Lady Lions Advance, Play Michigan State in B1G Tournament
The top-seeded Lady Lions won their first round game of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, defeating Ohio State 76-66. The team plays No. 4 Michigan State tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Alex Bentley led the way with a game high 20 points, while Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas chipped in with 18 points. Mia Nickson also added eight points to go with her 11 rebounds.
The teams played a close first half, with Penn State only leading 33-31 at the break. The Lady Lions then used a 10-0 run early in the second half to give them a cushion that they wouldn’t relinquish.
The lead increased to 18 points throughout the second half until Ohio State cut it to seven on back-to-back 3-pointers, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch ultimately gave the Lady Lions the win. Penn State shot 62.5 percent in the second half to pull away from the Buckeyes.
The Lady Lions now take in No. 4 seed Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The Spartans defeated their rival Michigan in the first round of the tournament to improve to 23-7 overall. They were led by Klarissa Bell’s 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
The two teams have met twice this season already, with Penn State winning both matchups. They won 76-55 in East Lansing, and won 71-56 in State College.
No. 2 seed Nebraska plays No. 3 seed Purdue in the other semifinal game at 4 p.m. tonight. This is only the fourth time that all top-4 seeds have advanced to the semifinals.