Strong Rebounding Leads Penn State Over Indiana
Coming off a loss to Purdue last Thursday, the Lady Lions needed a win against Indiana to stay in the hunt for first place in the Big Ten. It took a double-double from Mia Nickson and dominance on the boards to keep the Hoosiers at bay.
With 15:34 left in the first half, Maggie Lucas hit one of her three 3-pointers to give Penn State the lead. The Lady Lions held this lead for nine minutes until a lay-up moved Indiana ahead at 24-23. Penn State dominated the rest of the half however, and went into the break up 40-30. The Lady Lions shot 71.4 percent from behind the arc and grabbed eight more rebounds than the Hoosiers in the half.
Despite facing a 10-point deficit, Indiana refused to go away. The Hoosiers went on a 10-2 run to open the second half that cut the margin to just two points. Penn State extended the lead back out to seven when Lucas scored a layup with 9:59 remaining in the game, but Indiana gradually came back again. The lead was cut to two with 5:45 remaining, but Penn State pulled away one final time for the 82-69 victory.
The Lady Lions dominated the glass, grabbing 61 rebounds to just 36 for the Hoosiers. Nikki Greene pulled down 20 rebounds, and Nickson had 17. The rebounding margin was key to victory for Penn State due to poor shooting in the second half. The Lady Lions shot only 30 percent and did not make any 3-pointers.
Nickson had 25 points to lead Penn State, Lucas was second with 16, and Alex Bentley was third with 15. Penn State is now 16-5 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten, just one game behind Michigan State in the standings. The Lady Lions head out to face Illinois in their next game on Thursday. In the last meeting between the two teams, Lucas scored 22 points and Penn State won easily, 83-62.