Updated at: 12/02/2012 3:35 PM
By GENARO C. ARMAS
(AP) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Maggie Lucas scored 24 points and No. 6 Penn State overwhelmed Fairleigh Dickinson, rebounding from its first loss of the season with a 101-44 victory on Sunday.
Four other players scored in double figures for the Lady Lions (6-1), who used a 43-11 run over the last 13 minutes of the first half to take control against the Knights (1-5).
Fairleigh Dickinson led 10-7 at 12:53 of the half before star guard Lucas and Penn State turned up the pressure. Lucas ran the floor and burned Fairleigh Dickinson from 3-point range. After missing her first two shots, she finished 7 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts.
Danielle Pankey paced the Knights with 15 points.
Penn State lost 69-65 at Miami on Thursday.
After beating Manhattan 53-47 last week for its first win of the year, the Northeast Conference school barely lasted seven minutes against Penn State and the suffocating backcourt speed of Lucas and fellow guards Alex Bentley and Dara Taylor. Any remote hopes of coming back from a 50-21 halftime deficit ended when Pankey picked up her fourth foul barely a minute into the second half.
Penn State stretched its lead to nearly 50 points by midway in the second half. The Big Ten favorites got a conference boost heading into Thursday’s anticipated showdown at No. 2 Connecticut.
Kelsey Cruz added 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting for Fairleigh Dickinson, which shot just 30 percent overall (15 of 50) from the field.
Ariel Edwards added 18 off the bench for Penn State, while Taylor added 15. Talia East (11 points) and Nikki Greene (10 points) were the all double figure scorers for the Lady Lions, who also got a career outing from freshman Candice Agee (eight points, nine rebounds).
The Lady Lions are especially tough to beat when the prolific Lucas is hitting from all shots from all over the floor. The left corner behind the 3-point arc was the junior’s favorite spot on this particular day.
Fairleigh Dickinson’s coaches knew it, too, but still couldn’t stop her. At one point a Knight coach pleaded to guard Stephanie Isaacs, "Steph in the corner!"
Too late _ Lucas beat Isaacs to the spot by a split second, just enough time to receive a pass from Alex Bentley and spot up for a fall-away 3.
After getting a steal off Pankey on the next possession, it was Lucas’ turn to drive into the lane and find Gizelle Studevent open on the baseline for a jumper and 22-11 lead with 8:24 in the first half.
It only got worse from there for Fairleigh Dickinson, which held its own on the glass early in the first half before getting outrebounded for the game 52-27. Penn State also forced 21 turnovers, including 13 in the first half, and had a dominating 32-4 edge in second-chance points.
After coughing up 29 turnovers last week to the Hurricanes, the Lady Lions were much less charitable on Sunday with just eight turnovers to Fairleigh Dickinson. They didn’t need starting forward and third-leading scorer Mia Nickson (9.0 points, 6.3 rebounds), who sat out Sunday with what coach Coquese Washington only described as a "tweaked muscle" injury.
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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)