INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tanisha Wright scored 17 points to help Penn State (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP) rally in the second half and beat Iowa 68-66 in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal Friday night.
Jess Strom had 21 points and Ashli Schwab added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Lady Lions (19-9), who advanced to play Michigan State (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) in the semifinals on Sunday.With Penn State's win, the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals for only the second time in tournament history. Top-seeded Ohio State plays fourth-seeded Minnesota in the other semifinal.The Lady Lions looked to be in trouble trailing by eight points with less than nine minutes left, but Wright took over. She scored six points during an 8-0 run to put Penn State ahead 60-59 with 3:10 left.Following an Iowa free throw to tie the game at 60, Wright hit a jumper and Schwab grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put Penn State up 64-60.The Hawkeyes got within 68-66 after Crystal Smith's runner with nine seconds left. They had a chance to win it, but Smith's heave from beyond halfcourt fell short.Jamie Cavey had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for Iowa (20-9). Johanna Solverson scored 20 and Smith added 16 points, four assists and four steals.Penn State took control of the game midway through the first half after building a 28-17 advantage. But the Hawkeyes used a 13-0 run to take a 30-28 lead with 2:30 left. The Lady Lions missed eight straight shots and went nearly six minutes without a basket.Iowa quickly built its lead to 42-33 early in the second half after Cavey's jumper. Penn State battled back, getting six straight points from Strom to cut the deficit to 49-46 with 9:35 left.Cavey responded with an off-balance jumper and Jenna Armstrong's 3-pointer pushed Iowa's lead back to 54-46.