No. 22/21 Lady Lions Claw Past Iowa, 68-52
Jan. 22, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The No. 22/21 Penn State Lady Lions (15-4, 5-2) used a 20-2 run over the final 6:32 to erase a two-point deficit and claim a 68-52 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes (11-9, 3-4) Sunday afternoon in front of 4,714 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center. Sophomore forward Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) posted her first career double-double with a personal bests of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Edwards was 4-for-8 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the best performance of her career.
Junior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the Lions with 21 points and tied her career-best with seven boards. Bentley also nabbed six steals, including three on Iowa's first three possessions of the game. Junior forward Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) led the Lady Lions with 13 rebounds to go along with five points, while classmate Marisa Wolfe (Ford City, Pa.) contributed eight points and six rebounds off the bench. The Lady Lions outscored the Hawkeyes in the paint, 32-18, and outrebounded Iowa, 53-34. Penn State only committed nine turnovers.
The Lady Lions opened the game with a 6-0 run, but two straight trifectas by the Hawkeyes' Kamille Wahlin and a basket from Morgan Johnson had Iowa on top, 8-6. A successful trip to the foul line by Edwards had the score tied at 8-8, but Bethany Doolittle nailed a jumper for a two-point Hawkeye lead, 10-8. The teams went back and forth briefly before a 6-0 Hawkeye run had Iowa leading by five (18-13) with 9:27 left in the first half.
Senior guard Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) scored on a layup before two baskets by Edwards pushed Penn State back in the lead, 19-18. The lead was short-lived as Iowa scored nine straight points to move ahead by a 27-19 count at the 4:56 mark. The Lady Lions cut the Hawkeye lead to three, but a jumper and a trey by Iowa kept the margin at eight (32-24).
Despite trailing by eight points (32-24) as the first half was winding down, Penn State used a 7-0 run to close the gap and head into the half trailing by one, 32-31. Iowa's Johnson fouled Lucas, who made two at the line, before a layup by Wolfe and another from Greene had PSU trailing by only two, 32-30. With five seconds left in the first half, an Iowa foul sent Lucas back to the foul line where she tallied one final point for Penn State to close out the first half.
The second frame started with Bentley connecting on a jumper and put Penn State ahead, 33-32. However, a 7-2 Iowa run moved the Hawkeyes into the lead by five (40-35) with less than 16 minutes to play. Another basket by Bentley and a free throw from Edwards had the Lady Lions within two (40-38) but back-to-back jumper's by Iowa's Doolittle had the Hawkeyes up 44-38.
Penn State responded with an 8-2 run, including four points from Wolfe, to knot the score at 46-46 with a little more than nine minutes to play. A layup by Hawkeye Jaime Printy put Iowa back in the lead before sophomore Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) hit two shots at the line to tie it up at 48 all with 8:17 left.
Iowa jumped ahead one final time at 50-48 with 6:32 on the clock, but baskets from Bentley and Wolfe gave Penn State a 53-50 lead and the Lady Lions never looked back. Penn State scored 10 unanswered points before Printy attempted to stop the run with a layup and putting the Hawkeyes within 11 (63-52). However, an Iowa foul send Edwards to the line where she hit two to move the Lady Lions back ahead by 13 (65-52), with less than two minutes to play. Penn State's final three points came at the line with two more shots by Edwards and one by Greene.
GAME NOTES: Penn State is now 24-17 all-time against Iowa, and 14-5 at home ... Penn State has won five out of its last six games against Iowa ... The Lady Lions shot 33.8%, marking the first time that the Lady Lions shot below 35% in a game and won was vs. Indiana (1/10/10) when they shot 32.1 percent in a victory ... Junior guard Alex Bentley just the 11th player in school history to reach 400 assists with two assists in the game ... Bentley recorded six steals in the game to pass Susan Robinson for 17th all-time on the career steals list with 181 ... With 21 points in the game, Bentley also moved into 26th place on Penn State's all-time scoring list with 1,156 career points, passing Jess Brungo ... Sophomore guard/forward Ariel Edwards posted her first career double-double with career highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Her previous career-best in points was 16 at Oakland (11/18/10) and her previous high in rebounds was nine vs. UMES (12/11/11) ... Sophomore guard Maggie Lucas scored seven points in the game, marking just the seventh time in her career that she finished with less than 10 tallies and first since scoring seven points in the NCAA Tournament matchup with DePaul (3/21/11).
The Lady Lions are back on the road as they head to the state of Michigan to face the Wolverines Thursday and the Spartans Sunday. The Michigan State game will be televised on ESPN2. Penn State is back in the BJC to meet Indiana on Thursday, Feb. 2 for THON night at 7 p.m. Single game tickets and PNC Flex Books are available by calling 800-NITTANY. PNC Flex Books are $99 and give fans 12 vouchers, including one for the Coaches vs. Cancer game and one for the Pink Zone game, which can be redeemed for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets in any combination. The Starting 5 Pack is $49 and features tickets to three games of the buyer's choice, a ticket for the Ohio State ESPN2 Big Monday game on Monday, Feb. 20 and a ticket for the Pink Zone game against Minnesota on Sunday, Feb. 26.
The 2012 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 as the Lady Lions take on Minnesota in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated nearly $200,000 for 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.gopsusports.com/pinkzone. The WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pinkzoneatpennstate.
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.