Big second half powers Penn State
nNittany Lions outscore Ohio State 43-19 after the break en route to a 71-56 victory over the Buckeyes. ASSOCIATED PRESS,
With her team getting outplayed and trailing by nine points at the break, Penn State coach Coquese Washington didn't hold back in the locker room.
Her veteran players took it from there.
Maggie Lucas scored 14 of her 18 points after the half and the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions saved their best for last in beating Ohio State 71-56 on Sunday, their 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.
"At halftime Co really got into us, she really challenged us and she was yelling and screaming," said Alex Bentley, who finished with 16 points. "We just knew we had to come out and play (better) defense. So that's what we did."
Lucas said the main thrust of Washington's halftime talk was to stick together.
"We have a lot of trust for each other," she said. "We kind of had to be reminded of that after the first half, that we've played together for a long time and we can rely on each other."
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 and Amber Stokes returned to the lineup and provided some energy after missing the last four games with a sprained knee.
Duke 80, Boston College 56: Haley Peters scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help the No. 4 Blue Devils beat the Eagles.
Kentucky 73, LSU 60: Azia Bishop scored 17 points to help the No. 5 Wildcats beat the Tigers.
Stanford 69, Colorado 56: Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 6 Stanford to the victory over No. 20 Colorado on Sunday.
California 71, Utah 54: Reshanda Gray scored 19 points and sparked a big run in the second half before leaving with a leg injury in No. 7 California's win over Utah.
Maryland 80, Clemson 40: Tianna Hawkins scored 17 points, Katie Rutan had 16 points off four 3-pointers and the No. 10 Terps defeated the Tigers for the 12th straight time.
North Carolina 64, Miami 62: Danielle Butts beat the buzzer with a game-winning jump shot to help the Tar Heel hand the Hurricanes a rare home loss.
Louisville 57, St. John's 54: Antonita Slaughter scored 22 points and No. 13 Louisville reeled off eight unanswered points to overtake St. John's for its third straight win.
Georgia 69, Florida 52: Jasmine Hassell scored 13 points and 10 different players scored for Georgia as the Bulldogs beat Southeastern Conference-rival Florida.
Purdue 67, Michigan State 25: Drey Mingo had 22 points and 10 rebounds and the No. 15 Boilermakers defeated the No. 25 Spartans in overtime.