minnesota points and enabled the Gophers to grab the early lead. Carlie Wagner scored 11 first quarter points for Minnesota, including three 3-pointers. Wagner's third connection from distance gave the Gophers a 10-point lead with 1:30 to play and her ensuing two free throws made it a 12-point edge, 26-14, with 42 seconds remaining. Teniya Page knocked down her third 3-pointer of the opening frame with just five ticks on the clock to pull Penn State closer, 26-17, at the end of one.
Minnesota 26, Penn State 17
Neither team could get much going in the early going of the second quarter, coming for just four total points -- two for each side -- over the opening four minutes. However, Minnesota got the offense going and pushed its lead back to 11 points, 32-21, with 5:37 to play. From that point, Penn State held the Gophers off the scoreboard for a 3:34 stretch, but could muster just four points of its own, trimming the deficit to seven, 32-25. The Gophers would not connect on a field goal for the final 6:11 of the half -- limiting the Gophers to just three free throws made -- and Penn State added eight more points over that span to make it a four-point game entering the halftime break.
Minnesota 33, Penn State 29
Penn State stormed back behind Page in the third quarter, as the sophomore scored 11 of the team's 16 points in the third 10 minutes. Page's 3-pointer with 4:21 to play in the quarter knotted the score at 39 points. After she hit a pair of free throws to knot the score back up at 41, Lindsey Spann's (Laurel, Md.) layup at the 3:23 mark gave Penn State its first lead of the game, but Wagner answered on the next possession with a 3-pointer to push Minnesota back into the lead. Both teams got layups in the final 35 seconds to send the game to the fourth quarter at 46-45 in favor of the Gophers.
Minnesota 46, Penn State 45
After Minnesota pushed its lead to four points on a Wagner and-one play, 49-45, Penn State got a Jaylen Williams (Easton, Md.) layup and a bucket from Page to even the score with 9:07 to play. The Gophers then reeled off a 12-2 spurt to push the lead back to double-figures, 61-51, with 4:50 to play. That wasn't the end for Penn State, as four points from Sierra Moore, two from Page and an Amari Carter layup brought the lead to just two points, 61-59, with 2:51 to play. Minnesota would score nine of the final 14 points to close out the game and end the Lady Lions stay in Indianapolis after just one game.
Minnesota 70, Penn State 64
Penn State will now await its postseason fate, as the selections show for the NCAA Tournament will occur on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m.