The Penn State women's basketball team had something to prove.
"We knew we had to get a win over a top 25 team," Andrea Garner said after the 16th-ranked Lady Lions beat previously undefeated No. 6 Auburn, 77-65, yesterday in the Big Ten-SEC Challenge in State College, Pa. "This game showed that we do belong in the top 10 or 15 teams in the country."
Chrissy Falcone scored 19 points, including a three-pointer that put the game out of reach for Penn State (6-2). Helen Darling added 10 points and 11 assists for her third double-double of the season, and Garner had a career-high seven blocks and 16 points.
"Penn State was aggressive in the passing lanes," said Auburn Coach Joe Ciampi. "They didn't give you anything. They've got some good size, and to go along with that size, they've got quickness."
Penn State Coach Rene Portland saw another attribute.
"When we had to, we played great defense," she said. "If you don't win this game, there might be some finger pointing."
Auburn (5-1) got a career-high 19 points from Shana Askew, who came in averaging just 5.4. Garner, Falcone and Maren Walseth sank five consecutive shots to lead Penn State on a 14-4 run after the Lady Lions began the second half with a 46-41 lead.
IOWA STATE 79, IOWA 69: Angie Welle scored 21 points and Stacy Frese had 15 of her 19 in the second half, leading the No. 9 Cyclones in Ames, Iowa.
"She had it going today," Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said of Welle. "I asked her a bunch of times, 'Are you tired?' and she kind of looked at me like, if you take me out, I'm going to squash you like a grape."
Iowa (3-4) stayed close for more than a half by keeping Iowa State (5-2) in a half-court game and doing a good job defensively on Frese, who had made 10 three-pointers and scored 34 points in a loss at Drake Wednesday night.
LSU 67, MICHIGAN 56: Marie Ferdinand scored 20 points as the No. 15 Lady Tigers won at home. April Brown and Katrina Hibbert each added 14 points for LSU (6-1), and Hibbert had 10 assists. Alayne Ingram led Michigan (7-2) with 19 points, but made only 6 of 16 shots.
KANSAS 97, MISS. VALLEY STATE 53: Brook Reves scored 22 points, including six straight during a 13-2 first-half run, that carried the No. 14 Jayhawks at home.
Suzi Raymant, who sat out nearly all of last year after knee surgery before returning to action Nov. 20, also finished with 22 points. Lynn Pride had 19 for Kansas (6-1), which shot 64 percent against the undersized Devilettes (2-5).
PURDUE 79, NORTH TEXAS 68: Kelly Komara scored 21 points as No. 19 Purdue won in Denton, Tex. The sophomore guard was 8 for 9, including 4 of 4 from three-point range. Camille Cooper had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks for Purdue (7-1). Jalie Mitchell led North Texas (6-1) with 19 points. Rosalyn Reades had 10 rebounds for the Lady Eagles.
NOTRE DAME 84, MICHIGAN STATE 54: Ericka Haney scored 24 points as No. 7 Notre Dame won at home to end a two-game losing skid against Big Ten opponents. Ruth Riley scored 18 points, and Niele Ivey added 14 points and 11 assists for Notre Dame (5-2). Kristen Rasmussen led Michigan State (7-1) with 15 points, and Maxann Reese added 13.
DUKE 66, SETON HALL 52: In South Orange, N.J., Peppi Browne scored 14 points to lead No. 20 Duke to its seventh straight win. Seton Hall fell to 3-4.
NORTH CAROLINA 77, RADFORD 58: LaQuanda Barksdale scored 29 points and had a career-high 19 rebounds to lead the No. 11 Tar Heels at home.
UCLA 86, PEPPERDINE 67: Maylana Martin scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half to lead the No. 8 Bruins (4-2) in Malibu, Calif.
SW MISSOURI ST. 70, OREGON 69: Jackie Stiles scored 38 points and Oregon's Brianne Meharry missed a tying free throw with no time left as the host Bears beat the 10th-ranked Ducks.