UNIVERSITY PARK - The Penn State women's basketball team won a game Sunday for the man coach Coquese Washington called her "big brother on campus."
Hours after the passing of Joe Paterno, the No. 22 Lady Lions used a 20-2 game-ending run to rally for a 68-52 victory over Iowa.
Alex Bentley had 21 points and Ariel Edwards, starting in place of the injured Mia Nickson, recorded her first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds for Penn State (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten), which won its fourth straight.
Kamille Wahlin scored 21 points to lead Iowa (11-9, 3-4).
Before the game, there was a moment of silence among the crowd of 4,714 for Paterno, whose picture was displayed on the scoreboard. The Lady Lions wore black bands in memory of Paterno and members of the basketball staff wore black ribbons with a silver Nittany Lions pin.
"In shootaround, we talked about it with coach and with the team," Bentley said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the Penn State family. He's really going to be missed."
Afterward, Washington said Paterno was someone who "kind of took care of me when I first got here."
"Coach Paterno was a friend," she said. "It wasn't like we had Sunday dinner every week. The times we spent together, he was always giving some advice, some inspiration. He was just a fantastic man and an inspiration."
Washington said Sunday's victory was a small way to pay tribute to Paterno.
"I know he probably would have been ticked off had we lost, so it's good we got the 'W' in honor of him," she said. "We just wanted to play our best on this day and give our best effort."
The Lady Lions, who trailed for a majority of the first half, were down by as many as eight points. Iowa led 27-19 after a pair of free throws from Samantha Logic and went ahead 32-24 after a 3-pointer from Wahlin with 2:40 left.
Penn State still trailed by four points midway through the second half, when it began its surge.
Two free throws each from Edwards, Marisa Wolfe and Maggie Lucas helped to tie the game at 48-48 with 8:17 left. After Theairra Taylor's jump shot gave Iowa its final lead, 50-48, at the 6:32 mark, Penn State responded by scoring the next 15 points.
A jumper from Bentley gave the Lady Lions the lead for good. Two more baskets from Bentley made it 57-50. Consecutive jump shots from Zhaque Gray increased the lead to 11 points. Finally, a basket from Edwards put the Lady Lions up 63-50 with 2:13 left.
"We just executed the game plan," Bentley said about Penn State's second-half rally. "Offensively, we just started executing and running through our offense more so than just taking quick jumpers down the stretch."
Sunday's game featured a familiar ending for the Lady Lions, who already have had several late second-half runs this season.
Washington credited her team's mindset.
"We didn't get too bothered by the game," she said. "That's one thing we talk to our team about all the time. The game is long. Forty minutes is a long time. So, you can't get bothered by a four-point, six-point, eight-point, even a 20-point deficit. There's time to play yourself out of it."
Washington said Nickson, who missed several games earlier this season with concussion issues, sat out Sunday after tweaking a muscle and is day-to-day.
"She'll be fine," Washington said. "She wanted to play. She was in my ear the whole game. I didn't think it was in her best interest medically to let her play."
Edwards, who also started in place of Nickson earlier this season, responded Sunday with career highs in points and rebounds. She said her first double-double will motivate her for the remainder of the year.
"It's like a level to keep repeating, almost," she said. "It's something I want to do consistently and reach more than once because this was my first."
IOWA (11-9): Wahlin 7-15 2-2 21, M. Johnson 3-5 0-0 6, Krei 0-7 0-0 0, Logic 0-2 2-3 2, Printy 4-20 4-4 13, Taylor 1-2 0-4 2, V. Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Doolittle 4-4 0-0 8. Totals 19-55 8-13 52.
PENN STATE (15-4): Gray 3-13 0-0 6, Bentley 10-21 0-0 21, Edwards 4-8 9-10 17, Lucas 1-6 5-6 7, Greene 2-10 1-2 5, East 0-3 1-2 1, Studevent 1-4 0-0 2, Wolfe 3-6 2-2 8, Waldner 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 24-71 19-24 68.
Halftime-Iowa 32-31. 3-Point Goals-Iowa 6-28 (Wahlin 5-10, Printy 1-10, Logic 0-1, Krei 0-7), Penn St. 1-7 (Bentley 1-2, Lucas 0-1, Gray 0-4). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Iowa 34 (M. Johnson, Krei, Printy 5), Penn St. 53 (Greene 13). Assists-Iowa 13 (Printy 7), Penn St. 10 (Lucas 3). Total Fouls-Iowa 16, Penn St. 15. A-4,714.