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Jan. 27, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, ILL. - Senior guard/forward Julia Trogele's (Devon, Pa.) layup with 9.1 seconds remaining pushed the Penn State Lady Lions (17-5, 6-2) to a 67-65 win over Illinois (7-14, 2-6) in Champaign on Thursday night. The victory moves the Lady Lions into a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten standings and equals Penn State's win total from a year ago. Trogele and sophomore center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) each recorded double-doubles as the Lady Lions found success in the paint. Penn State outrebounded the Illini, 49-29, for a second-straight dominating performance on the boards.
Trogele finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and the eighth of her career. She ties her career high with 19 tallies, equaling the mark she set earlier this season against South Carolina. Greene garnered her fifth double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 16 points and a game-high 14 points. She also rejected three shots and had a trio of steals.
Sophomore guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double figures with 14 points, while freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) added 10 points. The Lady Lions were stellar from the free throw line, going 17-for-19 from the charity stripe.
It was a hotly contested game early with a four-point Penn State lead (10-6) serving as the largest lead of the game in the first four minutes. The Illini took their first lead of the game with a 6-0 run to establish a 12-10 margin with 14 minutes to play. After an exchange of three-pointers, the Lady Lions scored back-to-back baskets by Greene and Trogele to take a 17-15 lead with 10 minutes to play in the opening half. The teams exchanged scores for the remainder of the half and the Lady Lions took a 26-23 lead into the break.
Trogele led the Lady Lions with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Greene added six points and six caroms. Penn State continued to be strong on the glass, outrebounding the Illini, 27-17, in the opening frame. Karisma Penn paced Illinois with eight points and eight rebounds.
After Penn scored on the opening possession of the second half for the Illini, the Lady Lions went on a 6-2 run that featured four points from Greene and a pair of free throws from Bentley to take a 32-27 lead with 18:37 remaining. However, the Illini found their stroke from long range, burying three-pointers in their next three possessions to take a 36-34 lead with 16 minutes to play.
The squads swapped scores and then Bentley and Lucas drained two free throws each to give the Lions a 40-38 advantage with 13:46 left. The Illini responded with a 7-0 run to take a 45-40 lead with 12 minutes remaining. The teams swapped scores for several possessions until a 13-2 run by the Lady Lions gave Penn State a 59-54 lead with 5:24 on the clock. The run saw five different Lady Lions scoring, including four tallies from Bentley and a three-point play by Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.).
The Illini pushed back by scoring the game's next seven points to take a 61-59 lead with three minutes to play. On the ensuing Penn State possession, Lucas drained a three-pointer with a hand in her face to give Penn State the 62-61 lead. Illinois scored four the game's next six points to own a 65-64 lead with 1:48 left. Nickson went the line with 57 seconds left, but was only able to make one of her two shots to tie the game at 65-65. After a defensive stop and offensive rebound, Trogele got an open layup to give the Lions the 67-65 lead with 9.1 seconds on the clock. Lydia McCully's shot at the buzzer fell short and the Lions picked up the win.
GAME NOTES: The Lady Lions sweep the season series against the Illini ... Penn State is now 26-14 all-time against Illinois ... Nikki Greene posted her fifth double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 16 points and 14 rebounds ... Julia Trogele registered her fourth double-double of the season and eighth of her career with 19 points and 11 rebounds ... She ties her career high with 19 points, equaling the mark set against South Carolina earlier this season ... Penn State is now ensured a winning record this season ... The Lady Lions equals its win mark from last season with their 17th victory of the year.
The Lady Lions return home to face Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. There will be a 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. Fans are encouraged to wear white on Sunday and 1,500 white Penn State shirts will be given away are the gates. 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.