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Lady Lions Destroy Alcorn State

Dara Taylor had a career day, with 20 points and 7 steals in the 85-62 victory.
UNIVERSITY PARK – Senior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) had a career day to pace the #18/17 Lady Lions (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) to an 85-62 win over Alcorn State (1-9) Sunday. Penn State had three players reach double digits and 10 players score in the victory.
Taylor scored a personal best 20 points via a 9-for-12 shooting night and matched her career high with seven steals. To complete her performance Taylor grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists. Taylor’s backcourt mate Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) turned in a 19-point performance, including a stellar day at the charity stripe with an 11-for-11 effort. Lucas also grabbed fiverebounds and added four assists and a steal to round out her day.
Senior guard/forward Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) was the third Lady Lion to reach double figures in the scoring column with 10 points to go along with two steals, while junior Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) led the team in rebounding and blocks with 10 boards and four rejections. Freshman guard/forward Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) had a career-best six points with four rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes.
The Lady Lions opened up the game with a strong start, scoring the game’s first seven points. Taylor canned back-to-back jumpers for Penn State’s first four points. Lucas capped off the run with an old-fashioned three-point play. Over the next three minutes of action, bothteams traded buckets with each side scoring six points, moving the score to13-6 with 15 minutes left.
The seven-point gap was as close as the Lady Braves would get for the remainder of the contest. Penn State reeled off 11 of the next 13 points to go up 24-8 with just over 10 minutes left in the first frame. During the run the Blue and White received scores from Taylor, Lucas, Whitted, Alex Harris (Lorain, Ohio) and Edwards.
With 5:59 to play in the opening half, Taylor knocked down a shot from behind the arc to stretch the Lady Lions’ lead to 23 at 40-17, their largest of the half. Alcorn State outscored Penn State 11-9 to close out the first 20 minutes of play and make the score 49-28 at the break.
The Lady Lions saw nine players get into the scoring column in the first half with Taylor and Lucas each reaching doublefigures. Taylor led Penn State with 12 points and Lucas poured in 11.
The Blue and White pushed its lead over 30 with 14:21 left in the second stanza, as Taylor knocked down a jumper on the break to give the Lady Lions a 31-point advantage at 65-34, its largest of the game. The two sides exchanged baskets the rest of the way and Penn State went on to defeat the Lady Braves by a final of 85-62. The 23-point margin marked the third time the Lady Lions have defeated an opponent by at least 20 points.
GAME NOTES: The Lady Lions are 1-0 vs. Alcorn State all-time and 5-0 vs. SWAC teams all-time … The Lady Lions’ last game vs. a SWAC foe had been vs. Prairie View A&M on Nov. 21, 2008 … Dara Taylor eclipsed her career-high with 20 points and tied her career-high with seven steals. Her previous high was 19 points vs. South Dakota State on Dec. 11 … Taylor had four assists to surpass 400 in her career, finishing with 402 … Maggie Lucas scored 19 points, giving her 2,073 career points, good for 14th place on the Big Ten scoring list. Illinois’ Ashley Berggren is 13th with 2,089 points … Lucas was 0-for-2 on three-point field goal attempts, snapping her school record 45-game streak with at least one made three-pointer. Lucas was last held without a three-pointer against Purdue in the 2012 Big Ten Tournament (3/3/12) … Ariel Edwards scored 10 points to surpass 700 points in her career (701) … Tori Waldner had four blocks, giving her at least one block in 10 consecutive games … Waldner moved into 16th place on the school career blocks list with 70. Talia East is 15th with 71 career blocks … Freshman Peyton Whitted tallied a season-high six points, surpassing her previous high of four points in the season opener vs. St. Francis (Pa.) … Freshman Jenny DeGraaf tallied a season-high five points and made her first career three-pointer. Her previous high was two points vs. Bucknell.
The Lady Lions take a break for the holidays before hosting Hartford on Sunday,Dec. 29 at 2 p.m.
--Penn State Athletic Communications

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