Jasmine Thomas tallied 19 points and six rebounds as Michigan State earned its way to the Big Ten Championship game by ousting eighth-ranked Penn State, 54-46, on Saturday.
Becca Mills was the most consistent shooter on the floor, converting on 7- of-13 attempts to score 16 points. She also grabbed nine boards and blocked three shots for the Spartans (24-7), who will take on third-seeded Purdue in the conference title game on Sunday.
Maggie Lucas had 23 points and was the only scorer for Penn State (25-5) in double-figures, accounting for seven of the team's nine 3-pointers. Overall, the Lady Lions were just 22.4 percent (15-of-67) from the field.
Penn State was ahead 16-5 nearly nine minutes through, but scored just three more points the rest of the half. However, it remained on top, 19-17, at the break.
Courtney Schiffauer put the Spartans ahead with a layup early in the second half and a 10-0 run soon after had Michigan State in front, 32-24, with 10:54 to play.
Lucas drained back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Lady Lions within one, 2 1/2 minutes later, but another 10-0 Michigan State surge put the Spartans in full control the rest of the way.