The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 2, 2014

Penn State women clinch share of title


Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE — Ariel Edwards scored 21 points and No. 8 Penn State beat Michigan 77-62 on Saturday to clinch a share of the Big Ten title for the third straight season.

Penn State can win the title outright today if Nebraska loses to Purdue, and Michigan State falls to Indiana.

Edwards’ senior teammates, Maggie Lucas, Talia East and Dara Taylor, scored 17, 16 and 11 points, respectively for Penn State (22-6, 13-3 Big Ten).

The four-woman senior class has won 99 games for Penn State thus far in their careers, and this marks the fourth straight season the Lady Lions have won more than 20 games. Michigan (17-12, 8-8) got 21 points from Shannon Smith and 14 from Madison Ristovski. Siera Thompson added 10 points.

The Wolverines had only lost one road game this season, but Penn State pulled away in the second half.

The Lady Lions opened the second half with a 19-7 scoring advantage, holding Michigan scoreless for a four-minute span and eventually opening a 63-41 lead.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Michigan’s Ristovski and Smith and a baseline drive by Smith cut Penn State’s lead to 63-49 but the Wolverines were unable to draw any closer.

Penn State was torched for 16 3-point field goals by Nebraska in its last outing Feb. 24 but was able to limit Michigan to 7 for 20 shooting from beyond the arc on Saturday.

A back-and-forth first half took a turn with 3:35 remaining when Penn State closed with a 10-4 run on a pair of buckets from Taylor and three more from Lucas, East and Edwards.

Lucas scored 13 first-half points and took off with an inbounds pass on a court-length drive only to miss the layup and come up limping noticeably after hitting the floor. She played the second half with her left ankle taped.