Lady Lions Lose in Final Seconds To Purdue 68-66
The Penn State women’s basketball team lost in the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday, falling 68-66 to the No. 4 seed Purdue. Brittany Rayburn hit a layup with 1.6 seconds left that allowed the Boilermakers to advance to the title game and left Penn State waiting for the NCAA Tournament draw.
Despite being close throughout, Purdue led for almost the entire game. The Lady Lions led for a total of 12 seconds on Saturday, but they nearly managed to send the game into overtime. Down 66-61 with 43 seconds remaining in the game, Nikki Greene converted an old-fashioned three-point play. After a quick Purdue turnover, Greene made another layup to tie the game at 66. However, Rayburn was able to drive the lane and make a contested layup with 1.6 seconds remaining to give the Boilermakers the win.
Penn State struggled from the field for the second night in a row. After shooting poorly on Friday against Minnesota, the Lady Lions shot 36.8 percent from the floor against Purdue. Maggie Lucas was well below her normal standards, going 3-for-11 from the floor, and 0-for-5 from 3-point range. Alex Bentley led Penn State with 22 points and four assists. Nikki Greene had 12 points, and Mia Nickson contributed nine points and 13 rebounds.
Courtney Moses led Purdue with 21 points, going 8-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-6 from 3-point range. However, it will be Rayburn’s shot at the end of the game that will be remembered. Rayburn finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Penn State will now have to wait for the NCAA Tournament draw. The Lady Lions have a nice resume with a 24-6 record and a 13-3 conference record. They have four wins over ranked teams and an RPI of 19. As things stand right now, Penn State will probably earn either a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed. The draw will take place on March 12.