In a game that can only be described as scrappy, the #8 Lady Lions (16-2, 6-0) pulled off a win against an aggressive 13-4 Minnesota on Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center with a score of 64-59.
Led in scoring by junior Maggie Lucas, who had 26 points (as well as 6 rebounds and 4 assists), the Lady Lions forced 23 turnovers for the Golden Gophers and tacked on another victory to their now 10-game winning streak.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end to start out the game with a combined 13 points scored after 5 minutes. At the half, Penn State led 31-29 despite shooting 35% from the field. Lucas led with 11 points at halftime.
Senior Alex Bentley netted 12 points for the Lady Lions including quick, important jumpers at clutch time towards the end of the game.
Senior Nikki Greene joined an elite club on Thursday night, scoring her 1,000th point with 7:45 left in the game. She is the third current Lady Lion (in addition to Lucas and Bentley) and the 35th player in history to do so. With the addition of a wide hook shot and 3 free throws, Greene ended with 9 points and 13 rebounds.
Although the score was kept close throughout the game, Lucas was fouled twice within the last 25 seconds, forcing Minnesota’s Leah Cotton out of the game with 5 fouls, and sunk all 4 attempted free throws. With a Dara Taylor steal on Minnesota’s “hail mary” pass, Penn State secured their largest lead of the entire game and dribbled it out for the win.
The Lady Lions remain the only undefeated team in Big Ten Conference play. They take on Ohio State (11-8, 1-5) in Columbus on Sunday at 1 p.m.