19-point second half dooms OSU women

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Maggie Lucas scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half and No. 8 Penn State saved its best for last in beating Ohio State 71-56 on Sunday, the Nittany Lions’ 14th consecutive Big Ten win to set a school record.

The victory, in which they outscored the Buckeyes 43-19 after halftime, also gave them their fastest start since the 1993-94 season.

Alex Bentley scored 16 points and Nikki Greene had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Penn State (17-2, 7-0 Big Ten), which has won 11 in a row since a 67-52 loss at Connecticut on Dec. 6. It’s the sixth-longest winning streak in program history.

Tayler Hill, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had 28 points for Ohio State (11-9, 1-6), which had won the last six meetings at home against Penn State dating to Feb. 27, 2005. Ameryst Alston added 12.

Ohio State guard Amber Stokes, co-captain and the reigning Big Ten defensive player of the year, had missed the last four games with a sprained left knee. She began working out with the team this past week and provided an emotional lift and four points.

The Nittany Lions improved to 33-21 all-time against Ohio State – even though they had won just two of the last 15 meetings coming in.

Coach Coquese Washington used extra time to make some points with her team at halftime after they fell behind by nine and were on the wrong side of a 10-0 run at the end of the break. The Nittany Lions didn’t return to the court until there was 90 seconds left before the second-half tip.

Hill scored on Ohio State’s first possession of the second half to stretch the lead to 11. But then things went south for the Buckeyes.

Penn State missed two field goal attempts, hit two of four free throws and got a 3-pointer from Lucas – all on one trip down the court, thanks to two rebounds off missed foul shots. When Bentley then stole the ball from Alston on the next play, the Nittany Lions had made up seven points in 33 seconds with the ball barely being advanced past midcourt.

With the Buckeyes hanging on to a 41-39 lead, the Nittany Lions then took the lead for good with a nine-point run.

Greene tied it before Lucas made it 43-41 on a lefty jumper in the lane. After Ohio State missed four attempts from the field, Ariel Edwards raced to the hoop for a layup in transition and was fouled, completing the three-point play. Greene then closed the uprising the way she started it with a bucket inside, off an assist from Lucas, for a 48-41 advantage.

Ohio State never got closer than five points again as the Nittany Lions slowly pulled away.

The Buckeyes more than held their own on the boards, leading 22-18 at the break, while outscoring the Nittany Lions 12-0 from behind the arc and 7-2 at the line.

Penn State came out as if to end the game early, roaring to a quick 7-0 lead on two Bentley baskets and a three-point play by Greene while Ohio State turned it over on its first two possessions.

The Buckeyes showed some spunk by countering with an 11-0 run that was fueled by Hill and Stokes, who received a warm reception when she first came in at the 17:58 mark.

Hill had five points and Stokes made her first two field-goal attempts during the spurt.

The teams traded points for most of the rest of the half until the closing minutes.

UAB 61, Marshall 45

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall women’s basketball struggled putting points up against the No. 33 ranked defense in the nation and took a 61-45 loss against UAB on Sunday afternoon in the Cam Henderson Center.

The Thundering Herd fell to a 6-12 (0-5 C-USA) record for the season and has lost the past seven games. The Blazers improved to 13-5 (4-1 C-USA) with the victory.

Marshall was led by senior Erica Woods, who totaled 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals after playing all 40 minutes. She went 5-for-10 from the field and also added two assists.

Suporia Dickens followed with seven points and led the Herd on the boards with nine rebounds, five of which came off the offensive glass. Her effort helped Marshall out-rebound the Blazers, 33-24.

UAB had only four players score throughout the game, but each of the players scored double-digit totals. Amber Jones led with 21 points after going 8-for-17 from the field and adding two three-pointers. Karisma Chapman followed with 18 points and accounted for four of UAB’s seven made free throws.

Limiting unforced errors and creating turnovers proved to be the catalyst for the Blazers’ win. After only turning the ball over seven times, UAB recorded 13 steals and forced Marshall to turn the ball over 22 times, turning the Herd mistakes into 25 points off of turnovers.