The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

December 9, 2013

PSU staves off Georgetown

WASHINGTON — Maggie Lucas scored 30 points and topped 2,000 for her career to help No. 10 Penn State beat Georgetown 77-68 on Sunday.

Lucas finished the game with 2,008 career points to pass Tanisha Wright for fifth place on the school’s scoring list.

“It’s not something that comes on your own. It’s not an individual achievement,” Lucas said about the milestone. “I’ve played with some unbelievable point guards every year. I played with Dara (Taylor) and I played with Alex Bentley, and my teammates set me up and they put me in a position to be successful.”

After missing 10 of 14 shots in the first half, Lucas responded by hitting 6 of 7 in the second half. She made five 3-pointers and added five rebounds and four assists.

Taylor had 12 points and six assists to help Penn State (6-2) rebound from a loss Wednesday night to No. 5 Notre Dame.

Katie McCormick led the Hoyas (5-3) with 17 points.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half, with Penn State shooting 21 percent (7 for 34) and Georgetown 23 percent (7 for 30).

But while the Hoyas’ offensive struggles continued into the second half – McCormick’s jumper with 17:29 remaining was Georgetown’s first basket in more than 9 minutes – the Nittany Lions hit 12 of their first 15 shots to begin the half and used a 13-3 run midway through the half to take a 56-37 lead.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well early in the game,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. “But we figured it out. We figured out what we needed to do and got better defensively in the second half. We got going in transition and made some plays.”

Georgetown responded with a 10-0 run to get back in the game, and cut it to 66-61 on Natalie Butler’s layup with 2:05 left.

But Lucas hit a driving layup on the following possession and the Nittany Lions made 8 of 10 free throws in the last 2 minutes to seal the victory.

The Nittany Lions shot 68 percent in the second half, a success rate that Washington chalked up to a renewed focus on getting shots closer to the basket.

“I thought we were a lot more patient against the zone in the second half,” Washington said. “I thought we did a much better job of getting paint touches and shots in the paint and that certainly helped our percentage.”

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