Lady Lions Get Huge Win Against Purdue 74-63
Led by 28 points from Maggie Lucas, the Penn State women’s basketball team got one of its biggest wins of the season on Thursday night against Purdue 74-63. The win moves the Lady Lions one step closer to a Big Ten regular season title.
The game was hard-fought throughout, and both teams played with tons of energy. On one hand, the energy provided for plenty of back-and-forth action. On the other hand, however, both squads seemed somewhat rushed offensively, resulting in turnovers or missed shots. Purdue (19-7, 9-4 Big Ten) was plagued with 16 turnovers. The Boilermakers also missed several fast-break layups that could have changed the outcome of this game.
Penn State (21-5, 11-3 Big Ten) only committed nine turnovers, but the Lady Lions struggled to make shots for much of the game. That all changed, though, with 10:37 left in the second half. Leading by just one point at 47-46, Lucas went off. She scored 10 of the teams next 12 points to give Penn State control of the game. Lucas finished with 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range.
With Nikki Greene in foul trouble, the Lady Lions got production from its other post players. Mia Nickson had 12 points and nine rebounds, including several clutch shots down the stretch. Talia East recorded 16 minutes and made important contributions in the first half. Tori Waldner also logged over 10 minutes.
Purdue out-shot and out-rebounded Penn State, so the game really came down to turnovers and the play of Lucas. Every time the Boilermakers made a run, a costly turnover or a made shot by Lucas seemed to kill the momentum. As a result, even though much of the game was close, Penn State led for most of it.
The win was important for Penn State’s Big Ten regular season title hopes, as it kept the Lady Lions a half-game ahead of Ohio State in the standings. Penn State faces Ohio State on Monday at home, with the winner most likely taking that title. After taking on the Buckeyes, the Lady Lions play Minnesota at home to finish the season.