Buckeyes stun PSU, 99-82, in conference quarterfinals

INDIANAPOLIS – No. 8 seed Ohio State (17-17, 5-11) shot a sizzling 71.9 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from three-point range in the first half en route to a 99-82 win over top-seeded Penn State (22-7, 13-3) in the Big Ten women’s basketball quarterfinals Friday.

With the win, the Buckeyes advance to today’s semifinal against Iowa.

Penn State senior Ariel Edwards continued her string of 20-point games with a personal-best 29 tallies to go along with 10 rebounds for her fifth career double-double to lead the Nittany Lions. Maggie Lucas also became the Big Ten’s and Penn State’s career three-pointers leader with a pair of makes from behind the arc to bring her career total to 358 triples, which breaks Kelly Mazzante’s record of 357. Lucas finished with 21 tallies, six rebounds and three steals.

Senior guard Dara Taylor also reached double figures with 14 tallies to compliment eight assists and two steals. With the effort, Taylor surpassed the 800-point mark for her collegiate career.

The Buckeyes sprinted out to a 30-18 lead in the first nine-plus minutes thanks to an 8-for-10 effort from three-point range in the early going. Penn State climbed back in with a 6-2 spurt thanks to scores by Taylor, Kaliyah Mitchell and Edwards to close within eight (32-24) with just over nine minutes to play, but Ohio State extended the lead to 23 (53-30) over the next eight minutes as the Buckeyes continued to shoot better than 70 percent from the field.

Edwards scored four consecutive points to make it a 53-34 game, but Ohio State closed the half with five points of its own to go into the break with a 58-34 lead.

The squads exchanged scores to open the second frame as the Buckeyes extended their lead to 26 (69-43) with 16 minutes to play. The Lions then scored the game’s next seven points thanks to four tallies by Talia East, a bucket by Taylor and a free throw by Edwards to close within 19 (69-50) with 13:48 on the clock. However, the Buckeyes went on a 6-0 run to push the lead back to 25 (75-50) with less than 12 minutes remaining.

Mitchell’s two free throws started a Penn State run. Edwards and Taylor each followed up with scores and Lucas capped the 9-0 run with a three-point play to make it a 75-59 with less than eight minutes to play.

The Buckeyes bumped the lead back to 20 (81-61) with 6:17 to play.

After several scoring exchanges to keep the lead at 20, the Lions made one final push started by seven-straight points by Lucas along with two free throws by Edwards. After one free throw by Ohio State’s Ashley Adams, Peyton Whitted hit her first career three-pointer to make it a nine-point game (86-77) with less than three minutes to play.

That was as close as the Lions got, as the Buckeyes sealed the win with free throws down the stretch for a 97-82 win.

Iowa 87, Purdue 80

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Ally Disterhoft scored 10 of her 12 points in the final 5:38 as 23rd-ranked and fifth-seeded Iowa clawed back from the brink with a 24-11 closing run to upend No. 17, fourth-seeded Purdue 87-80 in a Big 10 quarterfinal Friday.

The Hawkeyes (25-7) face eighth-seeded Ohio State (17-17) in a semifinal today.

Purdue (21-8) battled through seven ties and six lead changes in the first half to lead 39-35 at the break and appeared to be in control after halftime with Courtney Moses banging down 24 points.

Iowa’s all-Big Ten selections Disterhoft, Samantha Logic and Bethany Doolittle were held to a combined seven points in the first half due to foul trouble but caught fire in the second. Doolittle finished with 16 and Logic 12.

Disterhoft scored six in an 8-1 run for a 71-70 lead Iowa never lost.

Michigan State 61, Michigan 58

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Annalise Pickrel scored 18 points and Branndais Agee was clutch down the stretch Friday as No. 19 Michigan State, the second-seed, rallied to defeat seventh-seeded Michigan 61-58 in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

The Spartans (22-8) trailed for all but a brief time early in the second until scoring the last six points of the game. Agree made two free throws at 2:59 to make it a one-point game. Tori Jankoska put MSU up 59-58 with a layup at 1:15. After a Michigan turnover, Agee grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 31 seconds left.

Madison Ristovski, who led Michigan (18-13) with 18 points, missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 15 seconds left and the Wolverines did not get a good final look.

Michigan started off red hot and raced to a 27-13 lead but the cold-shooting Spartans warmed up and made it 31-28 at the half.

Nebraska 80, Minnesota 67

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Jordan Hooper scored 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 16 Nebraska beat Minnesota 80-67 in the Big Ten quarterfinals on Friday night.

The third-seeded Cornhuskers will play No. 19 and second-seeded Michigan State on Saturday for a spot in the championship game. During the regular season Nebraska and Michigan State split two contests.

Emily Cady scored 15 points and Rachel Theriot added 14 points and a career-high 18 assists for the Cornhuskers (23-6).

Minnesota (20-12) trailed by just five points after Mikayla Bailey hit a 3 with 6:54 left to play. Cady responded by opening up an 11-0 run – which saw five Cornhuskers score – to give Nebraska a decisive lead that carried through the rest of the game.

Stabresa McDaniel came off the bench to score 14 points for the No.6 seeded Golden Gophers and Rachel Banham added 12.