INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Ohio State, the No. 8 seed at the Big Ten women's basketball tournament, shot a sizzling 72 percent from the field, and a 71 percent clip from 3-point range in the first half, en route to a 99-82 win over the top-seeded Penn State Lady Lions in the quarterfinals Friday.
Senior swingman Ariel Edwards continued her string of 20-point games with a personal-best 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds for her fifth career double-double to lead Penn State.
The win improved Ohio State to 17-17 overall while the Lady Lions fell to 22-7.
Maggie Lucas became the Big Ten's and Penn State's career 3-pointers leader with a pair of makes from behind the arc to bring her career total to 358 triples, which broke Kelly Mazzante's record of 357. Lucas finished with 21 tallies to go with six rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Dara Taylor also reached double figures with 14 tallies to complement 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 3-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. However, Ohio State extended the lead to 23 (53-30) over the next eight minutes to keep the pressure on the Lady Lions.
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 with the Buckeyes extending their lead to 26 (69-43) with 16 minutes to play. The Lady Lions 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 got State going. Edwards and Taylor each followed up with scores and Lucas capped the 9-0 Lady Lion run with a three-point play to make it a 75-59 with less than eight minutes to play. The Buckeyes bumped it back to 20 (81-61) with 6:17 to play.
After several scoring exchanges to keep the lead at 20, the Lady Lions made one final push started by seven-straight points by Lucas, followed by two free throws by Edwards. After one free throw by OSU's Ashley Adams, Peyton Whitted hit her first career 3-pointer to make it a nine-point game (86-77) with less than three minutes to play. It got no closer than that.
OHIO ST. (17-17): Kynard 0-0 0-1 0, Craft 8-14 4-6 24, Alston 12-15 4-4 33, Blair 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 5-9 1-2 11, Ellerbe 2-6 0-0 5, Scullion 0-0 0-0 0, Ferguson 6-10 3-4 15, Adams 3-3 5-6 11. Totals 36-58 17-23 99.
PENN ST. (22-7): Agee 0-3 1-2 1, Taylor 6-18 2-2 14, East 2-6 2-3 6, Sevillian 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 1-4 2-2 4, Edwards 9-19 11-15 29, Whitted 1-1 0-0 3, Lucas 5-16 9-11 21, Waldner 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 26-71 27-35 82.
Halftime-Ohio St. 58-34. 3-Point Goals-Ohio St. 10-18 (Alston 5-6, Craft 4-7, Ellerbe 1-4, Ferguson 0-1), Penn St. 3-15 (Lucas 2-6, Whitted 1-1, Edwards 0-3, Taylor 0-5). Fouled Out-Edwards. Rebounds-Ohio St. 37 (Ferguson 7), Penn St. 38 (Edwards 10). Assists-Ohio St. 23 (Alston 9), Penn St. 12 (Taylor 8). Total Fouls-Ohio St. 23, Penn St. 20.