BLACKSBURG — When the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team played Penn State last season, it lost by 38 points.
The Hokies lost Wednesday’s rematch too, but the result was only half as bad this time.
All-Big Ten guard Maggie Lucas scored 17 points to help the No. 11 Nittany Lions cruise to a 60-41 win.
Penn State won last December’s meeting 66-28, holding Tech to the fewest points in its history.
The Hokies (4-4) had another bad shooting night Wednesday. They shot just 25.9 percent from the field, including 18.5 percent in the second half.
“We had a bunch of great looks at the basket,” said Monet Tellier, who had 18 points in 38 minutes for the Hokies. “They just didn’t fall.”
The Hokies made just 14 baskets.
“It’s very difficult for these kids, as hard as they’re working on defense, if we can’t get some shots to go,” coach Dennis Wolff said. “I bet you we missed two or three layups and I bet you we missed five or six right in the lane.”
The Nittany Lions (8-2) took the lead for good early in the game, although they led just 28-21 at halftime. They built a 46-28 cushion with 10:37 to go.
Penn State returns Lucas and three other starters from a team that won the Big Ten regular-season title and made the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament last season.
The Nittany Lions shot just 38.3 percent from the field, their second-worst performance of the season.
Lucas scored 39 points in Penn State’s win Sunday against Georgetown, so the Hokies sometimes used a box-and-one defense to try to stop her. At other times, they went with a triangle-and-two defense to try to contain Lucas and All-Big Ten point guard Alex Bentley.
“It took us the first half to get a little bit used to the box-and-one and the triangle-and-two,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. “That’s the first time we’ve seen the box-and-one this year.”
Lucas, who entered the game averaging 22.7 points, was 7-of-9 from the field.
“There’s going to be breakdowns in defense every game,” Lucas said. “Mistakes are going to happen, so I was just waiting for those mistakes to happen.
“And then I just kept running the floor because I get good looks in transition.”
Lucas was 11-of-21 from the field and sank seven 3-pointers against Georgetown. She was 1-of-2 from 3-point range Wednesday.
“She’s arguably the best shooter in the country, so the goal was to try to limit her touches,” Wolff said. “The kids did a good job of that.”
Bentley had 10 points. Dara Taylor added 15 points, while Mia Nickson had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Nittany Lions outrebounded Tech 49-30.
“We got tired and we didn’t rebound sometimes,” Wolff said.
Tech forward Taijah Campbell missed her second game out of the past three because of concussion symptoms. Wolff expects her to play Sunday.
Freshman forward Alex Kiss-Rusk had eight points in a career-high 37 minutes for Tech. She was 2-of-4 from 3-point range but 1-of-10 from 2-point territory.
“I’m starting to settle a lot more,” she said of her adjustment to college basketball. “I’ve never worked this hard, I don’t think, in my life. … My shots just weren’t falling.”
Porschia Hadley, Alyssa Fenyn, Aerial Wilson and Nia Evans were a combined 2-of-17 from the field.