Penn State women's notebook: Florida awaits as second-round opponent
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State wasn't the only team to advance to the second round of the Women's NCAA Tournament by way of a second-half comeback at Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday.
No. 11 Florida dominated the last five minutes of the game to upend No. 6 Dayton, 83-69, in the second game of Sunday's first-round matchups. Trailing 32-29 at halftime, Florida took a 57-56 lead with 8:52 to play and with two minutes remaining held a double-digit advantage.
“It feels good to win, but that's not what we came here for, to just beat Dayton,” Florida guard Jaterra Bonds said. “We came to get that round two win and advance on to the Sweet 16. We feel good, but we have to go back in and prepare for Penn State now.”
Florida and No. 3 Penn State never have met in the Women's NCAA Tournament. They are 1-1 all time and have not played since 2000.
• The Nittany Lions are 16-3 in Women's NCAA Tournament first-round games, 18-5 in tournament games at home and 31-24 in tournament games overall. This is the fourth consecutive year in which they've advanced to the second round. In the past three years, they have made it to the Sweet 16 just once, losing to Connecticut, 77-59, in Kingston, R.I.
• Penn State senior Ariel Edwards became the 36th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points — her total is 1,014 — and her 17 points against Wichita State were a career-high in a Women's NCAA Tournament game. The 13 rebounds made it her fifth double-double of the season and first-ever in the tourney.
• Maggie Lucas started the game shooting just 1 of 6 from the floor and 0 of 4 from 3-point range. After she hit a pair of 3s less than 30 seconds apart late in the first half, the always-animated Lucas ran down the floor and put both hands behind her ears, looking toward the crowd for more noise. “You just know you have to play through it,” Lucas said of the early-game slump. “My teammates were there for me the whole time. They kept telling me to keep shooting it and play through it, and I was able to do that.”
• Sunday was Wichita State's second consecutive — and second ever — appearance in the Women's NCAA Tournament. It lost in the first round last year, falling to Texas A&M, 71-45.
— Karen Price