Hoosiers Upended by No. 8/9 Penn State
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana women's basketball team fell to No. 8/9 Penn State on Thursday night in Assembly Hall, 76-54. Aulani Sinclair led all scorers with 21 points as Jasmine McGhee added 12 for Indiana.
Early on, McGhee nailed a 3-pointer to pull IU (10-13, 1-9) within two, 8-6, at the 17:25 mark of the first half. The Lady Lions then reeled off a 14-5 run over the next 6:51 to build a 22-11 advantage.
PSU (19-3, 9-1) built its lead to as much as 13 points in the first 20 minutes, but Indiana would close the half strong. As Penn State led 35-22, Simone Deloach hit a field goal before Sinclair nailed a 3-pointer in transition get IU within single-digits, 35-27, with 1:57 to go.
Talia East pushed the Lady Lions back ahead by 10 with a field goal on PSU's next possession. McGhee would get the last laugh of the half as Milika Taufa found her open on the left wing for a 3-point field goal. Penn State would lead going into the half, 37-30.
Out of the break, the Hoosiers executed a perfect play to find an open Sinclair in the lane for field goal to cut the PSU lead to five. McGhee then intercepted an errant Lady Lion pass and connected on an open court layup to make it a 37-34 score with 18:58 on the clock.
Penn State then began to put its offense together. The Lady Lions would outscore Indiana 17-3 over a 6:45 span to build a 54-37 lead with 11:51 to play.
With 10:26 on the clock, Milika Taufa ended a near nearly seven minute field goal drought for Indiana to make a 56-40 score in favor of PSU. IU cut the deficit to 14 on a couple more occasions, but the Lady Lions would leave Bloomington with the victory.
"Penn State is a fantastic team with a lot of individuals that are going to play beyond college, there are a lot of WNBA players on that roster," Indiana head coach Curt Miller said. "I thought we competed and I'm very proud of our team. We went into halftime with a seven-point deficit and did some good things despite missing some front ends of one-and-ones and still too many turnovers that led to easy points and the rebound differential. Our team really tried to stick with the game plan and I was really proud of them."
The Penn State backcourt duo of Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley each scored 20 points as Mia Nickson added a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards for the visiting team.
IU's Taufa came off the bench to tally nine points and added five rebounds to lead all reserve scorers in the game. Sinclair connected on 3-of-7 3-point field goals as McGhee added a pair of makes from beyond the arc.
The Hoosiers will hit the road to take on Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 10. That game will tip at 3 p.m. ET.
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