Lady Lions Upset No. 20/23 Michigan State, 68-60
Jan. 17, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Lady Lions (13-4, 5-2) held #20/23 Michigan State (11-7, 2-5) without a field goal for the final 8:16 to secure a 68-60 victory over the Spartans in front of a raucous crowd of 7,085 people at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday afternoon. It is the second win over a nationally-ranked opponent for the Lady Lions this season (#15 Pittsburgh, Dec. 12). The Lady Lions also equal the mark for most wins under head coach Coquese Washington, equaling the 13 wins in the 2006-07 season.
Senior Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio) led three Lady Lions in double figures with 23 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Freshman Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 14 tallies and three assists, while fellow freshman Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) tied her career high for the second-straight game with 12 points and seven rebounds. Junior Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) added seven points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Spartans jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the Lady Lions fired back with back-to-back three-pointers sandwiched around an Allyssa DeHaan basket to give Michigan State a 9-6 lead three minutes into the game. Michigan State extended their lead with a pair of buckets in the paint, but with three free throws from Grant the Lady Lions pulled within four points (13-9) with 14 minutes to play in the opening half.
Following a three-pointer by Jasmine Thomas, Greene used a nifty up-and-under move for the layup, the foul and the three-point play. However, the Spartans went on a 7-3 run to take an eight-point lead at 23-15 with less than 11 minutes to play. The Lady Lions weathered the Spartan run and Bentley jumpstarted a 9-1 run with a three-pointer and a steal and layup on the ensuing possession. Grant kept the Lions rolling with a jumper and Bentley capped the run with a jumper in the corner to tie the game at 24-24 with 8:42 on the clock.
Michigan State would score the game's next four points to surge ahead before Bentley knocked down her second three-pointer of the day to make it a 28-27 game with six and a half minutes left. After an exchange of baskets, Michigan State drained four consecutive free throws to stretch their lead to five points (34-29) with four minutes remaining. The Lady Lions held Michigan State without a basket from the field in the final 5:58 and scored the final six points of the first half to take a 35-34 lead at the break.
Grant led all scorers with 15 points, while Bentley added 10 tallies and a pair of assists. Kalisha Keane paced Michigan State with 10 points.
Greene knocked down a 15-footer to score the first points of the second half, but the Spartans charged back with a 10-2 run to take a five-point lead (44-39) with 14:32 remaining. Penn State responded with an 8-2 run to take a 47-46 lead with 12:30 left thanks to four points by Grant and two tallies each by Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) and Bentley.
The Spartans scored five of the game's next seven points to take a 51-49 lead, but Janessa Wolff (Park Rapid, Minn.) drained both of her free throw attempts to square the game at 51-51 with 9:23 left. Following a three-pointer by MSU's Jasmine Thomas, Grant keyed a 6-0 run that gave the Lady Lions a 57-54 lead, a lead that they would not relinquish. Greene came alive during the run, knocking down a jumper and converting on a layup off of a Grant pass.
The lead remained at three points until the Lady Lions made three of four free throw attempts to push their advantage to six points (64-58) with two minutes left. The Spartans would pull within four points after a pair of Jasmine Thomas freebie, but Penn State clinched the win with free throws by Trogele and Bentley in the final 36 seconds.
GAME NOTES: Penn State improved their overall record to 13-4 and its Big Ten record to 5-2...The Lady Lions improved to 24-9 all time against the Spartans and 14-2 at home...Penn State snapped a three-game losing streak against Michigan State...Tyra Grant has scored in double figures in each of her last 29 games...Penn State's 13 wins this season equals the highest win total for the Lady Lions under coach Coquese Washington...The Lady Lions have won their last six home games...Freshman Nikki Greene tied her career-high with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting...Penn State improved to 7-0 when leading at the half...Tyra Grant scored 20 or more points for the 10th time this season with 23 tallies...The Lady Lions earned their second win over a ranked opponent this season...It is the first time since 2006-07 that Penn State has defeated two ranked teams in a season...Senior Meredith Monroe surpassed the 200-point plateau for her career with four tallies...The Lady Lions held Michigan State without a field goal for the final 5:58 of the first half and the final 8:12 of the second frame.
The Lady Lions visit Wisconsin on Thursday at 8 p.m. (Eastern) before returning to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, Jan. 24 for the Fourth Annual WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State against Illinois at 1 p.m. Penn State will donate $2 from every single-game ticket sold to the Pink Zone to the fundraising cause. Single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the Penn State ticket office at 814-865-5555.
The 2010 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m., as the Lady Lions take on Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on www.bigtennetwork.com. The first three Pink Zone events have raised more than $80,000 for breast cancer awareness. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, 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.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2010 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Shooting Camp (June 13-15), Elite Camp (June 20-22), Skills Camp (June 20-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 24-26) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 6-8). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit psusportscamps.com and click on Lady Lion Basketball Camp.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow head coach Coquese Washington (@psucoachquese), sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and assistant coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook. Search Lady Lion Basketball and become a fan.