Lady Lions Cruise to Victory in Nebraska
The Penn State women’s basketball team earned one of their most impressive wins of the season on Sunday against Nebraska, winning 93-73. All five starters for the No. 25 Lady Lions scored in double figures against the No. 23 Cornhuskers.
Maggie Lucas led the Lady Lions (13-4, 3-2 Big Ten) with 24 points on 46.7 percent shooting. She did even better from 3-point range, going 4-6. Alex Bentley was close behind with 23 points, while Mia Nickson led Penn State in rebounding with 11 to go along with 12 points. Lindsey Moore led Nebraska with 16 points, and Emily Cady contributed 15.
Despite Penn State shooting well from the floor, Nebraska (15-2, 4-1 Big Ten) led by six points at the half. A major reason for the Cornhusker lead was due to a discrepancy in fouls. The Lady Lions committed 11 to just six by Nebraska. Penn State put in a dominant performance in the second half, however. Lucas scored 16 of her 24 in the second half, and Penn State shot 60.6 percent in the half en route to the 20-point victory.
This was a significant win for Penn State, as the Lady Lions had not beaten a ranked team since a 103-84 victory over then No. 13 North Carolina on November 30. In addition, this was Penn State’s first win this season on the road against a ranked team. The victory was also revenge for a 71-63 loss suffered to the Cornhuskers back on December 30.
More importantly, the Lady Lions had a balanced offense, getting contributions from all of its starters. Along with Lucas and Bentley, Zhaque Gray had a big game, scoring 16 points on 63.6 percent shooting. Nikki Greene was the fifth Penn State player in double figures, scoring 12 to go along with eight rebounds.
This balanced scoring output is just what Penn State needed to start a tough stretch of the season. The trip to Nebraska was the first of four road contests in the next five games. After traveling to Illinois and facing Iowa at home, the Lady Lions have to go to Michigan and Michigan State. Penn State needs to win a majority of these games if they hope to stay alive in the quest for a Big Ten title.
Penn State’s goes back on the road Thursday when they take on Illinois at 8pm. The Illini are having a tough season at 6-11 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. However, the Lady Lions will still need to be at their best. Despite their record, Illinois is proving a tough team to beat in its last few games, two of which were within three points, and one that went to overtime.