Penn State Women's Basketball: No. 8 Lady Lions Erase Halftime Deficit to Storm Past Ohio State
Rapid Recap: No. 8 Penn State 71, Ohio State 56
How it Happened: In a game of two halves, the Penn State women's basketball team used a strong second half to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit in earning a 71-56 victory over Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday afternoon. Penn State outscored the Buckeyes 43-19 in the second stanza and literally ran away with the win.
Sluggish defense in the first half and poor shooting by the Lady Lions led to the deficit at the break. Some adjustments in the defensive scheme at the half by the Penn State coaching staff, particularly by assistant coach Fred Chmiel, was the difference after the intermission as OSU shot just 28 percent from the field.
Turning Point: Those adjustments and the defensive mindset that Penn State came out with in the second half was the difference on this day. After falling behind 11 early in the second half, Penn State used a 11-0 run to tie the score all before the second half was four minutes old. Taylor Hill had 18 points at the break and was held to just 10 in the second half, scoring more than half her team's points in that second half.
Player of the Game: Alex Bentley, who scored 16 points, added two assists and two rebounds, was clutch down the stretch hitting three jumpers at critical times. Her leadership on the floor was obvious at those critical times. Maggie Lucas did score 18 but was hounded all game long by several Buckeye defenders. Nikki Greene had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, the 13th double-double of her career.
Stat of the Game: The Buckeyes made only five field goals in the second half, and after shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, shot 20 percent after the break.
What it Means: The win for Penn State means it continues to hold onto the top spot in the Big Ten standings with a perfect 7-0 record as it improves to 17-2 overall. Per Penn State sports information: The victory is the school-record 14th consecutive Big Ten regular-season win for the Lady Lions, surpassing the previous mark of 13 set over the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns. PSU is now 7-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004-05 and at 17-2 overall is off to its best start since the 1993-94 squad went 22-2 to open the year. The Lady Lions have also won 11 straight games overall, the sixth-longest streak in school history.
On Deck: A long trip to Wisconsin on Thursday night against a team that Penn State defeated by 44 points on Jan. 17. But playing on an opponent's home floor can make a big difference in any game.