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March 18, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (17-14, 8-10) ran into a feisty and hard-working Hofstra (20-13, 11-7 CAA) team as they dropped a 76-68 decision to the Pride on Thursday night in the first round of the WNIT. The loss snaps an 11-game home court winning streak in the postseason, dating back to 1995. Senior guard Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio) completed her career as one of the most prolific scorers in Penn State history with 23 points against the Pride. She finishes her career with 2,044 tallies, which is third in Lady Lion history.
Grant's 23 tallies are the most by a Lady Lion in their WNIT history, surpassing the mark set by Helen Darling (21 pts.) against Villanova in the 1998 WNIT. Grant also accounted for three assists and four steals in her final collegiate game. Freshman Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) was 5-for-7 from the field on the way to 11 points, five rebounds and a career-high four steals. Fellow freshman Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double-digits with 10 points to go along with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals.
The Lady Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead with four points from Grant and a layup by Bentley with 16:42 on the clock. After the squads swapped baskets, the Pride scored back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 8-6 before Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) scored four consecutive points on a free throw and a three-pointer to make it a 12-6 contest with 13 and a half minutes to play.
Hofstra scored the game's next four points to cut into the Penn State lead, but Grant responded with a three-pointer to push the lead back to five (15-10) with less than 12 minutes. The Pride scored four of the game's next six points before Grant scored four points and Studevent added a bucket to give the Lions a game-high nine-point lead (23-14) with less than eight minutes remaining in the half. However, Hofstra fought back and went on an 18-5 run to take a 32-28 lead with 1:21 on the clock.
Janessa Wolff (Park Rapids, Minn.) took a sleek pass from Grant for the layup to cut the deficit in half. Following one free throw by Shante Evans, Wolff scored her second layup of the game off of the Bentley assist to make it a 33-32 game with 25 seconds remaining. On the ensuing Hofstra possession, Wolff nabbed the steal and tossed the outlet pass to Bentley who laid the ball in as the first-half clock expired to send Penn State in the half with a 34-33 lead.
Grant led all scorers with 14 points to go along with three assists in the opening frame, while Studevent added six points in nine minutes. The Lady Lions shot 52% in the first half, led by a perfect performance from the field by Greene and Wolff, who were each 2-for-2 en route to four points.
The Pride started strong in the second half with a 12-2 run to take a 45-36 lead with 16 minutes left in the game. Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) drove the lane for a layup to stop the Hofstra streak and Grant added a pair of free throws to make it a 45-40 game with 15:19 on the clock. The teams exchanged scores on the next two possessions before Nicole Capurso converted on an old-fashioned three-point play to push the Hofstra lead back to 50-42 with 13:44 remaining.
Grant went on a personal 4-0 run to cut the deficit in half (50-46) with 11:25 to play. The Pride scored four of the game's next six points, but the Lady Lions responded with a three-point play by Greene and a jumper by Bentley to make it a one-point contest (54-53). However, on the ensuing Hofstra possession, Sam Brigham drained a three-pointer to extend the Pride lead to 57-53 with less than nine minutes left in the game.
After Gray knocked down a pair of free throws, the Pride went on a 6-1 run to establish a 63-56 lead with six minutes to play. The Lions made one final push with a steal and layup by Bentley and a three-point play by Marisa Wolfe (Ford City, Pa.) to cut the deficit to two points (63-61) with 4:24 on the clock. The squads swapped baskets to keep the margin at two points with 3:35 left, but Hofstra finished the game on an 11-5 run to earn the win.
GAME NOTES: Senior Tyra Grant notched her 15th 20-point game of the season with 23 tallies...Grant moved into third place on Penn State's all-time scoring list, passing Kahadeejah Herbert...Grant finished her career with 2,044 points...Grant set the Penn State WNIT scoring record with 23 points, surpassing Helen Darling's 21 points against Villanova on March 13, 1998...Freshman Alex Bentley tied the Penn State WNIT record for assists with seven...Freshman Nikki Greene had a career-high four steals...Junior Julia Trogele reached 100 assists for her career...Trogele only played three minutes after injuring her shoulder...The Lady Lions snapped an 11-game home winning streak in the postseason, dating back to the 1995 NCAA Tournament...The Lady Lions are now 4-1 all-time in the WNIT, including a 3-1 mark at home.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2010 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Shooting Camp (June 13-15), Elite Camp (June 20-22), Skills Camp (June 20-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 24-26) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 6-8). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit psusportscamps.com and click on Lady Lion Basketball Camp.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow head coach Coquese Washington (@psucoachquese), sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and assistant coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook. Search Lady Lion Basketball and become a fan.
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