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Jan. 17, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #8/8 Penn State Lady Lions (14-2, 4-0 Big Ten) jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in an 84-40 wire-to-wire victory over the Wisconsin Badgers (8-10, 0-5) on Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. The 44-point victory is the largest for the Lady Lions in a Big Ten game since defeating Michigan State by 48 (97-49) on Jan. 28, 2001. Additionally, Penn State has won its last three games by 20 or more points for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Leading the way for the Lady Lions was senior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas), who scored 23 points to go along with 14 rebounds for her 12th career double-double and fifth career 20-point game. The 23 tallies are a season high for Greene and mark her second 20-point performance of the season and fifth of her career. Senior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) was one of four Lady Lions who scored in double figures, as she chipped in 14 points to go along with six steals and five assists.
Juniors Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) and Ariel Edwards tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively. Lucas also added four rebounds and three steals. Fellow junior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) continued her solid play in Big Ten games with eight points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. With the six dimes, Taylor surpassed the 300-assist mark for her career (301). Senior post player Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) just missed out on a double-double with eight points to go along with nine rebounds and two steals.
The Lady Lions jumped out to a fast 11-0 lead, with Bentley scoring six of the first eight points. Greene opened the game with a layup 44 seconds in, followed by six-straight Bentley points. The senior point guard's first four points came on the fastbreak layups. She was later fouled at the 17:48 mark and made two free throws to give the Lady Lions an 8-0 lead. Taylor capped the Lady Lion run with a three-pointer to give Penn State an 11-0 advantage.
After Wisconsin's Nicole Bauman snapped the run, the Lady Lions went on to score 12 of the next 16 points. Lucas connected on her first three of the game with 15:19 to go in the first half and Bentley followed with a jumper to put the Lady Lions up 16-3. Following a Badger field goal, Greene connected on her second make of the game. Wisconsin's Cassie Rochel cut the lead to 11, but Lucas scored off a steal, was fouled and made the ensuing free throw. Taylor hit her first three of the game to put the Lady Lions up 24-7 at the 10:15 mark.
Leading 24-9, Penn State went on another scoring binge, tallying 12 of the next 16 points. Lucas started the stretch with her second three of the contest with 9:27 to go in the first stanza before Nickson scored the next four tallies off a steal and two free throws to put the Lady Lions up 31-9. After an exchange of scores, Morgan Paige hit a jumper for the Badgers. However, Penn State scored the next five on field goals from Greene and Bentley and one free throw from Greene to give Penn State a 38-13 lead with 3:48 to go in the first half.
Wisconsin scored eight of the next 10 points to close within 19 (40-21) with 1:30 remaining. The Lady Lions responded as they closed out the half on an 8-0 run in the final minute. Studevent scored with 59 seconds to go and Bentley and Greene each made a free throw to up the lead to 23. Studevent scored on a fastbreak layup as time expired to put Penn State ahead 46-21 heading into halftime.
Paige had the opening field goal of the second half for the Badgers, but the Lady Lions put together an 11-2 run to increase the lead to 32 points. Greene continued her strong night by converting on a layup 28 seconds in and Nickson scored the next four points on jumpers in the paint before Bentley and Lucas combined for three made free throws to give the Lady Lions a 55-23 advantage. Following a made jumper by the Badgers' Tiera Stephen, Taylor scored on the other end to give the Lady Lions a 57-25 lead at the 15:25 mark. Penn State surrendered a three coming out of the first media timeout, but the Lady Lions would score five-straight points to increase its lead to 34. Wisconsin quickly scored seven of the next nine points to cut the lead to 64-35 with 9:44 to go in the contest.
Penn State took a 30-second timeout and came out of it firing, putting together another 8-0 run ending at the 5:51 mark and never looked back. Bentley started things with a jumper in the paint, followed by a layup from Taylor. East scored under the basket to increase the lead before Edwards followed with another layup to cap off the Penn State run. From there, Wisconsin would trim the lead to 73-40 with 4:11 remaining, but the Lady Lions closed the game out on an 11-0 run, starting with an Edwards layup. Sophomore Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) scored her first points of the night to up the lead to 37. Greene finished the game on a personal 7-0 run to close out the 84-40 win.
GAME NOTES: Penn State improves to 14-2 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play ... Penn State is 4-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2004-05 ... Penn State's 44-point win is the biggest margin of victory over a Big Ten opponent since topping Michigan State by 48 points (97-49) on Jan. 28, 2001 ... The 44-point win also marked the first time that Penn State defeated a Big Ten opponent by 40 or more points since a 43-point win over Northwestern (91-48; 1/22/06) ... Penn State has earned three-straight wins in Big Ten play by 20 or more points for the first time since 2004-05 when the Lady Lions claimed a 76-41 win over Illinois on Jan. 13, 2005 (+35), a 65-44 victory at Indiana on Jan. 16 (+21) and a 77-54 win against No. 23 Purdue on Jan. 20 (+23) ... The Lady Lions have a 15-game home winning streak, which is the eighth longest in school history ... Penn State is 28-10 all-time against Wisconsin and 17-2 in home games against the Badgers ... The Lady Lions have recorded at least 17 steals in four contests this year. The season-high for steals in a game for last year's squad was 17 ... Nikki Greene recorded her 12th career double-double and her third double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds ... Greene's 23 points are a season-high and mark her second 20-point game of the season and fifth of her career ... Greene passed Mary Donovan for second in school history for career blocks with 193 ... Alex Bentley passed Tanya Garner for 10th place on Penn State's career scoring list with 1,539 tallies in a Lady Lion uniform ... Dara Taylor recorded her 300th career assist ... Taylor tallied a season-high seven rebounds ... Gizelle Studevent matched her career-high in rebounds with three.
The Lady Lions travel Michigan for a Monday night contest that will air on BTN at 6:30 p.m. before returning home to meet Minnesota on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Fans can get their second of five senior wind-up walkers at the gates. The Minnesota game is also Penn State Faculty/Staff night where PSU faculty and staff can get a buy one, get one free ticket offer. Additionally, it will be AT&T Night and AT&T customers that show their bill or cell phone will get a buy one, get one free ticket offer. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.
Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale now. Tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.
The 2013 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24 as the Lady Lions take on Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $203,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.