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Lady Lions pummel Leopards

November 19, 2012
By Jim Rodenbush - For the Mirror ( , The Altoona Mirror

UNIVERSITY PARK - Ariel Edwards' second free throw attempt with 41 seconds left was good, bringing a cheer from the home crowd and putting an end to the only real suspense Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The junior's basket proved to be the final point in a decisive victory by the Penn State women's basketball team. In the process, it's triggered a promotion that gave fans free McDonald's Chicken McNuggets.

For the 3,700 in attendance, there wasn't much else to worry about.

Maggie Lucas and Mia Nickson scored 12 points, and the No. 9 Lady Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead en route to a 75-34 victory over Lafayette.

Lucas added nine rebounds and four steals for Penn State (3-0), which improved to 20-0 all-time against opponents from the Patriot League.

Lucas shot 5-of-16 from the field but made up for it by falling one rebound short of her second career double-double.

"Our focus for today, for the guards, was putting a body on, getting boards," Lucas said. "That was something I had a focus on. Sometimes, a shot may not fall as much as I'd like it to, so you've got to find a way to make an impact in other ways."

Emily Homan scored 11 points to lead Lafayette (1-3), which was coming off a 39-point loss to Villanova four days earlier. Danielle Fiacco, the Leopards' top scorer, missed all 10 of her shots and was held scoreless. Lafayette shot 19.7 percent (12-for-61) from the field.

Fiacco, who was also the team's top rebounder, committed two fouls in the first 63 seconds and was taken out, putting Lafayette at a disadvantage from the outset. The 6-foot-7 center played only six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

"When she had to go out early, that certainly put us on our heels offensively," Lafayette coach Dianne Nolan said. "There's not really a substitute for Danielle on our team so, when she had to sit, obviously a much smaller inside post player replaces her and they weren't able to get the shots off that they needed."

Lafayette missed five shots and committed four turnovers in its first eight possessions. Annette Snow's jumper with 15:36 broke the scoring drought. By then, Penn State was ahead 14-2 and the Leopards got no closer the rest of the way.

Freshman center Candice Agee, who scored her first seven career points and added four rebounds in 18 minutes, said Fiacco's absence was an advantage for Penn State.

"I think it really made it a lot easier for us to set into our offense," she said. "Her two quick fouls in the first minute of the game really made it easier for us defensively. She's a big threat. Her coming in still was a problem for us. Just luckily, we were able to make the adjustment and defend."

The Lady Lions held the Leopards without a field goal for 8:22 later in the first half and built their lead to 28 points. They went into halftime with a 42-14 advantage.

"I thought we came out very focused," Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. "I thought the first half we played pretty good basketball."

Lafayette got as close as 23 points in the second half. Dara Taylor's free throw with 4:58 left gave Penn State its largest lead at 66-23.

All 10 players scored and played at least 10 minutes for the Lady Lions.

"It says a lot," Lucas said. "Everybody can come in and make a huge impact for our team and that makes us very lucky. Down the line, everyone comes in and does their job."

Nikki Greene, Penn State's 6-4 center, sat the final 18:40 after being involved in a collision underneath the basket.

Washington said the senior was hit in the mouth and nose, and didn't return for precautionary reasons. Greene finished with six points and six rebounds in 10 minutes.

LAFAYETTE (1-3): Macklin 2-6 0-0 5, O'Hare 2-8 0-0 5, Homan 5-10 1-2 11, Fahan 0-5 2-2 2, Fiacco 0-10 0-0 0, Peabody 0-0 0-0 0, Hayes 0-0 0-0 0, Freeland 2-9 2-4 7, Snow 1-5 0-0 2, Liddle 0-3 0-0 0, Jordan 0-1 0-0 0, Loughney 0-4 2-2 2. Totals 12-61 7-10 34.

PENN ST. (3-0): Bentley 3-6 2-2 8, Edwards 3-7 3-6 9, Nickson 4-11 4-5 12, Lucas 5-16 0-0 12, Greene 3-8 0-0 6, Agee 3-5 1-2 7, Taylor 1-2 1-2 3, East 2-3 1-3 5, Studevent 3-5 1-2 7, Waldner 3-10 0-0 6. Totals 30-73 13-22 75.

Halftime-Penn St. 42-14. 3-Point Goals-Lafayette 3-17 (Macklin 1-2, Freeland 1-5, O'Hare 1-5, Loughney 0-1, Snow 0-1, Jordan 0-1, Fahan 0-2), Penn St. 2-10 (Lucas 2-4, Studevent 0-1, Taylor 0-1, Edwards 0-2, Bentley 0-2). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Lafayette 40 (Fiacco 7), Penn St. 57 (Lucas 9). Assists-Lafayette 9 (Fahan, Liddle, O'Hare 2), Penn St. 15 (Taylor 6). Total Fouls-Lafayette 19, Penn St. 16. A-3,700.

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