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Penn State drops road battle at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The Penn State women’s basketball team started fast but wasn’t able to keep an offensive rhythm as No. 24 Rutgers earned a 74-56 win in New Jersey in Big Ten action Tuesday night.

Senior Niya Beverly led Penn State with 20 points and dished seven assists with no turnovers. Sophomore Anna Camden followed with 14 points behind a career-high tying four 3-pointers.

The first half was a tale of two quarters with Penn State getting off to a hot start as a pair of Beverley three-pointers capped an 11-0 Lady Lion start in the first four minutes. PSU went on to hit five of its first seven three-point attempts en route to a 21-9 lead just seven minutes into the game. A Rutgers trey ended the term, but Penn State’s hot shooting allowed the Lady Lions to take a 21-12 lead into the second quarter.

The Scarlet Knights controlled the second quarter as Rutgers answered right back with an 11-0 streak to open the term and take its first lead of the game at 23-21 with 7:23 left in the first half. Camden’s third three-pointer of the first half had Penn State back on top at 28-27 two minutes later, but Rutgers scored 10 of the final 15 points of the quarter to take a 37-33 lead into halftime.

Penn State struggled to find its rhythm in the opening minutes of the third quarter as Rutgers surged ahead 50-35 six minutes in. But the momentum swung the Lady Lions’ way in the final four minutes of the term as a Camden jumper sparked a 10-2 PSU run to close the term. Beverley converted a pair of and-ones during the stretch as Penn State pulled back within seven at 52-45 heading into the final stanza.

Rutgers grabbed the momentum right back in the fourth quarter and Penn State wasn’t able to overcome the deficit despite a trio of three-pointers in the final minutes as the Scarlet Knights grabbed the 74-56 victory.

Beverley tallied her second 20-point game in the last three contests and her eighth double-digit effort of the season.

Beverley entered the game third in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.79) and finished with seven assists and no turnovers against the Scarlet Knights.

Camden tied her career high with four three-pointers and notched her ninth double-digit effort of the season.

Penn State made 10 three-pointers, marking the seventh time this season that the Lady Lions have drilled double-digit treys.

Penn State closes out the regular season Saturday at No. 8 Maryland. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. The Lady Lions then turn their attention to next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis from March 9-13.

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