By The Daily Item
STATE COLLEGE —
Senior guard Dara Taylor had a huge night for No. 13 Penn State, posting her second career double-double with a 15-point, 10-assist performance to lead the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten rout of rival Minnesota, 85-53, on Sunday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions (15-4, 6-1 Big Ten) hasn’t allowed an opponent to go over the 55 point mark in its past four games.
While Taylor was a force offensively, she was just as important on the defensive end of the court, swiping away a team-best four steals. This was also Taylor’s first double-double since 2010.
Senior Maggie Lucas added a game-high 25 points, scoring 15 of which in the first half. She was 7-for-15 from the floor, including going 4-for-8 from downtown, and a nearly perfect 7-for-8 from the charity striple. She ended her night with three rebounds, three assists and two steals as well.
Ariel Edwards joined Lucas and Taylor in double figures with a 16 point night and added five boards.
The Penn State defense played solid on the day, allowing just five Minnesota Golden Gophers to score.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 13-4 lead over Minnesota in just over four minutes of play, and led 21-12 with 12:14 to play in the first half.
Edwards nailed a jumper to put Penn State ahead by double digits for the first time all day at 23-12, and Penn State eventually increased its lead to 22 points by outscoring Minnesota 21-10 the rest of the first period to go into the half leading 44-22.
Penn State began the second half by scoring 13 of the first 21 points to take the largest lead of the night, 57-30, at the 14:57 mark.
The Golden Gophers answered with a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the deficit down to 17 (59-42), but couldn’t get any closer down the stretch, as Penn State would outscore the Golden Gophers, 24-11, the rest of the way.
The win is the fourth in a row for Penn State and keeps them atop the Big Ten.
Penn State goes on the road for its next two games, as the Nittany Lions travel to Purdue on Thursday and Northwestern on Sunday. The Nittany Lions are back home on Thursday, Feb. 6, against Iowa.