Despite fouling the Iowa State Cyclones 32 times, the No. 16 Lady Lions found a way to win the opening round of the Nugget Classic in Reno, Nev., last night by a score of 66-59.
The Lady Lions (4-1) sent the Cyclones to the line for 35 foul shots. Luckily for coach Coquese Washington’s squad, Iowa State (3-1) was able to make only 19 of them.
Penn State took advantage. Guard Maggie Lucas led the Penn State charge with 18 points, while guards Zhaque Gray and Alex Bentley contributed 14 and 13, respectively. A healthy Mia Nickson got her hirst start at power forward since Nov. 13 against Middle Tennessee State and grabbed 13 rebounds along with 4 points.
Freshman center Tori Waldner notched the first two points of her collegiate career with a mid-range jumper in the first half.
Penn State led 37-28 at the half, but Iowa State got the score to within two points with 4:30 left in the game when Lucas stepped up. The Lady Lions’ leading scorer collected four points within the next minute a half to take control of the game.
Next up for the Lady Lions is Nevada, the host of the Nugget Classic. If the Penn State can get the victory in tonight’s tournament finale, the Lady Lions will have finished their four-game road trip (their longest of the season) at 3-1.