STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Maggie Lucas scored 16 points to help Penn State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP)
beat Wisconsin 69-54 on Thursday night.
Alex Bentley and Ariel Edwards each added 14 to lead the Lady Lions (19-5, 9-3 Big Ten) to their eighth win in the last nine games. Penn State also swept the season series with the Badgers (8-16, 4-8). Mia Nickson chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds for Penn State.
Penn State, which beat Wisconsin by 33 points in January, shot 48 percent from the field on Thursday while Wisconsin shot just 37 percent.
Coming off a game in which they made a school-record 12 3-pointers, the Badgers struggled from beyond the arc, making just 1 of 12 attempts. Penn State coach Coquese Washington put an emphasis on defending the 3-point arc in practice.
"We just made sure we got out on the shooters and made them put it on the floor," Bentley said.
It took Wisconsin nearly five minutes to score its first basket and Penn State opened the game on an 8-0 run. The Lady Lions held a nice lead throughout the first half and were up 15 at the break. The Badgers battled back to bring the deficit to just 8 with under 12 minutes left in the game before the Lady Lions pulled away.
"I think defense kind of turned that around pretty quickly for us," Lucas said.
Wisconsin's Anya Covington led all scorers with 20 points. Taylor Wurtz, the Badgers' top scorer, was held to just 11 points.
"We just got ourselves in a hole and we couldn't get out of it," Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said. "That's a great team over there. They put it together. All of them can shoot. They have people that can handle the ball and create their own shot. And we don't have a lot of that. So that hurt us tonight."