Lady Lions Eke Out a 68-65 Win at Minnesota
Key 3-pointers from Alex Bentley and Zhaque Gray, along with a team-high 20 points from Mia Nickson propelled the Penn State women’s basketball team past Minnesota on Sunday. The 68-65 victory kept the Lady Lions, who have won seven of their last nine games, in the hunt for a Big Ten regular season title.
With Penn State (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten) down 63-60 with 1:13 left in the game, Gray hit a clutch 3-pointer. Then, after the Golden Gophers (12-13, 4-7 Big Ten) took the lead after hitting two free throws, Bentley came up with her only 3-pointer of the game to put the Lady Lions up by one with 38 seconds left. Nickson sealed the Penn State victory with two made free throws. Nickson went 10-12 from the line as part of her 20 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds.
The Lady Lions struggled to start the game, shooting poorly and facing an early deficit. Minnesota would go up by as many as 15 points in the first half before Penn State staged a comeback. Maggie Lucas had one of her poorest outings of the season, putting up just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. The 10 points was enough, however, for Lucas to reach 1,000 career points. She became just the third Penn State sophomore ever to do so.
The Golden Gophers had trouble shooting the ball as well. In fact, both teams shot just 37.9 percent from the floor. Rachel Banham led Minnesota with 15 points. The Golden Gophers out-rebounded the Lady Lions 37-27, but Penn State’s clutch 3-pointers ended up determining the game.
Next up for Penn State is a home match-up with Wisconsin on Thursday at 7 p.m. The two teams met once already this season on January 2, an 82-49 win for the Lady Lions.