Lucas, Trogele Lead Lady Lions to Big Ten Final
As players, Maggie Lucas and Julia Trogele do not have much in common. Lucas is a guard, a freshman, a bench player, and is known for her 3-point shooting. Trogele is a forward, a senior, a starter, and is known more for her rebounding and leadership. What the two do have in common is the fact that they led the Penn State women’s basketball team to the Big Ten Championship game by beating Illinois 79-64 on Saturday.
Lucas made her impact early. After being subbed in just 2:07 into the game, Lucas made her first two 3-pointers to break the Big Ten record for most 3-pointers made in a season, previously held by Ohio State’s Caity Matter with 106. Lucas’s second three sparked an 18-3 run that gave the Lady Lions a 25-14 lead with 9:47 remaining. Penn State led by as much as 16 points, but the offense sputtered, and Illinois closed the deficit to just three points at the break.
The first half may have been Lucas’s time to shine, but the second half was all about Trogele. With Penn State leading by three, Trogele scored four straight points to break open the game. The Lady Lions pushed the lead out to as much as 18 in the second half, with Trogele converting all 12 of her free throws to finish the game off.
Lucas led the Lady Lions with 23 points on 50 percent shooting. Trogele recorded her first-ever 20-point game as a Lady Lion, and she also brought down nine rebounds. Penn State dominated the glass, grabbing nine more than Illinois. Along with rebounding, the game may have been won at the foul line. The Lady Lions scored 15 more free throws than the Illini, converting 25 of 30 attempts.
Penn State improves to 24-8 with the win and will be looking for their first Big Ten Tournament title since 1996 on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. They will face Ohio State, who beat Michigan State in their semifinal. In the regular season, Penn State and Ohio State split their two games, each winning on their home court.