Lady Lions Wallop Wolverines, 76-58
Jan. 4, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Lady Lions (7-7, 2-2) overcame a sluggish start to turn in a dominating performance in a 76-58 victory over Michigan (8-6, 1-2) on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Junior Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio) led four Lady Lions in double figures and posted her eight 20-point game of the season with 24 tallies on 8-of-16 shooting. Grant, who was 4-for-5 from three-point range, also pulled down eight rebounds and had two steals.
Senior guard Brianne O'Rourke (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added 13 points, four rebounds and six assists, while sophomore Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot in just 17 minutes of action. Senior guard Mashea Williams (Erie, Pa.) had one of her best performances of the season with 10 tallies, five rebounds and a career high-tying eight assists.
The Lady Lions also received solid contributions from the bench as junior Meredith Monroe (Olney, Md.) was 3-for-3 from the field en route to six points and four rebounds, while freshman Emily Phillips (South Bend, Ind.) added five points and a steal. Penn State dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Wolverines by a 50-32 margin and gaining 17 second-chance points on 20 offensive caroms. The 50 rebounds are the most by the Lady Lions since they had 51 against Syracuse on Nov. 12, 2006.
The Lady Lions were plagued with poor shooting and turnovers in the early going and quickly found themselves down 10-2 just over three minutes into the game. However, Penn State showed its poise and began to chip away at the Wolverine lead and eventually used a 7-0 run to tie the game at 17-17 at the 9:16 mark before taking a 20-19 lead on a Grant three-pointer with just over six minutes left in the half. The Lady Lions added to their lead with a layup by Grant, but Michigan responded with a fastbreak layup by Veronica Hicks to make it a 22-21 game with 5:03 on the clock.
Penn State tightened its defense and found its offensive groove at the end of the first half and at the start of the second period as the Lady Lions went on a 13-0 run and held Michigan without a field goal for the next eight minutes of game time to establish a 35-21 lead with 17:21 remaining in the game. During the run, Monroe and Evelyn Lewis (Hampton, Va.) accounted for four points each, Williams chipped in three free throws and Grant had a bucket.
Michigan continued to keep the Lions within reach and cut the lead to 10 points (39-29) with 14:43 left on a three-pointer by Carly Benson. However, a three-pointer by Phillips and a Trogele layup pushed the lead back to five points at 44-29 with just over 13 minutes remaining. Another surge by the Wolverines brought the Penn State lead back to 11 points (47-36), but the Lady Lions responded as Grant connected on a three-pointer, which was quickly followed by a triple by O'Rourke and a pair of Grant free throws for an 8-0 spurt and a 19-point lead (55-36) with eight and a half minutes on the clock. The Wolverines never challenged the Lady Lions, who stretched the lead to as many as 22 points, for the lead again.
GAME NOTES Penn State has now won seven straight vs. Michigan at home, last loss was in the 2000-01 season...With 24 points, junior guard Tyra Grant scored in double figures for the 18th-straight game overall dating back to last year and for the 14th time this year in as many games...Grant's 24 points also marks the fifth time in the last six games that she has scored 20 or more points and the eighth time overall this year with 20 or more...Penn State's 29-21 halftime lead marked its biggest halftime lead against a Big Ten opponent this year...The Lady Lions held Michigan without a field goal for a period of 8:09 at the end of the first half and into the second half. During that period, Penn State went on a 13-0 run to build a one-point lead into a 14-point lead...Senior guard Mashea Williams tied her career high with eight assists...Michigan did not shoot a free throw until the 7:29 mark of the second half...The Lady Lions outrebounded the Wolverines by 18 boards (50-32), its largest rebound margin this year. The previous high was 16 vs. Prairie View A&M...Penn State's 20 offensive rebounds is a season-high. The previous high this year was 18 vs. Coppin State...Penn State is now 5-1 on the year when outrebounding its opponent...Senior guard Brianne O'Rourke recorded six assists and now needs just one for 500 in her career...The 18-point margin of victory is the largest for Penn State against a Big Ten opponent since a 19-point win over Northwestern on January 10 of last year.
The Lady Lions continue their homestand against Indiana on Sunday, Jan. 11. Sunday is also a Subway Full Court Four-Pack games where fans will receive our (4) reserved game tickets, a voucher for four (4) soft drinks redeemable at the Jordan Center and a voucher for four (4) 6-inch subs redeemable at any of seven State College area Subway locations all for just $40. The voucher is not valid at the Bryce Jordan Center Subway location. For information on Lady Lion Basketball tickets, call the Penn State ticket office at 814-865-5555.
The 2009 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State proudly supported by Mimi Barash Coppersmith (formerly known as THINK PINK Day) will take place on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m., as the Lady Lions take on Iowa in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on www.bigtennetwork.com. The first two Pink Zone events have raised more than $50,000 for breast cancer awareness. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Penn State Hershey Breast Cancer Institute, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone.