Jacks battle, but fall at Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- South Dakota State gave nationally ranked Penn State all it could handle for the first 30 minutes, but the Lady Lions controlled the final 10 minutes to pull away for a 60-50 victory Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State, ranked 10th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 11th in the Associated Press rankings, improved to 9-2 overall. The Jackrabbits, who had their three-game winning streak come to an end, dropped to 6-5.
SDSU led nearly the entire first half, taking an early 10-5 lead on back-to-back three-pointers from Ashley Eide and Gabby Boever. The Jackrabbits led by as many as six points before Penn State knotted the game at 19-all on a steal and layup by Dara Taylor. Penn State took a momentary 23-22 lead before the two teams went into intermission tied at 25.
The Lady Lions seized the lead with a 7-0 run to open the second half, with Nikki Greene scoring three baskets in the spurt.
Trailing 36-28, the Jackrabbits scored the next five points on a three-pointer by Chloe Cornemann and a transition basket by Tara Heiser to make it a one-possession game with 12:06 to play. However, Penn State countered with a decisive12-2 run over the next five and a half minutes to put the game out of reach. SDSU would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
SDSU finished the game 17-of-54 from the field, 31.5 percent, including 4-of-14 from three-point range. At the line, the Jackrabbits made 12-of-19 attempts, 63.2 percent.
All nine Jackrabbit players to see action scored, but Eide was the lone SDSU player in double figures, with 14.
Penn State ended the afternoon 24-of-61 from the floor, 39.3 percent, but was only 1-of-11 from three-point range. The Lady Lions converted 11-of-15 free throw attempts for 73.3 percent.
Greene finished with a game-high 17 points, while Alex Bentley added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Lady Lions.
SDSU returns to action Tuesday night, hosting Delaware State in a 7 p.m. matchup at Frost Arena.
NOTES: Sunday's game marked the first-ever meeting between SDSU and Penn State in women's basketball ... the Jackrabbits dropped to 7-8 against Big Ten Conference opponents since moving to Division I at the start of the 2004-05 season, including a 1-1 mark this year ... SDSU fell to 3-14 against ranked opponents during the Division I era ... the Jackrabbits held a 17-10 advantage in bench points, led by Cornemann's career-high seven ... SDSU committed 23 turnovers, compared to 18 by Penn State ... the Lady Lions' All-America candidate Maggie Lucas was held to nine points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field, but contributed five steals and four blocked shots ... as a team, Penn State blocked nine shots ... SDSU's leading scorer, Megan Waytashek, was held to six points ... attendance was 4,747