Surging Penn State wins fourth straight; Spartans lose third in a row

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Tyra Grant had 23 points to help Penn State beat Michigan State (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) 68-60 on Sunday, handing the Spartans their third consecutive loss.

Alex Bentley added 14 points for the surging Lady Lions (13-4, 5-2 Big Ten), who earned their fourth straight victory and already have surpassed their win total from last season.

Jasmine Thomas had 19 points and Kalisha Keane scored 14 for Michigan State (11-7, 2-5).

The Spartans scored just 11 points in the final 10 minutes, and the Lady Lions sewed up the game from the free-throw line, including two each in the final minute from Bentley and Julia Trogele.

Michigan State started the game with a 7-0 run and Lauren Aitch's layup with 13:51 left in the second half gave the Spartans a 46-41 lead. But the Lady Lions rallied and took the lead for good when freshman Nikki Greene made a jumper with 7:24 left to make it 55-54.

Greene finished with 12 points and seven rebounds for Penn State, which went 21 for 27 from the free-throw line.

Michigan State, which outrebounded the Lady Lions 42-38, shot 25 percent (7 for 28) from the field in the second half and 34.5 percent for the game. Lykendra Johnson finished with 11 boards for the Spartans.