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Penn State rallies to beat Minnesota in Big Ten tourney

Mar 3, 2012 - 4:07 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Maggie Lucas scored 15 of her 24 points in the second half, as ninth-ranked Penn State rallied to beat Minnesota, 78-74, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

Zhaque Gray added 19 points, while Alex Bentley overcame a 5-for-21 shooting performance in a 12-point, seven-steal night for the Lady Lions (24-5). Nikki Greene tallied 11 points and Mia Nickson 10 for top-seeded Penn State, which will play 21st-ranked Purdue in Saturday's semifinals.

Rachel Banham scored 25 and had nine rebounds for Minnesota (15-17), which beat Wisconsin on Thursday, but blew a 13-point advantage one night later. Kiara Buford ended with 19 points in defeat.

Following a Banham jumper, the eighth-seeded Golden Gophers held a 31-18 lead with 7:55 left in the opening half. It was 36-29 at the break in favor of Minnesota, but Penn State dominated for most of the second half and came out on top despite ending 36.2 percent from the field.

Gray's three-pointer capped a 16-2 spurt to start the second half for Penn State and the Lady Lions upped the margin to 13 midway through the period.

Minnesota got within a pair twice in the final minute, the last time on Banham's long three with 5.6 seconds remaining. Lucas then hit two free throws to account for the final margin.