<
>

Alex Bentley scores 21 as Penn State downs Ohio State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Alex Bentley had 21 points and seven assists to help Penn State beat Ohio State 80-71 on Sunday.

Maggie Lucas added 18 points, hitting six 3-pointers, for the Nittany Lions (18-5, 7-2 Big Ten). Penn State, which leads the NCAA hitting 44 percent of its 3-pointers, made 7 of 12 against Ohio State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP).

The Nittany Lions capitalized on defense, scoring 20 points off of 13 turnovers. Penn State also had eight steals on the afternoon.

"Our biggest problem was not taking care of the ball," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "We had some opportunities and we were in just too much of a hurry. You can't do that on the road and expect to win the game."

Penn State remained tough on defense in anticipation of the Buckeyes going on a big run to regain the lead, much like their late 17-4 run to overcome a 15 point deficit in the team's game last year. However, Ohio State trailed the whole game and was unable to put a large string of points together at any point.

"We were anticipating for them to go on a run the whole time," Julia Trogele said, who had 14 points and four steals. "They just didn't have the juice and we did a great job of containing them."

Ohio State (13-8, 4-5) lost its second-straight Big Ten contest. The Buckeyes have won six-straight Big Ten titles, but are currently tied for fifth in the conference.

Jantel Lavender led the Buckeyes with 26 points and six rebounds. Tayler Hill added 18 points for Ohio State.

Despite having four players score in the double digits, Ohio State couldn't produce enough on defense to stop their opponent. Penn State committed 13 turnovers, a vast improvement from their 24 against Illinois in their previous game.

Sunday's win marked only the second time in conference play the Nittany Lions turned the ball over less than 16 times.

"We should do that every night," Penn State coach Coquese Washington said of her team's minimal turnovers. "It is something that we talk about often. When we're poised and when we're patient, that's when we have games like we did today."