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 15 points, while Alex Bentley added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Lady Lions.
Team rebounding was even at 40 apiece. Leah Dietel and Mariah Clarin each collected five rebounds to pace the Jackrabbits.
SDSU returns to action Tuesday night, hosting Delaware State in a 7 p.m. matchup at Frost Arena.
Courtesy: Jason Hove, Assistant AD-Sports Information, South Dakota State University