EAST LANSING, Mich. - In a game of runs, the Penn State Lady Lions had the last run as they came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to earn a 66-54 win at Michigan State to hand the Spartans their first conference loss.
This marks the first time since 2003 and 2004 that the Lady Lions have won back-to-back games in East Lansing.
Senior guard Dara Taylor led the charge for the Lady Lions (13-4, 4-1 Big Ten) with 18 points, including 10 makes from the free throw line, four rebounds, two assists andfour steals. Senior guard Ariel Edwards scored 11 of her 16 points in the opening frame. She also added six rebounds and a pair of assists.
Senior guard Maggie Lucas moved into 10th place on the Big Ten's career scoring chart with 16 points. She passed Purdue's Stephanie White for the position. Lucas also had four rebounds and four steals in the victory. Freshman Kaliyah Mitchell was stellar off of the bench with six points and a career-high 10 rebounds in 16 minutes.
The Spartans (12-6, 4-1) sprinted out to a 7-0 lead in thefirst 2:42, but the Lions fought back with a jumper by Lucas and one Talia East free throw to close within four. After a score by Annalise Pickrel, the Lady Lions clicked off a 9-3 run to tie the game at 12-12 with 12:11 remaining. Edwards paced the run with four points, while Tori Waldner and Taylor added two points each and Mitchell made one of two free throws.
The Spartans came out of the 12-minute timeoutand posted a 12-4 run to establish a 24-16 lead with 6:50 on the clock. Edwards sparked a 7-2 run that helped the Lady Lions to close the gap. Lucas hit a jumper and after one free throw by the Spartans, Edwards hit one of two from the line and Lucas connected on a deep two-point field goal to make it 25-23 with three minutes to play.
After a 3-pointer by Klarissa Bell, the Lady Lions scored four of the game's next five points thanks to two freebies by Taylor and another layup for Edwards to make a 29-27 Spartan lead with 1:34 on the clock. However, Michigan State scored the final five points of the frame to take a 34-27 lead into the break.
The Spartans scored the first basket of the second half to extend their lead to 36-27, but the Lady Lions fought back by scoring six of the game's next 10 points on two free throws by Edwards and baskets by Taylor and East to make it a 40-33 game with 12:14 to play. Lucas then spurred on another Lady Lion run with her first three-pointer, which was followed by a score by Taylor, two free throws by East and a rebound and a putback by Mitchell to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 42-40.Taylor capped the 11-0 run with two free throws to make it a 44-40 game with 14:30 left.
Michigan State scored the next four points to even the score at 44-44, but the Lady Lions clicked off nine consecutive points thanks to a three-pointer by Lucas and scores by Taylor, Edwards and East to make it a 53-44 game with 7:32 remaining. The Spartans scored three of the next four points to close the gap to 54-47, but Penn State got two freebies fromLucas and one free throw from Candice Agee to make it a 10-point lead (57-47) with 4:49 left.
The Spartans scored the next four points to close the gap, but the Lions sealed the win with nine free throws in the final two minutes.
Game notes: Waldner reached the 75 career block milestone with a rejection in the first half and became just the 16th player in Lady Lion program history to accumulate 75 swats. Taylor swiped the 200th steal of her collegiate career in the first half. ... Penn State is now 28-14 in the all-time series against Michigan State.
PENN STATE (13-4): East 2-4 3-4 7, Edwards 6-12 4-6 16, Waldner 1-3 0-0 2, Taylor 4-15 10-14 18, Lucas 5-19 4-4 16, Agee 0-2 1-2 1, Sevillian 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 1-2 4-6 6, Whitted 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 26-36 66.
MICHIGAN STATE (12-6): Pickrel 7-13 2-4 17, Mills 1-8 0-0 2, Johnson 0-10 0-0 0, Bell 5-9 0-0 12, Powers 4-7 4-5 12, Jankoska 2-7 2-2 8, Hines 0-3 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Agee 0-2 1-2 1, Williams 1-4 0-1 2. Totals 20-63 9-14 54.
Halftime-Michigan St. 34-27. 3-Point Goals-Penn St. 2-8 (Lucas 2-7, Edwards 0-1), Michigan St. 5-19 (Jankoska 2-4, Bell 2-5, Pickrel 1-5, Agee 0-1, Powers 0-1, Johnson 0-3). Fouled Out-Bell. Rebounds-Penn St. 42 (Mitchell 10), Michigan St. 46 (Powers 10). Assists-Penn St. 7 (Edwards, Taylor 2), Michigan St. 14 (Johnson 8). Total Fouls-Penn St. 15, Michigan St. 23. A-9,232.