Lady Lions Scrap Past Illinois 71-65
The Penn State women’s basketball team earned a narrow victory at Illinois on Thursday, squeaking past the Illini by a 71-65 margin. Led by 19 points from Maggie Lucas, the Lady Lions improved to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big Ten after the hard-fought contest.
With a combined 42 fouls and three players that fouled out, the game could hardly be described as pretty. Regardless, Penn State will take a win that pushes its streak to three, with the last two coming on the road.
Illinois led for much of the first half but could never put Penn State away. The Illini were stingy on defense, holding the Lady Lions to just 38.6 percent shooting and three 3-pointers. However, Penn State made 24 free throws and out-rebounded Illinois 39-29. On the other side of the ball, Illinois also shot just 38 percent and missed plenty of opportunities, shooting just 18-31 from the stripe.
Lucas led the Lady Lions with the aforementioned 19 points, 10 of which game from the free throw line. Alex Bentley contributed 15 points despite going 0-5 from the line. Nikki Greene scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds before fouling out of the game. Talia East was the other Lady Lion to foul out of the game. Illinois was led by Adrienne Godbold, who scored 19 points to go along with eight rebounds.
The Lady Lions did not win pretty, but they will take the victory regardless. During this current stretch of four out of five games on the road, Penn State has taken the first two. After returning home to take on Iowa, the Lady Lions will tour the Great Lakes state, travelling to Michigan and Michigan State.
The home tilt with Iowa will be in the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Hawkeyes find themselves at 3-3 in the Big Ten and will provide a tough test for Penn State this weekend.