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Nov. 5, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #12/14 Penn State Lady Lions (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) shot 49.4% (38-77) from the field en route to a 101-81 win over Bloomsburg in an exhibition game Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Sophomore guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) led the Lady Lions' offensive outburst with 35 points, including a 7-for-8 effort from three-point range.
Lucas also added three rebounds and a steal in the victory. Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) had an all-around performance with 16 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and seven steals. Junior forward Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) also reached double figures with 14 points and four rebounds, while junior center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Bloomsburg was hot from long range, shooting 54.2% (13-24). Kelsey Gallagher led the Huskies with 22 points, including four triples.
The Huskies jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute and a half before Lucas got the Lady Lions on the board with a pair of free throws. Penn State got a three-pointer for Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) and a layup by Nickson to take a 7-5 lead with 17:31 remaining.
After an exchange of scores, the Huskies went on a 9-2 run to take a 16-11 advantage with 12:36 on the clock. Lucas took over for the Lady Lions as she scored five consecutive points to kick off a 9-1 run to give Penn State a 20-17 lead with 11:16 left in the half. Following a triple by Catherine Noack, the Lady Lions scored nine-straight tallies to move ahead of the Huskies by a 29-20 count with eight minutes left.
Penn State would eventually stretch the lead to 13 points on a pair of free throws by Lucas and a layup by Greene with 1:29 left. The margin would remain at 12 with the Lady Lions holding a 47-35 lead at the break.
Lucas led all scorers with 18 points in the opening half, while Bentley added eight tallies, five assists and three steals. The Huskies were on fire from three-point range in the opening half, going 7-for-11 from deep.
Bloomsburg started the second half by scoring five of the first seven points before back-to-back three-pointers from Lucas extended the lead to 55-40 and forced Husky head coach Bill Cleary to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Huskies scored four consecutive tallies to make it 55-45 with 17 minutes to play.
The lead would remain at that margin until a 9-0 run by the Lady Lions stretched it to a 69-51 advantage with 12 minutes left. The Huskies continued to fight with an 8-2 run of their own to make it a 14-point game (73-59) just under nine minutes remaining. Nickson started off an 8-2 run for the Lady Lions that also featured buckets by Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.), Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Greene to give the Lions a 20-point lead (81-61).
Bloomsburg tried to stage a late comeback with a 10-2 run to make it 83-71 with five minutes remaining. After an exchange of possessions, the Lions stretched it back to a 17 (90-73) with a jumper by Studevent and a three-pointer by Lucas. The Huskies would close within 13 after scoring the game's next four points, but that is as close as Bloomsburg would get as the Lady Lions solidified the 101-81 win.
The Lady Lions open their season with the Lady Lion Classic on Fri., Nov. 11 and Sun., Nov. 13 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State faces Washington State in the tourney opener at 6 p.m. Friday, while Middle Tennessee State takes on UNC-Wilmington at 8 p.m. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-867-2557. Season tickets are $117 for adults, $52 for youth and $91 for seniors. Single game tickets go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 11. 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 2012 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 as the Lady Lions take on Minnesota in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated nearly $200,000 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, 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.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.