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Feb. 27, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - In front of the ninth-largest crowd for a women's game in Bryce Jordan Center history (11,288), the Penn State Lady Lions (22-8, 11-5) had a solid second half to post a 66-56 win over Northwestern (17-12, 6-10) in the Fifth Annual WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State game. The victory combined with Ohio State's win over Wisconsin clinches a second-place finish for the Lady Lions in the Big Ten standings. It is the highest finish for a Penn State team since the 2003-04 squad won the Big Ten title.
There was a record 352 survivors in attendance at the Pink Zone at Penn State game. Additionally, the Lady Lions have raised more than $102,000 so far this season, which does not include donations from single-game ticket sales, t-shirt sales or the online auctions on GoPSUsports.com and CharityBuzz.com.
Senior guard/forward Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) was honored before the game as the team's lone senior and responded by scoring Penn State's first four points of the game. She finished her final regular-season game at the Jordan Center with six points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Making her first career start, freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) tied Kelly Mazzante's Penn State single-season record for three-pointers after netting her 102nd triple of the season on the way to a team-best 21 points. Lucas is just the third player in Big Ten history to tally 100 three-pointers in a season, joining Mazzante and record-holder Caity Mater of Ohio State. Lucas also dished out a career-high four assists and had a pair of steals. Junior guard Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) was 3-for-6 from long range and finished with 12 points, while sophomore Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) just missed out on a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.
It was a see-saw game to start until the Lady Lions took a 15-10 lead on a Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) layup with 13:18 remaining. However, Northwestern battled back and scored six of the game's next eight points to close within one point at 17-16 with 11:04 left. The Lady Lions continued to lead until a three-point play by Amy Jaeschke with five seconds left in the half sent the Wildcats into the half with a 31-30 lead.
Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) led the way for the Lady Lions with nine first-half points and five rebounds. Lucas added eight points and three assists, while Trogele added six points, five rebounds and two steals.
Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) scored out of the gate in the second half to put the Lady Lions back on top, but the Wildcats would score the game's next seven points to establish a 38-32 lead with 16:35 remaining. Penn State energized the crowd as Renee Womack (Lansdale, Pa.) sparked a 14-0 Lady Lion run with a pair of buckets sandwiched around a Lucas three-pointer. Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) also scored four points during the run and Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) capped the run with a three-pointer to make it 46-38 with 13:11 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats would not go quietly as they clicked off a 6-3 run to close within five points (49-44) with less than nine minutes left. From there, the Lady Lions stretched the lead to 13 points (59-46) thanks to a 10-2 run, which included seven points from Lucas, with less than five minutes left, but Northwestern scored the next six points of the game to make it a 59-52 game with 2:35 on the clock. The Lady Lions sealed the win as they scored seven of the game's final 11 points.
GAME NOTES: Senior guard/forward Julia Trogele was honored prior to the game as part of the Senior Day ceremony ... Penn State's second place finish in the Big Ten standings is the highest for a Lady Lion team since the 2003-04 squad won the regular-season crown ... The Lady Lions will be the #2 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament ... The announced crowd of 11,288 is the ninth-largest Bryce Jordan Center crowd for a women's basketball game ... With three three-pointers against the Wildcats, freshman guard Maggie Lucas tied Kelly Mazzante's school record for three-pointers in a season with 102 ... Lucas is the third player in Big Ten history with 100 or more treys, joining Mazzante and record-holder Caity Mater of Ohio State (106) ... Lucas is now fifth on the all-time NCAA freshman three-pointer list, passing Bethune-Cookman's Keturah Newkirk's (100) ... Lucas made her first career start ... Lucas recorded her 12th 20-point game of the season ... There was a record 352 survivors in attendance for the Fifth Annual WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State ... Fullington Trailways was recognized as the Lady Lion Basketball Pink Zone Champion Award winner at a timeout in the second half ... With today's win, the Lady Lions swept the regular-season series with Northwestern for the first time since 2005-06 ... Penn State swept four two-game series against Big Ten opponents this season ... The Lady Lions won their 11th Big Ten game, the most since the 2004-05 season (13 wins) ... The Lady Lions won their 13th home game this season, the most home wins since the 2002-03 team went 16-0 ... With six made 3-pointers today, the Lady Lions have 203 on the season, the most since the 2002-03 team recorded 228.
The Lady Lions head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament from March 3-6. Penn State has clinched a first round bye for the first time since 2007. The Lady Lions are 21-14 all-time in Big Ten Tournament games and has won two titles (1995, 1996).
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.