COLUMBUS, OH - The #10/9 Penn State Lady Lions (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten) dominated the second half with a solid defensive effort on the way to a 74-54 win at Ohio State (14-13, 4-7) Sunday afternoon. Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) posted her 60th career game with 20 or more points to move into fifth place on the Big Ten's career scoring chart.
The win also marked the 875th in Penn State program history, making the Lions just the 12th team to accomplish the feat. Penn State also won back-to-back games in Columbus for the first time since 2002 and 2004.
Lucas was 9-for-14 on the day and finished with 23 points to pace the Lady Lions. With the effort, Lucas moved into fifth place in Big Ten history with 2,322 points, passing Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (7th place; 2,303), Northwestern's Anucha Browne (6th place; 2,307) and Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson (5th place; 2,312).
Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) continued her solid play inside with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) added 12 points, four rebounds and six assists in the win. Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) had one of her best performances of late with seven points and two rebounds.
The squads came out and exchanged scores that saw the Buckeyes take the early 9-6 lead, but the Lady Lions responded with a 7-0 spurt thanks to a layup by Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.), a three-pointer by Taylor and a bucket by Agee to take a 13-9 lead with 15 minutes left. The Buckeyes pulled within one point after scoring five of the game's next seven points to make it 15-14 with 11:31 left in the opening period.
Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) kick-started the Lions' next run with a layup, followed by two free throws by Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) to push the lead back to five. After a three-pointer by Ameryst Alston, Lucas connected on her first three of the game to make it 22-17 with 9:25 left. After an exchange of baskets, Ohio State clicked off a 14-2 run to take a 33-26 lead with 4:45 to play in the first half.
The Lady Lions fought back and closed the first half on a 12-3 run thanks to six points each from Lucas and East. Penn State held the Buckeyes without a field goal for the final 4:45 of the half.
Penn State continued to carry the momentum as Taylor knocked down her second three-pointer of the game just 16 seconds into the frame. Taylor's three was followed by six consecutive points by Lucas to give the Lady Lions a 47-36 lead with 16 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes would not go away, scoring seven of the game's next nine points to close within six (49-43) with 13 minutes left.
The Lady Lions kept the pressure going on both ends of the court as they responded with a 10-1 run to push the lead to 15 at 59-44 with 8:38 left. Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) opened the run and after one Buckeye free throw, Lucas hit two freebies of her own, followed by scores by Edwards, Whitted and Taylor to close out the spurt.
Ohio State outscored the Lady Lions 7-2 in the next stretch to make it a 63-51 game, but that is as close as the Buckeyes would get as the Lions clicked off a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.
GAME NOTES: With 23 points, Maggie Lucas became just the second Lady Lion to reach the 2,300 point mark in her career, as the senior now has 2,322 ... Lucas surpassed three former Big Ten greats this afternoon on the conference's all-time scoring list, moving into fifth place with 2,322 career points. The senior passed Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (2,303; 2004-07), Northwestern's Achunwa Brown (2,307; 1982-85) and Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson (2,312; 2005-08) ... With a steal on Sunday, Lucas moved into a tie with Carol Walderman (217; 1981-83) for 12th place on the Lady Lion career steals chart with 217 ... Lucas handed out an assist against Ohio State to move into a tie for 16th place on Penn State's all-time assists list, joining Lisa Shepherd (263; 1998-01) ... After attempting 14 shots in Columbus, Lucas moved past Tyra Grant (1,755; 2007-10) for second place for career field goal attempts with 1,759 ... Talia East's two blocks moved the senior into 11th place on Penn State's career blocks list, surpassing Vicki Link (87; 1984-87) and Reicina Russell (87; 2003-04) with 88 ... Tori Waldner tied her career high for most assists in a Big Ten contest with four on the afternoon, a mark she previously posted against Indiana (2/2/12) ... The win was the 875th victory in program history, as Penn State becomes the 12th program in NCAA history to accomplish the feat ... Today's victory marks the first back-to-back wins in Columbus since it occurred in 2002 and 2004 ... The Lady Lions are now 36-21 all-time against the Buckeyes ... The win is the program's 240th victory in Big Ten play.
The Lady Lions visit Indiana on Thursday at 7 p.m., before returning home for the Eighth Annual Pink Zone game against Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.
--Penn State Athletic Communications
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