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No. 9 Lady Lions Down NU

Lucas leads Penn State with game-high 26 points.
UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY – Senior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) connected on five three-pointers en route to 26 points to lead the #11/9 Penn State Lady Lions (21-5, 12-2 Big Ten) to an 82-73 win over Northwestern (14-12, 4-9) Thursday night. Junior Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) had one of the best performances of her collegiate career with a personal-best 14 points.
 
It was a banner day for Lucas, who moved into a tie for fourth place on the Big Ten’s career scoring list with Purdue’s MaChelle Joseph (2,505). Additionally, Lucas (32 at Indiana; 25 vs. Wisconsin; 26 vs. Northwestern) became the first player since Kelly Mazzante (31 vs. Baylor; 31 vs. Pittsburgh; 29 vs. Louisiana Tech) in Dec. 2003 to have three consecutive games with 25 or more points. With seven free throws, Lucas also broke the Penn State career free throws made record previously held by Kahadeejah Herbert (512; 1982-85) with her 517th career tally from the charity stripe. In addition to her 26 points, Lucas had four rebounds, three assists and four steals.
 
Waldner was 6-for-11 from the field en route to her 14 points, which bests her previous career high of 11 that was set twice this year. She also pulled in nine rebounds and tied her personal best with five blocked shots. Senior Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) was quiet early, but had back-to-back three-point plays to spark her to 15 points with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Fellow senior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) rounded out the list of Lions in double figures with 11 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
 
After the Wildcats took the early 5-3 lead, Taylor jumped-started a 7-0 Lady Lion run with a laup, followed by two freebies by Waldner and one free throw by Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.). Off of the ensuing rebound from East’s missed free throw, Waldner forced the steal and converted on the layup to cap the run and make it a 10-5 Penn State lead with 17:33 left.
 
Northwestern would score seven of the game’s next nine points to even the score at 12-12 with 14 minutes remaining. Lucas was hit on a three-point attempt and converted on all three freebies and had a steal that led to a jumper on the ensuing Wildcat possession. Edwards added to the run with a bucket, followed by a jumper by Taylor and a layup by Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) to end the 11-0 run and make it a 23-12 Penn State lead with 11:24 to play in the half. The Wildcats responded with a 10-0 run of their own to close the gap to 23-22 with 7:41 on the clock.
 
Penn State rolled out a 9-3 run to take a 32-25 lead with 5:21 left. Lucas had five points during the run, while Waldner and Edwards each added two points. However, the Wildcats bounced back with a 7-2 run of their own to close the gap to two (34-32) with two and half minutes left. The Lady Lions scored the final four points of the half thanks to a pull-up by Taylor and two free throws by Whitted to take a 38-32 lead at the break.
 
Much like the first half, Northwestern scored four of the first six points in the second half to make it a four-point game (40-36) with 18:34 remaining. PennState came back strong with one free throw by Taylor, a layup by Waldner off of the feed from Lucas and a Lucas four-point play to give the Lions a 47-36 lead with 16 minutes left.
 
The Wildcats would close the gap again by scoring eight of the game’s next 11 points to make it a six-point margin (50-44) with less than 12 minutes left. The Lady Lions scored the next five points thanks to a layup by Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and a three-pointer by Lucas to make it 55-44 with less than 11 minutes remaining.
 
After Northwestern scored seven of the next 10 points, Edwards connected on back-to-back old-fashioned three-point plays to push the lead to 13 (64-51)with 6:18 on the clock. The Wildcats would not go quietly as the scored nine of the game’s next 13 points to make it an eight-point margin (68-60) with 4:15 left.
 
The Lady Lions would score the next five points thanks to scores by Edwards and East and one free throw by Mitchell to extend the lead to 13 (73-60). The Wildcats would get within five points (76-71) down the stretch, but Mitchell sealed the win with six consecutive free throws in the final 34 seconds.
 
-PSU Athletics Communications
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