The Lady Lions had to battle their way to victory Thursday night, but were able to defeat Purdue 75-72 to move to 16-4 on the season and 7-1 in Big Ten play.
It was a tight game with six ties and seven lead changes, but Penn State was able to get the win behind four players scoring double digits. Maggie Lucas was at the helm of the scoring with 23 points, moving her to second place on Penn State’s career scoring list and ninth place in Big Ten history.
Purdue stormed out to an 8-2 lead, but the Lady Lions responded with a 10-3 run to take a 12-11 lead with more than 12 minutes left. Purdue didn’t let the Lions hold onto momentum for long, and quickly responded with their own run,11-3, and took the lead at 22-15. Penn State responded after a timeout with a 10-0 run and took a 25-22 lead with 6:11 left in the half.
The two teams exchanged blows for the remainder of the half, and after an Ariel Edwards jumper closed the first half, Purdue took a 34-33 lead into the locker room.
Edwards carried the momentum she had at the end of the first half into the second. She scored the Lady Lions first four points to give the Lions a 37-34 lead. Lucas helped to push the lead to 40-36 with a three. However, the Boilermakers responded and scored the next four points to tie the game at 40-40 early in the half.
Dara Taylor scored four quick points to give PSU a 44-40 lead, but again, the Boilermakers fought back to tie the game at 44.
Purdue then went on an 8-4 run, but Lucas lead the Lions on another run with a three-pointer, Edwards followed with two free throws and Taylor had a basket to establish the Lions’ biggest lead of the game at 61-52 with 7:29 remaining. The Boilermakers wouldn’t go down without a fight, and used a 9-2 run to cut the lead to two with 5:33 left. Edwards and Taylor helped to push the Lions’ lead back to five at 66-61 with five minutes left.
Penn State couldn’t put Purdue away, as the Boilermakers made one last push with a 6-2 run. However, layups by Edwards and East and a free throw by by Kaliyah Mitchell sealed the win for the Lions.
The Lady Lions will take the court and look to extend its five game winning streak on Sunday at Northwestern. The game tips off at 2 p.m.