Updated at: 01/13/2013 2:37 PM
By GENARO C. ARMAS
(AP) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Alex Bentley scored 19 points and led a swift backcourt trio that created havoc all over the floor to help No. 8 Penn State beat Nebraska 80-58 on Sunday.
Guard Maggie Lucas had 19 points on 5-of-16 shooting, while Ariel Edwards added 15 of the bench for the Lady Lions (13-2, 3-0), who won their seventh straight.
Emily Cady scored 17 to lead the Huskers (12-5, 2-2), who shot just 31 from the field.
After a choppy start, Penn State pulled away with a 14-4 run over the final 3 minutes of the first half.
Bentley hit a 3 to start the run before finishing it with a heave from just beyond the halfcourt line for an improbable 3 just before the buzzer and a 40-27 lead.
Penn State didn’t let up from there and lead by as much as 26 in the second half against cold-shooting Nebraska.
After starting the game shooting 4 of 8 over the game’s opening 4 minutes, Nebraska managed to go just 18 of 62 (29 percent) the rest of way. Penn State converged quickly on shooters and forced several steals off inbounds plays _ a specialty for the third member of the Lady Lions’ three-guard set, Dara Taylor (seven points, eight assists, three steals).
Penn State struggled early in the halfcourt against the Huskers before turning to its tried-and-true formula of defense and the transition game to take control.
The momentum carried over to the frontcourt, especially in the second half. Forward Mia Nickson had eight of her 11 rebounds after halftime, while Nikki Greene (nine points, 10 rebounds) created space with some key buckets down low.
The 6-foot-3 Edwards, the first Lady Lion off bench, gave the Huskers fits all afternoon too with her ability to drive and gets rebounds. She finished 6-of-8 shooting with six rebounds.
The Lady Lions are practically unbeatable when they’re scoring in the lane, since Bentley and Lucas together average nearly 32 points a game.
Nebraska standout guard Lindsey Moore had a frustrating day with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Her miss on a wide-open layup early in the second half was emblematic of Nebraska’s day-long woes.
Bentley corralled the rebound and moved the ball quickly up the floor to Greene, who followed up on her own miss for a 44-27 lead with 18:50 left.
Jordan Hooper finished with 11 points for Nebraska on 5-of-16 shooting. The Huskers were just 5 of 25 (20 percent) from 3-point range.
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