Alston's 26 leads No. 7 Ohio State over Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Ameryst Alston hit eight 3-pointers and finished with 26 points as No. 7 Ohio State beat Penn State 77-63 on Sunday, its ninth straight win.

Kelsey Mitchell added 17 points and Alexa Hart chipped in 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes who remain atop the Big Ten standings with four games left.

Lindsey Spann led Penn State (9-16, 4-10) with 21 points while Brianna Banks added 14.

Teniya Page and Kaliyah Mitchell scored 11 and 10 points respectively for Penn State. But the Lady Lions' balanced offensive approach, coupled with an aggressive second-half start, wasn't enough to overcome the Buckeyes (21-4, 13-1) who led for 27:45 including the final 14:55.

Not used to early starts after playing its last two games late, the Buckeyes were slow to get their offense going.

Their transition game was sloppy as well. The Buckeyes committed 13 first-half turnovers and didn't score its first points until nearly 4 minutes into the game. They recovered on the right arm of Alston.

She made three 3-pointers in the first quarter and continued to drain long shots and was most comfortable from the top of the arc.

When Alston wasn't draining deep shots, Mitchell was. She knocked down two in the second quarter with Alston out for a breather and Ohio State took a 37-30 lead into halftime. Penn State kept pace as Spann scored 15 first-half points.

She and Banks sparked a 12-6 run to begin the third quarter. It cut Ohio State's lead to 45-44 before Penn State took its first lead since the end of the first on a midrange shot from Page.

But Ohio State went ahead for good moments later when Mitchell was left wide open for her third 3-pointer of the game. Ohio State attempted 34 3-pointers. Penn State kept within a point for much of the fourth quarter but Ohio State took control over the final 5:35 with and pulled away with a 17-6 run. Alston, who shot 53 percent from 3-point range, hit her final 3-pointer with 2:53 left and made two free throws to close out the game.

Ohio State pulled down 41 rebounds to Penn State's 30, turned in 15 second-chance points to Penn State's eight and scored 18 points off 16 Penn State turnovers.