UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State smothered the University of Maine with its tenacious defense and the Lady Lions showed off their offensive firepower Sunday afternoon while breezing to a 95-41 women's basketball victory at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State (9-2) limited the Black Bears to 19 percent shooting (9-for-47), affording the visitors only two first-half field goals. The hosts also forced many of UMaine's 26 turnovers, which led directly to 30 points by the Lady Lions.
"I think it's a credit to Penn State's defense and we're not a potent offensive team to begin with," said UMaine coach Cindy Blodgett. "We sort of know who we are, but we are generally not quite that bad."
UMaine (1-8), which suffered its eighth consecutive setback, simply could not contend with the talented Penn State lineup.
Penn State shot 47 percent for the game, building a sizeable first-half lead on the strength of 7-for-12 3-point accuracy.
"You give credit to Penn State, too," Blodgett said, "they are long, they are big and they certainly beat us in transition quite a lot in that first half. Sometimes when you don't score and you have a younger team, that (lack of scoring) does impact your defense as well."
The Bears were again without junior co-captain Samantha Wheeler, who missed her fourth straight game while recovering from a head injury suffered in practice.
Maggie Lucas paced Penn State with 22 points, Zhaque Gray scored 13 and Nikki Greene contributed a double-double with 12 points, 14 rebound and four steals. Mia Nickson added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Redshirt freshman Amber Smith tossed in 14 points to lead UMaine, scoring seven points from the foul line. Freshman point guard Ashleigh Roberts tallied 10 points to go with two steals.
Corinne Wellington grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds, but Penn State outrebounded UMaine 49-36.
Penn State led 10-4 when it put the hammer down early. The hosts outscored the Bears 25-3 over the next 7 minutes, 46 seconds to extend their advantage to 35-7.
UMaine committed four turnovers during the run and shot 1-for-12 from the floor. The Lady Lions responded by making their first six shots and wound up going 10-for-14 (71 percent) during the surge, despite having four turnovers of their own.
Lucas scored eight points to fuel the Penn State run.
UMaine returns to action Dec. 20 when it takes on Winthrop at the Stetson Classic in Deland, Fla.