COLUMBUS, Ohio — Maggie Lucas had 23 points, including 12 during a 21-3 run, to lead No. 9 Penn State past Ohio State 74-54 on Sunday.
Dara Taylor and Talia East each added 12 points for the Nittany Lions (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten), who took over the top spot in the conference a day earlier when Michigan State lost at Nebraska. They had won six in a row before a 73-70 loss to Iowa on Thursday night.
Raven Ferguson and Ameryst Alston each scored 16 points for the Buckeyes (14-13, 4-7), who have lost six of eight. Alston, fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.4 points a game, was held out of the starting lineup after she showed up late for the morning shootaround, held during a snow squall.
Penn State has won the last five meetings with the Buckeyes.
Ahead by two points at the half after taking a 12-3 run into the break, Penn State took control early in the second half.
Taylor tossed in a 3 from the left baseline on the first possession and, after three missed shots and a turnover by Ohio State, Lucas hit a perimeter jumper for a 43-36 lead. Lucas then followed two more Ohio State misses with baskets — one a step-back 15-footer and the other a layup in transition — to push the lead to 11.
On the heels of the spurt to finish the half, the Lions ran off the first nine points of the second half.
No. 1 Connecticut 81, No. 4 Louisville 64
STORRS, Conn. — Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked UConn over No. 4 Louisville in a rematch of last season’s national championship game.
Just as in the matchup last April, which UConn won by 33 points, Stewart and the Huskies were too much for Louisville. The win was UConn’s 31st straight dating back to last season’s title run. That’s the fifth-longest winning streak in school history.
No. 2 Notre Dame 101, Syracuse 64
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jewell Loyd scored 23 points, Kayla McBride added 18 and second-ranked Notre Dame opened a 33-point halftime lead to improve to 23-0, matching the best start in school history.
The other time the Irish (10-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) started 23-0 was in 2000-01 en route to the national championship.