Despite an 18-point effort from junior Maggie Lucas, the No. 7 Lady Lions (17-3, 7-1 Big Ten) had their 11-game winning streak snapped in a road loss to lowly Wisconsin (10-11, 2-6 Big Ten) on Thursday night in Madison 63-61.
The Badgers took an early lead, up 8-2 after three minutes and pushing to a 17-6 lead with 11:30 left in the first half. Senior Alex Bentley played for only ten first-half minutes due to gaining two fouls early. Junior Dara Taylor led the team for most of the first half with ten points. The Lady Lions went on an 18-3 run to end the half and led 33-29.
On the first possession of the second half, Bentley committed her third foul, another fallback for Penn State.
Wisconsin’s offense was strong, going 7-for-9 to begin the second half. Threes from junior Ariel Edwards and Lucas gave Penn State a momentum boost and the lead was 41-36 with 15 minutes left in the game.
Throughout the rest of the half, there were multiple lead changes and tie scores. With 22.1 seconds left, Bentley tied it up at 61. On Wisconsin’s possession, Cassie Rochel lobbed an airball, and Wisconsin’s Tiera Stephens recovered with the put-back to give Wisconsin the lead at 63-61 with five seconds left. Alex Bentley’s game-tying attempt came up short for the Lady Lions.
Morgan Paige scored a career high 33 points for the Badgers. Jacki Gulczynski added 16 and Stephens scored five points to go with her 11 rebounds.
In addition to Lucas’ 18 points, Mia Nickson added 11 and Taylor scored 10 for Penn State.
This is the first Big Ten Conference loss for the Lady Lions, and the first loss for them since a road 67-52 loss at UConn on December 6. The loss comes just two weeks after the Lady Lions destroyed the same Wisconsin team by 44 points at home.
Their next game is on Monday at 7 p.m. against Purdue at the Bryce Jordan Center.