Penn State Women's Basketball: No. 8 Lady Lions Fend Off Michigan to Take Sole Possession of First Place in Big Ten
What Happened: The Penn State women's basketball team got a tough road win over the Michigan Wolverines by a final score of 59-49. The game featured the Big Ten's top scoring team in Penn State and the league's top defensive team in Michigan, and after the smoke settled, Penn State survived a 13-point comeback in the second half to fend off the Wolverines in the end. Michigan jumped out early, then Penn State led by nine several times in the first half before going into the break leading, 32-24.
Michigan closed the gap early in the second half and were down by just one a couple of times before Mia Nickson, Dara Taylor and Alex Bentley made some key plays down the stretch.
Turning Point: Penn State coach Coquese Washington was forced to go to her bench when Nikki Greene got into foul trouble and saw very little drop in production when she inserted either Tori Waldner or Talia East into then game. Waldner scored just two points but added four big rebounds and two blocks in the game while East dominated the boards in her 13 minutes with six rebounds.
Player of the Game: Alex Bentley made two incredible moves to the basket at critical times down the stretch of the second half and finished with 16 points, three assists and five steals. Joining Bentley in leading the Lady Lions was junior guard Maggie Lucas, who scored right around her average with 19 points, and Greene, who played sparingly with the foul trouble, added eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Stat of the Game: Michigan was only 15-for-54 from the field for 28 percent, and leading scorer Kate Thompson, who came into the game shooting 49 percent from 3-point land, was just 3-for-14 from beyond the arc.
What it Means: The win by the Lady Lions puts them sole possession of first place at 5-0 in conference play, and their overall mark improves to 15-2.
On Deck: The Lady Lions will return to action 6:30 Thursday night against Minnesota in the Bryce Jordan Center.