STATE COLLEGE — 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.
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 closed it out with a bucket and steal.
Baylor remains No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll for a fifth straight week after cruising to two more Big 12 wins.
The Lady Bears had easy victories over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and have 32 straight Big 12 regular-season wins. Baylor had 37 first-place votes Monday and will host Kansas before visiting Texas this week.
The first six stayed unchanged with Notre Dame, Connecticut, Stanford, Duke and California following the Lady Bears.