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Feb. 4, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #8/8 Penn State Lady Lions (18-3, 8-1 Big Ten) used a key 10-0 run in the final stages of the game to knock off the #13/11 Purdue Boilermakers (18-4, 7-2) by a count of 69-61 on Monday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State moves into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings with the victory. Additionally, the win extends the Lady Lions' home court winning streak to 17 games and snaps a five-game home court losing streak to Purdue.
Junior Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) led all Penn State scorers with 17 points to go along with six rebounds and three steals, while senior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Pa.) added 13 points. The backcourt duo each eclipsed the 1,600-point mark for their careers, becoming just the 10th and 11th Penn State players ever to accomplish the feat.
Senior Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) scored 11 points to go with four rebounds and three steals in the win. Junior Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) was strong off the bench for the Lady Lions, scoring nine points and grabbing six rebounds in just 12 minutes of action. Senior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) chipped in six points and nine rebounds, while junior Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) added six first-half points and four second-half rebounds.
Penn State jumped out to a 4-0 lead on two field goals from Lucas. Following a Drey Mingo layup for the Boilermakers, Nickson scored the next three Lady Lion points on a free throw and spinning layup. Purdue cut the lead to 7-5, but the Lady Lions went on to score 11 of the next 15 points as Edwards scored six points and Bentley scored the next five to give Penn State an 18-9 advantage with 11:16 to go in the first half.
Purdue put together a run of its own, scoring 13 of the next 17 points. During that stretch, the Boilermakers made six free throws, and cut the Lady Lion lead to just one (22-21) with 5:47 to go in the first half. Penn State would answer with a 13-2 run to end the half. Lucas kicked off the run with a jumper from the free throw line, followed by four-straight points from East on a hook shot and two from the charity stripe. The Lady Lions closed the half with six consecutive free throws form Taylor, Lucas and East to give them a 34-23 advantage after one stanza.
Nickson opened the second half with a jumper in the lane, but the Boilermakers rallied and scored the next five on a three from Courtney Moses and layup from Mingo to cut the Lady Lion lead to eight (36-28). Junior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) answered with a three to make it 39-30 at the 17:49 mark, but on the ensuing possession, Purdue's Dee Dee Williams would cut the lead to seven. However her high school teammate Bentley answered on the other end to give Penn State a 41-30 advantage. East scored the next three points for the Lady Lions while Taylor Manuel chipped in a layup for Purdue, resulting in a 12-point lead (44-32) for Penn State with 15:31 on the clock.
The Boilermakers went on to score seven of the next nine points, on a three from Moses and twos by Mingo and Manuel to slice the Penn State lead to seven. After the squads exchanged scores, Lucas made two from the line to increase the lead back to nine. However, the Boilermakers went on another run, scoring eight of the next 10 points to slice the lead to a pair (50-48) with 9:23 remaining.
Following several scoring exchanges, the Lady Lions started their key stretch on a hook shot by Greene and a layup by Nickson to increase Penn State's lead by six (61-55) with five minutes to go. Lucas then drained a big pull up transition jumper in the lane before two free throws by Greene and a Nickson turnaround jumper capped off the 10-0 run to give the Lady lions a 67-55 lead with 1:51 remaining in the contest.
Purdue kept fighting, as Moses sank a three with 1:28 to go. Following an empty Penn State possession, Moses was fouled on the other end on a three-point attempt and converted on all three shots to slice PSU's lead to 67-61 with 1:15 remaining. On the ensuing possession, Nickson grabbed an offensive rebound that led to a Bentley jumper out of a timeout with 51 seconds to go, which would seal the 69-61 victory for the Lady Lions.
GAME NOTES: Penn State is now 18-3 on the season and 8-1 in the Big Ten to move into sole possession of first place ... Penn State earns its third-straight win over a ranked opponent this season ... The Lady Lions are 4-1 vs. ranked foes this season ... The Lady Lions improve to 17-26 all-time against Purdue ... The Lady Lions extend their home court winning streak to 17 games, the seventh-longest streak in Penn State history ... Penn State defeats Purdue at home for the first since Jan. 20, 2005 (77-54), snapping a five-game losing streak ... Maggie Lucas became the 10th player in Lady Lion history to score 1,600 career points (1,609) ... Lucas moved into the Top 10 on Penn State's single-season three-pointers list (63), tying Zhaque Gray for 10th spot ... Alex Bentley became the 11th player in Lady Lion history to score 1,600 career points (1,605) ... Bentley moves into a tie for fourth with Tina Nicholson in Penn State history with 293 career steals ... Bentley's 15 field goal attempts put her in a tie for fifth in program history with Suzie McConnell with 1,526 attempts ... Nikki Greene became the sixth player in Lady Lion history to record 900 rebounds (906) ... Greene moved into a tie for 34th place on PSU's career scoring chart with Helen Holloway (1,022) ... Talia East matched her season-high in rebounds with six ... Mia Nickson surpassed the 600-rebound mark for her career with four caroms (602) ... Nickson recorded a season-high three steals.
The Lady Lions visit Indiana for a Big Ten Network game at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday before coming back to the BJC to face Michigan State on Sunday. The Lions will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a pregame NGWSD clinic hosted by several of the Penn State women's teams in the basketball practice facility. There will also be a postgame autograph session on the concourse with the entire Lady Lion Basketball team. Fans are also encouraged to wear white for the Michigan State game. Additionally, the first 2,000 fans will receive an Alex Bentley Wind-Up Walker, the fourth in the series of five. 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.