Maggie Lucas scored 19 points, Alex Bentley added 18 and third-seeded Penn State overwhelmed NCAA women’s basketball tournament newcomer Cal Poly 85-55 in a first-round game Sunday night in Baton Rouge, La.
While the dynamic Lucas scored from all over the court, Penn State (26-5) also used its size advantage to assert itself inside on both ends.
The 6-2 Mia Nickson, 6-3 Talia East and 6-4 Nikki Greene combined for 32 rebounds, and the Lady Lions outrebounded Cal Poly 52-40 overall.
Penn State outscored the Mustangs 44-28 in the paint.
Nickson finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, Greene scored 11 points and East grabbed 12 rebounds for Penn State, which plays Tuesday against the winner of LSU-Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Molly Schlemer led Cal Poly (21-11), the 14th seed in the Spokane Region, with 24 points.
Jonae Ervin added 10 points and was the only other player to score in double digits for Cal Poly, the Big West champs, who were held to 27.9 percent shooting (19 for 68).
Penn State led by 10 at halftime and began to blow the game open with a 11-0 run in the second half that made it 59-36 on Lucas’ steal and fast-break layup with less than 12 minutes to go. The lead grew to 30 on Bentley’s layup with 5:39 to go and the result was never in doubt after that.
Delaware 66, West Virginia 53:
Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points and led a second-half surge that carried Delaware past West Virginia in Newark, Del.
Playing on their home floor before a sellout crowd, the Blue Hens trailed 33-26 at halftime before bouncing back to extend their school-record winning streak to 26 games.
Delaware (31-3) had never won an NCAA tournament game before last year. The Blue Hens have yet to reach the round of 16, a milestone they will seek to accomplish Tuesday night against either North Carolina or Albany.
Delle Donne, a 6-5 senior, scored 17 points after halftime. She finished 10 for 24 from the floor, went 12 for 13 at the foul line and had seven rebounds.
Ayana Dunning had 15 points and 10 rebounds for 11th-seeded West Virginia (17-14), which closed the season with a four-game losing streak.