Lucas scores 23, No. 9 Penn St women roll Ohio St

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2014 at 4:16 pm •  Published: February 9, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Every elite team, it seems, has a player like Maggie Lucas.

When things aren't going well, she's the player who is capable of carrying the play until things turn around for everybody else.

She did it on Sunday, scoring 23 points, including 12 during a decisive 21-3 run, to lead No. 9 Penn State past Ohio State 74-54.

"(There were) a lot of possessions where we got them deep into the shot clock and she would make a play," Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff said. "She's a great player. She's one of the best scoring guards in the country. Defensively, we were doing a lot of good things but she would kind of bail them out with a spectacular play. That's what makes her special and it's part of what makes them a great team."

Ahead by two points at the half after taking a 12-3 run into the break, Penn State (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten) took control early in the second half.

Taylor tossed in a 3 from the left baseline on the first possession and, after three missed shots and a turnover by Ohio State, Lucas hit a perimeter jumper for a 43-36 lead. Lucas then followed two more Ohio State misses with baskets — one a step-back 15-footer and the other a layup in transition — to push the lead to 11.

"A lot of times at the beginning of games, I'm seeing a lot more pressure," said the senior guard, who hit 9 of 14 shots from the field including half of her six 3-point attempts. "Once the game goes on, you can find some breakdowns."

On the heels of the spurt to finish the half, the Lions ran off the first nine points of the second half.

Scoreless for the first 4:27 of the half, the Buckeyes picked up the next five points but couldn't solve Penn State's zone defense. Two Lucas free throws, a fast-break layup by Edwards, Peyton Whitted's follow of her own miss and Lucas' assist pass to Taylor for a layup gave the Lions a 59-44 lead with just over 8 minutes left.

The outcome was never in doubt again.

At one point in the first half, Lucas badly missed a shot behind the arc. The Ohio State student section let her hear about it with a continual chant of "Air Ball!" every time she touched it for the rest of the game.

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