Maggie Lucas scored 17 points, and No. 8 Penn State withstood a second-half rally by No. 13 Purdue with defense to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with a 69-61 victory Monday night.
After struggling in the first half, 6-foot-4 center Nikki Greene (six points, nine rebounds) gave the Lady Lions (18-3, 8-1) an interior presence in the game's final 6:39, when Penn State finished off the Boilermakers (18-4, 7-2) with a 12-6 run.
Purdue had narrowed a 12-point deficit to 57-55 before going the next five-plus minutes without a field goal.
Lucas and backcourt mate Alex Bentley (13 points) took advantage in a chippy game to get the lead back to double digits in the final minutes.
Courtney Moses (21 points) scored six points in a 13-second span to get within 67-61 with 1:05 left, but Bentley helped Penn State hold on with a bucket and steal.