What Happened: The Penn State Lady Lions secured a 20-point lead with a lay-up from redshirt junior guard Dara Taylor with 2:32 left in the first half.
In a game of physicality, tight officials and a constant whistle, Penn State made the extras passes necessary to take the win.
Player of the Game: Penn State’s junior guard Maggie Lucas scored 22 points and led the team with nine rebounds and five assists. With a pair of free throws in the second half, Lucas earned her twelfth 20-point performance of the year and forty-third of her career.
Stat of the Game: Penn State shot a blazing 61.1 percent from the field, the last time Penn State shot over 60 percent from the field was on Feb. 23, 1996 against Michigan State.
Turning Point: The Lady Lions took the lead when Lucas made a three-pointer with 15:03 left in the first half. The shot gave the Lady Lions a spark on defense in which they completed a series of rebounds to create more shooting opportunities on the other end of the court.
Senior guard Alex Bentley and senior forward Nikki Greene quickly responded to Lucas’ three-pointer, with contributions that drove the Lady Lions to a 15-12 lead against the Fighting Illini.
What It Means: Transitions, speed on offense and a tight defense drove the Lady Lions to an enormous victory over the Fighting Illini. Penn State extends its home court winning streak to 19 games. The Lady Lions are now 22-3 overall and 12-1 in Big Ten play.
On Deck: The Lady Lions will close out their home schedule with its annual Pink Zone game and Senior Day against Michigan at the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. on Sunday.