Don't ever say the Jordan Center can't rock.
As the Lady Lions erased a 10 point deficit late in the second half Thursday night, they had the crowd safely on their side. With every bucket, more and more denizens stood and shouted on another stop. Before anyone knew it, the Lady Lions were ahead by one with under a minute left.
Unfortunately, Purdue was able to get the game into overtime, where they were able to upset the Lady Lions 80-76. It was a tough loss for the young upstarts from Penn State, however, at 7-3, the remain a game up on Wisconsin and Purdue for second in the Big Ten. Ohio State is currently two games clear of the Lady Lions for the conference lead.
Alex Bentley led Penn State with 27 points, and Tyra Grant finished right on her heels with 26. Beyond those two, however, the scoring drop off was dramatic. Nikki Greene scored nine, and Julia Trogele had seven, but beyond those two, no other Lady Lion had more than three.
The lack of scoring depth is certainly a concern going forward. It seemed at times in the first half, the whole team stood watching to see what Grant would do. In the second half, it was all about Bentley. But at no point in the game did it seem many other Lady Lions were too interested in taking some of the scoring load off the shoulder of those two.
Give the Boilermakers credit, though. They've now knocked off the top two teams in the conference, and have three pretty good players in KK Houser, Brittany Rayburn, and Chelsea Jones. Don't let their 11-10 record fool you, this team is good.
In any event, the Lady Lions now travel to Michigan on Sunday, and Michigan State on Thursday for a rematch with the Spartans before welcoming Ohio State to Happy Valley next Sunday, the seventh in what could potentially be a battle for first place in the Big Ten. Stay tuned.