Lady Lions Finish Regular Season With a Win
The Penn State women’s basketball team finished the regular season with a win, beating Northwestern 66-56 on Sunday in the fifth annual WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State game. The victory gave the Lady Lions second place in the Big Ten as they head into the Big Ten Tournament next week.
In her final regular-season game, senior Julia Trogele got things started for Penn State, scoring the team’s first four points and grabbing a steal in the first three minutes of the game. Trogele continued to feature in the first half, scoring six points, grabbing five rebounds and getting two steals. In a half that featured nine ties, Northwestern finished with a layup and foul shot that gave them a 31-30 halftime lead.
Northwestern opened the second half with a 7-2 run, but the Lady Lions responded with a 17-2 run of their own. Northwestern cut the lead to five at 49-44, but Maggie Lucas scored the next seven points for Penn State, which blew open the game. Penn State would lead by as much as 13 in the eventual 66-56 victory.
Lucas, in her first ever start for the Lady Lions, led the team with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Zhaque Gray had 12 points, and Mia Nickson had 11 points and nine rebounds. Trogele finished her senior night with six points, eight rebounds and five steals.
With the win, Penn State finishes the regular season at 22-8 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten. They finish in the second spot in the Big Ten standings, which is their best result since winning the Big Ten in 2004. Overall, it has been a successful season for the Lady Lions, coming off a 17-14 record last year. A combination of the team’s success and the Pink Zone event also contributed to the ninth-largest crowd (11,288) for women’s basketball in Bryce Jordan Center history on Sunday.
Next up for the Lady Lions is a trip to Indianapolis to play in the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State will play the winner of Purdue-Indiana on March 4 at 11:30 a.m. Penn State will be looking to win their first Big Ten Tournament since 1996.