No. 15 Lady Lions fall to No. 20 Purdue, 84-74

The No. 15/14 Penn State Lady Lions (11-4, 2-1 Big Ten) tied the school record with 14 blocks on the day, but it was not enough as the Lions dropped an 84-74 decision to No. 20/21 Purdue (11-4, 1-2). The loss was also Penn State's first to a Big Ten team at home since Jan. 7, 2012 (Michigan State).

Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) scored her 17 points thanks in part to two treys. The senior guard added seven rebounds, an assist and a steal to complete her afternoon. Fellow senior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) totaled 13 points and led the squad with six assists, while Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) tallied 12 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.

Senior Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) turned in one of the most impressive stat lines of the game for Penn State, totaling 10 rebounds, nine points and a career-high seven blocks. The seven rejections tie her career high set against South Carolina during sophomore season and are just one shy of tying the Lady Lion record for blocks in a game.

The Lady Lions came out of the gate fired up for their first Big Ten home game of the season, scoring the first seven points of the contest. Taylor scored Penn State's first five points, knocking down a midrange baseline jumper and a shot from beyond the arc to open up the scoring. East capped the great start with a layup just two and a half minutes into the game.

After the opening Lady Lion flurry, Purdue battled back into the game and grabbed its first lead of the game with 10:18 left in the first off a layup from Whitney Bays to put the Boilermakers up 19-18, outscoring Penn State 19-11 in the stretch. Lucas scored seven of the team's 11 points for Penn State with a four-point play followed by another trey on back-to-back possessions.

The two sides traded buckets for the next six minutes of play, with each team scoring 17 points apiece, moving the score to 36-35 with just over four minutes left in the first frame. The Lady Lions' bench provided much of the offensive production over the stretch, as the trio of Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.), Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Alex Harris (Lorain, Ohio) combined to score 13 of the team's 17 points. Purdue took over in the final four minutes of the half, outscoring Penn State 10-2 in the run to take a 46-37 lead into the halftime break.

The Boilermakers began the second half just as they had finished the first, growing their lead to as many as 15 points at 60-45 with less than 13 minutes to play. The Lions showed its resiliency by battling back and trimming the visitor's lead down to just six points over the next four minutes of action by reeling off 15 of the 21 points scored in the spurt to bring the score to 66-60. East powered the surge, scoring seven points off of three layups and a free throw.

Purdue's Liza Clemons hit a jumper to temporarily slow the Lady Lions' charge and increase its lead back to eight. After the Boilermaker bucket Penn State made another run, scoring the next six points from a Taylor jumper and four free throws to make it a one possession game at 68-66 at the seven-minute mark.

Despite the rally, Purdue managed to weather the Penn State comeback, scoring six unanswered points to push its lead back to eight at 74-66 with 3:42 remaining. The Boilermakers managed to keep the Lady Lions at bay for the remainder of the game and came away with a win by a final of 84-74.

GAME NOTES: Dara Taylor reached her 400-point mark for her Penn State career with 13 points ... Penn State tied the school record with 14 team blocks today, tying the mark set against Boston University (1/22/82) and Delaware (2/15/80) ... Talia East tied her career high with seven blocked shots, equaling the mark set at South Carolina (11/23/11) ... The seven blocks are the third-highest single-game total in school history, which has occurred 10 times ... With her 80 career blocked shots, she passed Tyra Grant (75; 2007-10) for 14th place on Penn State's career rejections list ... the 14th highest Lady Lion in career blocks ... With six field goals made, Maggie Lucas passes Tyra Grant (685; 2007-10) for eighth on the Lady Lion career field goals made chart with 688 ... The loss to Purdue marks the first Big Ten home loss for the Lions since Jan. 7, 2012 against Michigan State, a string of 14 games ... Purdue now leads the series 27-17.

The Lady Lions continue their homestand against Ohio State on Thursday. It's the annual Lady Lion Book Drive game and Dollar Dog Night. Fans that donate a new or gently used book and receive a $5 ticket. The game will also feature an Ariel Edwards Mini-Bobblehead giveaway (4th in series of 6 giveaways) while supplies last.

Lady Lion Basketball single-game and season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Single-game tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2013-14. New this year, the Lady Lions have introduced a Family Season Ticket package. For $200, fans will get two adult tickets and two youth tickets for the 2013-14 campaign. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.

The 2014 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 as the Lady Lions take on Wisconsin in the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $260,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.

The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.

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Last Updated January 13, 2014