State College, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Maggie Lucas scored 22 points while Ariel Edwards added 17 as No. 3 seed Penn State pulled off a hard-earned 62-56 victory over No. 14 Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at Bryce Jordan Center.
Lucas added nine boards while Talia East had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Lions, who advanced to the second round for the fourth straight year against the winner between No. 6 Dayton and No. 11 Florida.
Michaela Dapprich recorded 19 points while Alex Harden had 16 for the Shockers, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half but wilted amid the furious rally by the Lady Lions.
The Lady Lions used their tough defense, holding Wichita State to 1-of-7 shooting, to open the game with a 7-2 lead.
The Shockers found their offensive rhythm, unleashing a 14-0 run to grab a nine-point advantage at 16-7 at the 9:50 mark of the first frame.
The Shockers took their biggest lead at 20-9 after two foul shots by Dapprich but Edwards and Lucas answered with a basket each to cut the lead to seven.
After Dapprich restored a double-digit lead with a triple, Lucas connected on back-to-back triples, cutting the Shockers’ lead to four.
After Wichita State went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, an Edwards’ layup and Lucas jumper made it a one point game at 24-23 with 2:42 remaining.
The Shockers closed out the first half by scoring six points to take a 30-25 lead at the break.
In the second half, Penn State finally stormed ahead with a 17-0 run before Wichita State scored its first points with 12:18 left in the half.