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Penn State overcomes slow start to down Michigan State

Feb 10, 2013 - 9:32 PM University Park, PA (Sports Network) - Alex Bentley posted 24 points and four steals as No. 8 Penn State overcame a slow start to top Michigan State, 71-56, at Bryce Jordan Center.

Maggie Lucas added 19 points and five rebounds, while Nikki Greene finished with 13 points and six boards for the Lady Lions (20-3, 10-1 Big Ten), who have won 18 straight at home.

Annalise Pickrel was the lone member of Michigan State (18-5, 6-4) to score in double figures with 16 points as the Spartans had their two-game win streak snapped.

Michigan State controlled the early action by racing out to a 20-11 lead on Becca Mills' 3-pointer with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half, but Penn State took over from there, closing out the frame with a 21-7 run to take a 32-27 edge into the break.

The Lady Lions then carried that momentum into the second half as Lucas connected on a pair of triples during an opening 21-7 trek to jump ahead, 53-34, with just over 12 minutes to play.

Michigan State trailed by double digits from there until Pickrel later connected on a pair of 3-pointers during a 10-3 push to get back within, 62-54, with just under four minutes to play.

Penn State, however, netted the game's next seven points to reopen a 15-point lead with 1:15 remaining and cruised to the victory.