Penn State opens NCAAs with 85-77 win over UTEP

BRETT MARTEL AP Sports Writer Published:

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Maggie Lucas scored 23 points and fourth-seeded Penn State defeated No. 13 seed UTEP 85-77 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.

Alex Bentley scored 21 and Zhaque Gray 15 for the Lady Lions (25-6), who trailed for much of the first half but led nearly all of the second en route to their second straight appearance in the second round.

Gloria Brown had 18 points and 10 rebounds for UTEP (29-3), which had not lost by more than three points all season before running into Penn State, the Big Ten regular-season champion.

Kayla Thornton added 15 and 12 rebounds, and Jenzel Nash scored 13 for the Miners, who led by as many as seven in the first half but fell behind by as much as 14 in the second.