Maggie Lucas broke several records last night as she helped propel the Lady Lions over Northwestern, 82-73, and furthered her legacy as one of the greatest women’s basketball players in Penn State history.
Lucas tied for fourth place on the Big Ten’s career scoring list and became the first player since fellow Lady Lion legend Kelly Mazzante to have three consecutive games with 25 points or more. She also broke Penn State’s career free throws, making her 517th shot from the stripe last night. As for the game, Lucas had 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Tori Waldner also had one of the best performances of her career with 14 points, 9 boards, and 5 blocks. Ariel Edwards started slow but ended the night with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
The Wildcats quickly came out and took an early 5-3 lead. Dara Taylor stopped the Wildcats momentum and started a 7-0 run for the Lady Lions, giving Penn State a 10-5 lead.
After Nebraska battled back to tie the game at 12, Penn State ripped off an 11-0 run behind five quick points from Lucas. Edwards, Taylor, and Peyton Whitted also pitched in during the run.
The Wildcats quickly responded with a 10-0, but the Lady Lions answered with a 9-3 of its own. The two teams went back and forth to close out the half, and Penn State took a 38-32 lead into the locker room.
The two teams went back and forth for most of the beginning of the second half, but Penn State was able to extend its lead to as many as 11 points. The Wildcats were unable to get within six points of the Lady Lions until the 11:43 mark of the half, but Penn State answered with a 5-0 run to push its lead to 55-44 with 10:53 remaining.
The Wildcats battled, but Penn State continuously left them at arms length, and led by as many as 13 points in the half. There was some drama toward the end of the game, as Northwestern ripped off an 11-3 run to cut Penn State’s lead to five points, 76-71, with 52 seconds remaining, but the Lady Lions clamped down defensively and closed out the game with a 6-2 run to seal the victory.
The Lady Lions finish the away portion of the regular season on Monday night against Nebraska. The game tips off at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN2.