Bentley and Lucas Pace No. 8/9 Lady Lions Past Indiana, 76-54
Feb. 7, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, IND. - The #8/9 Penn State Lady Lions (19-3, 9-1 Big Ten) landed four players in double figures, led by 20 points each from Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) on the way to a 76-54 win at Indiana (10-13, 1-9) Thursday. The win is the 850th in program history, making Penn State one of 12 programs in NCAA Division I to reach the milestone. Additionally, Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) became the only player in Penn State history to accumulate 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks in the win.
Playing in her home state of Indiana for the final time in her collegiate career, Bentley posted her fourth 20-point performance of the season and the 22nd of her career with 20 markers. She also added four rebounds and three steals. Lucas, who was saddled with foul trouble for much of the first half, had 20 points for her 10th 20-point effort of the year and 41st of her career. She also pulled in two rebounds and had two steals.
Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) was 4-for-6 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line as she posted 13 points with 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year and 14th of her career. Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) also landed in double figures with 10 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Greene pulled in 10 rebounds to go with four points, a block and a steal. With her block, she became the only player in Penn State history with 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks. She is also only the second player in school history with 200 rejections (Kim Calhoun).
The Lady Lions came out firing as Bentley and Lucas knocked down three-pointers on Penn State's first two possessions to take a 6-0 lead in the first two-plus minutes. A three-point play by Aulani Sinclair cut the deficit in half before Lucas hit her second shot of the game to push the lead back to five (8-3). Following a three-pointer by Jasmine McGhee, the Lady Lions clicked off a balanced 10-3 run that was started by a great feed from Bentley to Taylor off of a steal. Nickson, Bentley, Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y) also scored before Taylor capped the run with a basket to make it 18-9 with 12:15 left.
A score by McGhee sliced the Penn State lead to seven, but back-to-back scores by Lucas and Bentley pushed the lead back to 11 (22-11) with 10:33 on the clock. Both teams went cold from the field over the next couple of minutes as the Hoosiers connected on a four free throws before Greene hit a pair from the charity stripe followed by scores by Bentley and Edwards to establish a 28-15 lead with 7:37 remaining.
The squads exchange scores over the next several minutes until the Hoosiers scored eight of the final 10 points of the half to make it a 37-30 Penn State lead at the break.
The Hoosiers continued their streak by scoring the first four points of second half, but Bentley and Taylor scored back-to-back buckets to put the lead back to the halftime margin of seven (41-34) with 18 minutes left. After a Sasha Chaplin basket, a Bentley three-pointer jump-started a 13-1 run that gave the Lady Lions a 54-37 lead with less than 12 minutes remaining. Bentley and Lucas each accounted for five points in the run, while Taylor had two and Nickson had one. The teams swapped scores to keep the Penn State lead at 14 (59-45) before the Lady Lions went on a 15-9 run for the 22-point win.
GAME NOTES: Penn State becomes the 12th team in NCAA Division I history with 850 program wins ... The Lady Lions improve to 29-9 all-time against the Hoosiers and 10-6 in games played in Bloomington ... Penn State is the first team to score more than 70 points against Indiana this season (previous high was 70 vs. Ohio State) ... The Lady Lions are off to their best overall start since the 1999-00 season, where that team started 26-3 overall ... Penn State is off to its best Big Ten start since the 2004-05 season, where that squad also started 9-1 ... Nikki Greene recorded her 200th career block and becomes the first player in school history with at least 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks ... With four points, Greene passed Rashana Barnes for 33rd in the school record book with 1,026 points ... Greene posted her ninth double-digit rebounding effort of the season ... With 20 points, Maggie Lucas passes Andrea Garner for ninth place in the school record books (1,629) ... Alex Bentley also moved back into the Top 10 in program history in scoring with her 20 points with 1,625 career points ... Bentley's eight field goal makes puts her in a tie with Andrea Garner for ninth in school history with 660 conversions ... Mia Nickson posted her fourth double-double of the season and 14th of her career with 13 points and 11 rebounds ... Dara Taylor's 10-point effort put her over the 400-point plateau for her career.
The Lady Lions come 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.