Nickson Leads Lady Lions Past Indiana, 82-69
Jan. 23, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (16-5, 5-2) struggled with its worst shooting performance on the season, but dominated the glass on the way to an 82-69 victory over Indiana (8-12, 2-6) at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday. The Lady Lions had a Jordan Center record 61 rebounds, while the Hoosiers had 36 boards. Sophomores Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) and Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) combined to outrebound the Hoosiers with 17 and 20 caroms, respectively.
Nickson posted her third career double-double with 25 points and a personal-best 17 rebounds, including 14 offensive boards. The sophomore tied her career high with six steals against the Hoosiers. Sophomore Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 15 points, four rebounds and five assists in the win, while freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) had 16 points and four rebounds.
Greene's 20 boards are the most by a Penn State player since Vicki Link pulled in 20 boards against Rutgers on Feb. 16, 1987. She ties Michigan State's Kristen Rasmussen (12/30/97) for the Bryce Jordan Center rebounding record. Greene also blocked five shots and tallies six points in the win. The Lady Lions pulled in 33 offensive rebounds, but only managed 19 second-chance points.
Indiana jumped out to the early 6-2 lead in the first three minutes as the Lady Lions went 1-for-6 from the field. Penn State found its offensive footing with a 9-0 that saw four different players score, including a three-pointer by Lucas and buckets Nickson, Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) and Bentley, to take an 11-6 lead with 14:37 on the clock.
After several scoring exchanges, the Hoosiers cut the Penn State lead to 15-13 on a three-pointer by Hope Elam, but the Lady Lions responded with a layup by Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) and a three-pointer by Lucas to take a seven-point advantage (20-13) with 10:23 left in the opening frame. The Hoosiers clicked off an 11-3 run to take a 24-23 lead with six and a half minutes remaining.
Nickson nailed a pair of free throws and converted on a rebound and layup to push the Lions ahead, 27-24, with 5:41 to play. Following a basket by Jori Davis, Lucas connected on her third three-pointer of the game to give Penn State a four-point advantage (30-26). On the ensuing possession, Georgie Jones made her layup to make it a one-possession game, but Gray scored five consecutive points to stretch the lead back to seven (35-28) with 3:28 on the clock. After a pair of free throws by Davis, the Lady Lions closed the half with a three-pointer by Bentley and jumper by Nickson to take a 40-30 lead at the break.
Nickson led the Lady Lions with 10 points, four rebounds and two steals, while Lucas added nine points and four boards. Greene had a game-best nine rebounds and two blocks in the opening frame. Thirteen of Penn State's 25 rebounds came on the offensive end in the first half, but only led to eight second-chance points. Davis paced the Hoosiers with 10 points.
Following a rebound and layup by Nickson to open the scoring in the second half to take the lead to 12 points. The Hoosiers responded with a 10-0 run to close within two points (42-40) as the Lady Lions started the second period 1-for-9 from the field. Penn State scored five of the game's next seven points to establish a 47-42 lead 14:33 left.
The lead remained steady as the teams continued to exchange scoring opportunities until back-to-back scores by Greene and Nickson gave the Lions a 74-65 lead with 1:38 on the clock. Penn State sealed the win with six free throws and a layup by Lucas.
GAME NOTES: The Lady Lions are now eligible for postseason play ... The Lady Lions set a Bryce Jordan Center record with 61 rebounds, besting the previous record was 58 versus Northwestern in 2000 ... The 61 rebounds are the most in a game by a Penn State team since grabbing 68 versus Florida Atlantic on Nov. 23, 2001 ... Nikki Greene grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, surpassing her previous mark of 16 ... Greene's 20 rebounds are the most by a Lady Lion since Vicki Link grabbed 20 versus Rutgers on Feb. 16, 1987 and is tied for fifth on Penn State's single-game rebounding list ... Greene's 20 rebounds ties a Bryce Jordan Center rebounding record (Michigan State's Kristen Rasmussen on Dec. 30, 1997) and are the most by a Penn State player in the Bryce Jordan Center ... Mia Nickson passed the 200 career-point mark in a Lady Lion uniform ... Nickson posted her third career double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds ... Nickson's 17 rebounds were a career-high, besting her previous career high of 14 ... Nickson had six steals, tying a career high that she posted earlier this season versus Bucknell ... Maggie Lucas drained a trio of three-pointers, moving her into fourth all-time on Penn State's season threes list with 72 ... With the win, the Lady Lions are now 26-9 against the Hoosiers, with a 15-2 mark at home ... With 11 home wins, the Lady Lions now have their most home wins since the 2006-07 season ... The Lady Lions posted their 11th game with 80 or more points this season as the notched 82 in the game.
The Lady Lions travel to Champaign to face Illinois on Thurs., Jan. 27 before returning to home to face Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Pre-game all-sports clinic from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in South Gym for boys and girls, who will get a free ticket to the game. 2010-11 Lady Lion Basketball Single-game tickets are available by calling 814-863-1000 or 800-NITTANY. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, including one for the Coaches vs. Cancer game and one for the Pink Zone game, that can be redeemed for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets in any combination.
The 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon as the Lady Lions take on Northwestern in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network. Last year, the Lady Lions donated more than $80,000 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 and J.C. Blair Memorial 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.