The Lady Lions returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004 on Saturday and made the most of their first appearance on the big stage this season as they defeated Dayton 75-66 at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Alex Bentley led Penn State with 25 points on 12-28 shooting on the afternoon. Mia Nickson posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Maggie Lucas came off the bench to contribute 12 points in the win.
The Flyers jumped out to an early lead, but the Lions quickly shook off the rust, having not played since March 6 against Ohio State at the Big Ten Tournament, and took a 12-point lead into the half. Dayton rallied in the second half, closing the gap to two by late in the game. Once the Flyers were within a possession, however, Bentley and Penn State matched them blow for blow and never let the run get to out of control to hold on for the win.
Penn State will now face the winner of third-seed Depaul vs. 14th-seeded Navy at the Bryce Jordan Center on Monday with a spot in the Sweet 16 in Philadelphia next weekend on the line.