Lady Lions Beat No. 20 Texas A&M 66-58
After a disappointing loss to South Dakota St. on Wednesday, the Lady Lions bounced back at home yesterday afternoon with a 66-58 victory over No. 20 Texas A&M.
Maggie Lucas continued to dominate and had 20 points against the Aggies, which moved her to third on Penn State’s all-time career scoring list with 2,054 points. She also moved to 14th on the all-time Big Ten career-scoring list.
Lucas wasn’t the only Nittany Lion to have a big night. Ariel Edwards was in double digits with 14 points, going 4-4 from the line. Forwards Talia East and Tori Walder also did their part — East had 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Waldner had a career-high 11 boards, also contributing on defense with 3 blocks and 2 steals.
The Lady Lions looked like they were trying to avenge the South Dakota St. loss from the start, scoring 12 points in the first nine minutes of play, the largest run by the Lions to start a game this season. Edwards got things started with a jumper, and Lucas followed with a three-point play.
The Aggies finally got on the board 10:57 minutes into the game and went on a 18-3 run over the next five minutes to take an 18-15 lead. Walder cut the lead to one at 18-17, but the two teams went back and forth for minutes before the Aggies went on a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the night, 27-19.
The Lady Lions quickly responded and went on an 11-1 run and took a 30-28 lead into halftime. East helped carry the Lady Lions, scoring six out of the 11 points in the game’s first frame.
Penn State used the late momentum to start the second half on a 9-0 run and stretch the lead to 39-30. Taylor scored the first two points for the Lady Lions before Lucas took over, scoring seven straight points off a jumper, two layups, and a free throw. The Aggies responded and brought themselves back into the game, cutting the Nittany Lions lead to 39-34.
The Lions could not find the momentum to expand their lead and battled Texas A&M shot for shot for seven minutes. The Aggies narrowly outscored the Lady Lions during that stretch to move the score to 50-46 with seven minutes remaining.
Texas A&M cut the Lions lead to two points at 50-48, but the Lions would not allow the Aggies to get any closer. Lucas scored the game’s next five points and East helped to expand the lead by hitting a jumper in the paint. Edwards capped off the Lady Lions’ 9-0 run by converting two free throws, giving the Lady Lions a double digits lead, 59-48 with a little more than two minutes remaining.
The Aggies were not out of the game though and scored six points off back-to-back three-pointers to cut the Penn State’s lead to 61-56 with one minute left in the game. However, Texas A&M was forced to foul Penn State, who converted all five of its free throws and walked out of the Bryce Jordan Center with the win.
The win was Penn State’s first victory over a ranked opponent this season. The Lady Lions return to action on December 22 at 11 a.m. against Mount St. Mary’s.