Teniya Page closed out Penn State’s fifth straight win with five free throws in the final 28 seconds.
But it was the supporting cast who put the Lady Lions in position to beat American 70-65 on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
With Penn State trailing by three with less than four minutes to play, Ashanti Thomas and De’Janae Boykin combined for 11 straight points to push their team ahead and maintain that lead in the final minute. Page then scored Penn State’s final five points from the line to put the finishing touches on the third 30-point performance of her career.
Page went 7 for 15 from the field and 15 for 17 from the free-throw line.
Thomas finished with nine points and six rebounds, and Boykin had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Lady Lions (9-2).
Kaitlyn Lewis scored 16 to lead American (3-7), and Cecily Carl added 14.
Boykin missed the first 10 games due to NCAA transfer rules before making her Penn State debut Sunday. The Connecticut transfer gave Penn State the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
After Thomas knocked down a pair of free throws to pull Penn State within 57-56, Boykin finished a layup with 3:21 left. The Lady Lions went ahead 61-57 after a three-point play by Thomas and stayed ahead by at least two points the rest of the way.
Penn State overcame a slow start in the win as the Lady Lions trailed 13-6 after the first quarter. The Lady Lions took a 24-20 lead into halftime and built a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter before American rallied to take the lead.
Lewis and Carl each hit 3-pointers to cut the deficit to five points. The Eagles continued to chip away, tied it on a layup by Michael Harris and went ahead 57-54 on a 3-pointer by Lewis with 4:13 left.
But the Lady Lions recovered and held off American for the win.
Penn State hosts Iona at 7 p.m. Tuesday.