No. 8/8 Lady Lions Rally Past Ohio State, 71-56
Jan. 27, 2013
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The #8/8 Penn State Lady Lions (17-2, 7-0 Big Ten) rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the second half on the way to a 71-56 win at Ohio State (11-9, 1-6) Sunday afternoon. The victory is the school-record 14th consecutive Big Ten regular-season win for the Lady Lions, surpassing the previous mark of 13 set over the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns. PSU is now 7-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004-05 and at 17-2 overall is off to its best start since the 1993-94 squad went 22-2 to open the year. The Lady Lions have also won 11-straight games overall, the sixth-longest streak in school history.
Senior center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) continued her solid play with her fourth double-double of the season and 13th of her career with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Junior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the second half and also added four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Senior guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) chipped in 16 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win. With her thefts, Bentley moves into a tie with Kelly Mazzante for fifth place on PSU's all-time steals chart.
Junior guard/forward Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) provided a spark with nine points in the second half. She also had four rebounds on the day. Junior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) had five points and two steals.
Bentley got the Lady Lions off on the right foot with a drive for the layup and then a layup off of a Taylor steal in the first minute of play. Greene added a three-point play at the 18:43 mark to give Penn State a 7-0 lead. The Buckeyes responded with an 11-0 run of their own to take an 11-7 lead with 15 minutes left.
After an exchange of three-point scores, Talia East's (Philadelphia, Pa.) rebound and putback and Lucas' score tied the game at 14-14 with 12:39 on the clock. The Buckeyes outscored the Lions by three over the next nine minutes to take a 27-24 lead before back-to-back baskets by Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) and Bentley gave Penn State a 28-27 lead with just over two minutes left. However, the Buckeyes would score the final 10 points of the half, including a beyond NBA-range three-pointer by Tayler Hill as the shot clock expired, to take a 37-28 lead at the break.
The Buckeyes scored the first points of the second half on a Hill layup, but the Lady Lions bounced back with an 11-0 run that was started by a bucket by Taylor. On Penn State's next possession, Greene went to the free throw line where she made the first and missed the second, but Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) grabbed the rebound and Greene ended up with the ball and was fouled once again. Greene would make the first free throw but miss the second where Lucas snagged the board and turned it into a three-pointer. The Lions capped the run with scores by Bentley and Lucas tie the game at 39-39 with 16:18 on the clock.
After a basket by Aleksandra Dobranic, Greene scored to even the game and jump-start a 9-0 run that featured a score by Lucas, a three-point play by Edwards and another bucket by Greene to give PSU a 48-41 lead with 12:36 left. The Buckeyes would score four of the game's next six points on free throws by Hill to close within five (50-45) with less than 12 minutes to go.
Edwards went strong to the hole for the score and after a defensive stop, Bentley netted a fadeaway jumper to push the lead to nine (54-45). After a Buckeye basket, two free throws by Lucas and a great pass from Lucas to Nickson gave Penn State an open layup and a 58-47 lead with 8:41 to play. However, Ohio State rallied with six straight points on a three-point play by Darryce Moore and a three-pointer by Hill to make it a five-point game (58-53) with 6:29 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Penn State kicked off an 8-0 run with a pair of free throws by Edwards. She would account for four to the points during the run and Greene and Lucas would add two points each to make it 66-53 with 4:25 on the clock. The Buckeyes scored three of the next five points to close within 12 (68-56), but Lucas nailed a three-pointer with 47 seconds left for the 71-56 win.
GAME NOTES: Penn State has won a school record 14 consecutive Big Ten regular-season games ... The Lady Lions are off to their best start since the 1993-94 squad went 22-2 ... The Lady Lions improve to 7-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since the 2004-05 season ... Penn State has won 11 consecutive games, the sixth-longest streak in school history ... The 11-game winning streak for the Lady Lions is tied for the fourth longest active streak in NCAA Division I ... The Lady Lions improve to 33-21 all-time vs. Ohio State and snap a six-game losing streak to the Buckeyes in Columbus ... It is Penn State's first win at OSU since Jan. 25, 2004 ... Nikki Greene posted her 13th career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds ... With those 13 rebounds, Greene has posted double-digit rebounds in six-straight games ... With two steals, Alex Bentley moves into a tie for fifth in school history in career steals with Kelly Mazzante at 289 thefts ... Maggie Lucas recorded her 150th career steal.
The Lady Lions continues its two-game road trip by traveling to Wisconsin Jan. 31. Penn State returns home on Monday, Feb. 4 to face Purdue in a Big Monday battle on ESPN2. The Purdue game will be Centre County Women's Resource Night and fans that bring an item off of the CCWRC's needed items list will receive $5 off their ticket. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.
Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale. 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.