UNIVERSITY PARK (AP) - Nikki Greene scored 17 points and Alex Bentley 13 as No. 11 Penn State pulled away in the second half to beat South Dakota State 60-50 Sunday.
Bentley also had five assists to give the senior guard 503 for her career, the sixth player to surpass 500 for the Lady Lions (9-2). She also moved into 12th place on the program's career scoring list with 1,474.
Penn State broke a 25-25 halftime tie by scoring the first seven points of the second half, including four by Greene. An 8-0 run later in the half put the Lady Lions in front 48-35 with 6:30 left.
Maggie Lucas, who came in averaging 22.1 points for Penn State, made only 2 of 12 shots and had nine points, but she made five steals and blocked a career-high four shots.
Ashley Eide scored 14 points for the Jackrabbits (6-5), who had won three straight.
The back-and-forth first half started with South Dakota taking a 4-2 lead on a Leah Dietel jumper following a Bentley layup. Greene succeeded on an old-fashioned three-point play a minute and a half into the contest to give the Lady Lions a 5-4 advantage. The Jackrabbits scored the next six and took a 10-5 advantage on three-pointers by Ashley Eide and Gabrielle Boever. Then leading 13-7, South Dakota State surrendered six-straight points to the Lady Lions on a jumper by Bentley, a layup by Greene and another layup be Bentley.
With the contest tied up at 13, the Jackrabbits put together a 6-2 run to take a19-15 lead with 8:33 to go in the first half. Penn State would put a quick end to that when Bentley grabbed a steal and scored on a breakaway layup.
Heading into the second half tied at 25, the Lady Lions opened things up with a 7-0 run. Greene hit a jumper in the paint to get things started, followed by a Lucas free throw. Greene converted on another layup and Bentley assisted Taylor on a fastbreak layup to give the Lady Lions a 32-25 advantage with 17:29 to go in the second half, forcing a South Dakota State timeout.
Penn State went up 34-28 on a Bentley field goal at 13:40 and then took an eight-point lead on a Nickson layup 31 seconds later. Nevertheless, the Jackrabbits scored the next five points on a three by Chloe Cornemann and a fastbreak layup by Tara Heiser. Lucas halted the South Dakota State threat by sinking two free throws to give Penn State a 38-33 lead. Greene muscled her way through in the paint to make a layup and up the Lady Lion lead to seven (40-33). Following a field goal for the Jackrabbits, the Lady Lions netted the next seven points on free throws by Bentley, a Nickson turnaround jumper and Lucas' first three of the game for a 47-35 Penn State lead.
Freshman Candice Agee notched her second field of the game on a hook shot in the lane at the 5:20 mark to give the Lay Lions a 50-37 lead. Then with 2:50 remaining, Edwards hit back-to-back jumpers to give Penn State a 56-43 lead. Greene put the Lady Lions at the 60-point mark as she scored the final four Penn State points. A three at the buzzer by Eide resulted in the final count of 60-50.