Lady Lions Stun No. 23/24 Ohio State, 80-71
Jan. 30, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (18-5, 7-2) used a balanced offensive attack that saw five players reach double figures as the Lady Lions upset #23/24 Ohio State (13-8, 4-5), 80-71, in front of a season-best crowd of 6,618 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Sophomore guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the Penn State attack with 21 points and seven assists. The win snaps Penn State's 11-game losing streak against the Buckeyes and is the first over Ohio State since Dec. 30, 2005. The Lady Lions also notched their 200th Big Ten Conference win on Sunday.
Bentley was 6-for-14 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line on the way to her fourth 20-point game of the season. Freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) was 6-for-8 from three-point range en route to 18 points, three rebounds and an assist. Lucas nailed her 80th three-pointer of the season, becoming just the second player in school history to connect on 80 treys in a single season. She joins Kelly Mazzante, who accomplished the feat three times.
Sophomore center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) posted her second-straight double-double and sixth of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior guard Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) celebrated her birthday with 14 points via a 4-for-6 effort from the floor and perfect 6-for-6 mark from the free throw line. She also pulled in six rebounds and notched four steals in the win. Sophomore forward Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Lions draw first blood with a layup by Greene, but Ohio State scored the game's next five points to take a 5-2 lead in the first two-plus minutes of the game. After an exchange of scores, Trogele had a hand in the Lions' next four points with a jumper and a feed to Bentley for a layup to give the Penn State an 8-7 lead with 16:25 left in the half.
The squads exchanged the next several scores until Lucas hit a three-pointer with the score tied at 15-15 to kick off an 11-2 run for the Lady Lions to give Penn State a 26-17 lead with nine minutes to play in the half. Greene chipped in two points during the run, while Nickson and Bentley added two points each.
The Buckeyes scored on three free throws to cut the Penn State lead to six points, but the Lady Lions responded with a jumper by Bentley and a three-pointer by Lucas to establish an 11-point lead (31-20) with just under seven minutes to play. Following a layup by Jantel Lavender, Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) converted on a drive to the hoop and Bentley hit a fade away jumper to give Penn State it's largest lead of the game at 35-22 with less than four minutes remaining.
Ohio State made a strong push with a 9-0 run to close within four (35-31) with 1:36 on the clock. However, the Lady Lions scored four of the final six points of the half thanks to four free throws from Bentley to take a 39-33 lead into the break.
Bentley was 5-for-11 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line to register 16 first-half points to go with four assists. Lucas was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to nine points, while Greene had six points and two rebounds. Lavender paced the Buckeyes with 16 points.
The Lady Lions scored the first four points of the second half from the free throw line to push the lead to 10 points (43-33). However with Penn State unable to make a shot from the field for a nearly eight-minute span from the end of the first half and into the second half, the Buckeyes closed within a possession (43-40) thanks to a 7-0 run.
Bentley's jumper with 16:04 left snapped the Penn State drought from the field and started an 8-1 that saw back-to-back three-pointers from Lucas to give the Lions a 51-41 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining. After a basket by Lavender, Greene converted on a layup and Lucas netted a deep three-pointer to equal Penn State's largest lead at 56-43 with less than 14 minutes on the clock.
The Buckeyes responded with an 8-2 run to close within seven (58-51) with 12 minutes on the clock. The lead remained in tact as the squads exchanged scores until a pair of free throws and a layup by the Buckeyes made it a 65-59 game with eight minutes left. Trogele converted on a three-point play to stop the scoring run by the Buckeyes and bring the lead back to nine points (68-59) with 7:16 on the clock.
After a pair of free throws by OSU's Samantha Prahalis, the Lady Lions made four straight from the charity stripe to extend the margin to 11 points (72-61) with 5:32 to play. The Lady Lions continued to hold it lead and did not let the Buckeyes get closer than eight points down the stretch for the win.
GAME NOTES: The victory marked the 200th Big Ten win for the Lady Lions ... The Lady Lions improve to 31-19 all-time against the Buckeyes ... Penn State snapped an 11-game losing streak against Ohio State ... The victory marked the second time this season that the Lady Lions have picked up a victory over a ranked opponent (No. 14/13 Iowa on 12/30/10) ... The Lady Lions picked up their first win versus the Buckeyes at the Bryce Jordan Center since Dec. 30, 2005 ... Penn State surpassed its win total from last year, notching its 18th victory of the season ... This is the 12th 80-point scoring game of the season for the Lady Lions ... The Lady Lions moved into sixth all-time on Penn State's season three-pointers list with seven on the day and 165 total, surpassing the 1995-96 total of 164 ... Sophomore Alex Bentley scored 21 points in the game, surpassing the 700-point mark for her career. She now was scored 708 points in her career ... Sophomore Mia Nickson had nine rebounds in the game, surpassing 200 with her career with a total of 204 ... Sophomore Nikki Greene posted her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards ... Freshman Maggie Lucas nailed her 80th three-pointer of the season, becoming just the second player in school history to connect on 80 treys in a single season. She joins Kelly Mazzante, who accomplished the feat three times ... The Lady Lions had five players with double figure scoring games for the fourth time this season.
The Lady Lions hit the road for a pair of games at Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 3 and at Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 6. Penn State is back in the Bryce Jordan Center to meet Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. PNC Bank customers can buy a ticket to the game for just $5. 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.