Lucas, Penn State beat Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. – In the kind of game you would expect from a pair of ranked teams, the No. 12/13 Penn State Lady Lions (16-4, 7-1 Big Ten) landed four players in double figures and held off a late run as they posted a 75-72 over No. 16/19 Purdue (15-5, 5-3) Thursday night. Maggie Lucas scored 23 points on the night to move into second place on Penn State’s career scoring list and ninth place in Big Ten history (2,259 points).

Lucas turned in a complete performance to go along with her 23 points, she had five rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals. She was efficient, hitting on 9-of-15 shots from the field for her 23 tallies. Ariel Edwards also turned in a 20-point performance with 21 tallies with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Fellow senior Talia East turned in her third double-double of Big Ten play with a career-high tying 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds. Dara Taylor also reached double figures with 13 tallies. She also chipped in six rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

The free throw line was the story of the game as the Lions shot just 38.1 percent (8-21) from the charity stripe, including 1-of-9 in the final five minutes, while the Boilers were 27-of-30 from the line. The game featured six ties and seven lead changes.

The Boilers jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in just over the first four minutes.However, the Lady Lions responded with a 10-3 run that featured two scores from Lucas and three layups for East, two of which came on passes from Lucas, totake a 12-11 lead at the 12:15 mark. Purdue responded with a run of its ownwith an 11-3 spurt that included two triples from K.K. Houser to extend theBoiler lead to 22-15, forcing Coquese Washington to call a timeout with 9:40 left.

Penn State bounced back out of the timeout starting with another score by East, followed by four straight points by Lucas on a pair of free throws and a jumper to close the gap to one (22-21). Edwards gave Penn State the 23-22 lead and a third scorer for the game with a jumper at the 6:39 mark. Lucas closed out the 10-0 run with a high floater that bounced around and in to give PSU a 25-22lead with 6:11 left.

The Boilers retook the lead and made it a 28-25 game in their favor thanks the six consecutive free throws with 3:32 left. Edwards knocked down a three-pointer and Taylor scored a fastbreak layup off of a pass from Lucas to give the Lions a 30-28 lead with 2:50 on the clock. After a pair of Purdue freebies, Alex Harris made on of two free throws to make it a 31-30 Penn State lead. The Boilers scored the game’s next four points before Edward closed the first half scoring with a jumper to make it a 34-33 Purdue lead at the break. Penn State held the Boilermakers to just one field goal in the final 9:42 of the opening frame, but Purdue was 10-for-10 from the free throw line in that span.

Edwards came out strong in the second half, scoring Penn State first four points togive the Lions a 37-34 lead just two minutes in. After an April Wilson score for the Boilers, Lucas hit her second three-pointer of the game to push thelead to 40-36 and move into second place on Penn State’s career scoring chart. The Boilers scored the next four points to even the game at 40-40 less thanfour minutes into the second frame.

Taylor hit a triple and on the next offensive possession made one of two free throws to give PSU a 44-40 lead less than 15 minutes remaining. However, the Boilermakers would score the next four points from the charity stripe to even the score at 44-44 less than a minute later.

East made another great post move off of a pass from Lucas to reach double figures and then the Lions ratcheted up the defense as Taylor nabbed the steal for the layup and Edwards got a steal and found Lucas on the fastbreak for a layup and a 50-44 lead with 13:15 on the clock.

Purdue climbed back into the game with an 8-4 spurt to get within two points (54-52) with nine minutes to play. Lucas started another Penn State run with a three-pointer, followed by two free throws by Edwards and a bucket by Taylor to establish the Lions’ biggest lead of the game at 61-52 with 7:29 remaining. The Boilermakers would continue to fight and clicked off a 9-2 run to get within two points (63-61) with 5:33 left before Edwards made a layup and Taylor hit one of two free throws to push the lead back to five at 66-61 with five minutes left.

The squads split the next 12 points before the Boilers made one last push with a 5-2 run to get within two. The Lions struggled to seal the win from the free throw line, missing three of their final four shots, but Kaliyah Mitchell made it a three-point game with 1.4 seconds left. Courtney Moses’ last-second, half court heave fell short to secure the win.

Notes: The victory gives Penn State back-to-back wins in West Lafayette for the first time in school history Maggie Lucas (2,259) moved into ninth place on the Big Ten all-time career scoring list with 23 points, passing Purdue’s Shereka Wright (2,251; 2001-04) with the performance Lucas surpassed Susan Robinson (2,253; 1989-92) for second place on the all-time Lady Lions’ career scoring list With two makes from the charity stripe, Lucas moved into a tie for fourth place on the program’s career free throws made chart with 478 career makes, joining Helen Darling (478; 1997-00) Dara Taylor surpassed the 200 assist milestone in her Penn State career, becoming the 30th player in school history to accomplish the feat and did it in just two years Taylor’s 13 points propel the guard past the 700 point mark in her four-year playing career (702) Talia East recorded her third double-double of the season with 12 boards and 12 points Ariel Edwards poured in 21 points on 21 shots, which mark a career-high in attempts, besting her previous high of 18 that came earlier this season against the Boilermakers (1/12/14) Alex Harris matched a career high in blocks with three rejections, the most the freshman has recorded in a Big Ten contest The win marks the Lady Lions’ third over a ranked opponent this season.