Jennifer Brenden had a career game, scoring 24 points, including six 3-pointers, both career bests. Jess Strom added 16 points while Amanda Brown and Tanisha Wright chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The third-seeded Lady Lions received a scare when Strom went down with an ankle injury in the first half. The All-Big Ten point guard went to the locker room for an evaluation and did not return until the second half.
But Strom went on to score 14 of her 16 points after the break, including the first eight points in the period to put the Lady Lions up, 48-47, with 16:06 left.
Each team then put together a run from that point, first second-seeded Michigan State, as the Spartans outscored the Lady Lions 10-2 over the next minute to go up 57-50. Penn State answered with a 15-9 run of its own from 11:26 to 7:28, led by seven points from Brenden, which trimmed the lead to one at 66-65. It was as close as the Lady Lions would get as Michigan State outscored PSU 17-9 the rest of the way.
The Spartans advance to Monday's championship game to face No. 4 see Minnesota. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will air live on espn2.