No. 9/9 Lady Lions Snaps No. 16/13 Texas A&M's Home Streak, 63-58
Nov. 14, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS - The #9/9 Penn State Lady Lions (2-0) held #16/13 Texas A&M (0-2) to just two points in the final 6:23 en route to a 63-58 win over the Aggies in College Station. The loss is the first non-conference home loss for Texas A&M since Dec. 30, 2003, a string of 58 games. Additionally, it is the Lady Lions' first victory over a ranked non-conference opponent on the road since defeating #19 Texas on Dec. 21, 2001.
Senior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) battled foul trouble in the first half, but rebounded in the second half to score 14 of her game-high 21 points. She also accounted for four assists and four steals in the win. Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) added 18 points with four rebounds, while Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) scored all eight of her points and had six of her seven rebounds in the second half, playing in front on several family members and friends. Senior forward Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) accounted for six points and 11 rebounds, while Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) was a defensive presence, notching five of Penn State's 12 steals on the game.
The Aggies took the early lead, 11-6, with just over 14 minutes to play in the half. However, Penn State fought back and rattled off a 11-1 run that was started by a pair of Bentley free throws. After one Texas A&M freebie, Lucas knocked down a jumper, Taylor hit a bucket in transition, followed by a three-pointer by Bentley to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 15-12. Unfortunately for the Lady Lions, Bentley picked up her third foul with 10:01 remaining in the half and was relegated to the bench for the remainder of the half.
Taylor capped the Penn State run with a layup with 9:44 remaining to make it a 17-12 Penn State lead. The Aggies went on a 12-2 run to take 24-19 lead with four minutes to play. Out of the final media timeout of the first half, Lucas drained a three-pointer and then converted on a jumper after Taylor missed a layup off of a steal to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:29 left. After a Kelsey Bone basket, Lucas connected on a fade away and Taylor notched a steal and made the ensuing layup to give Penn State a 28-26 lead with 1:15 left. However, the Aggies scored the last seven points of the half to head into the locker room with a 33-28 lead.
The Lady Lions were saddled with foul trouble and turnovers in the opening half. Penn State committed 15 fouls, including three each by Bentley and Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.), and 14 turnovers. Lucas led the Lions with nine points, while Nickson added six points and a team-best seven rebounds.
After a pair of free throws for Alexia Standish to open the second half, Greene scored the game's next four points to cut the Texas A&M lead to three points (35-32) with 17:24 remaining in the game. The Aggies converted on their next possession to push their lead back to five, but Bentley made it a 37-35 game thanks to a three-point play with 16:30 on the clock.
Texas A&M would score six of the game's next eight points to take a 43-37 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining. After several exchanges of scores, Greene converted on a putback and Lucas made a layup to pull Penn State within one (47-46) with 10 minutes left. Following a basket by Adrienne Pratcher, Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) snagged her own miss and made the putback and Lucas converted on an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Lady Lions ahead, 51-49, with 8:35 left.
The Aggies responded with six consecutive points before the Lady Lions clicked off a 10-0 run to take a 61-56 lead with 49 seconds left. Bentley accounted for six of the points during the run, while Taylor added a steal and layup and Greene had a layup. Bone connected on a pair of free throws with eight seconds left to snap a 6:18 scoreless streak for the Aggies and make it a 61-58 game. Lucas sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds left for the final 63-58 margin.
GAME NOTES: The Lady Lions earn their first victory over a ranked non-conference opponent on the road since defeating #19 Texas on December 21, 2001 ... Penn State earns its first win over a ranked opponent since knocking off #8/11 Ohio State on Feb. 20, 2012...The Lady Lions earn their first victory on the road over a ranked opponent since downing #17/19 Purdue on Feb. 16, 2012... The loss for Texas A&M is its first non-conference home loss since Dec. 30, 2003, snapping a 58-game non-conference home winning streak ...With 21 points this evening, Alex Bentley notched her 20th career 20-point game as a Lady Lion...With seven rebounds, Nikki Greene moves into 11th place all-time on Penn State's rebounding chart with 734 on her career...With four steals, Alex Bentley passed Kahadeejah Herbert for ninth on Penn State's career steals list with 227.
The Lady Lions return home to face Lafayette on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. for Kids Day and YMCA Day. Kids will take over the BJC by partaking in various jobs on game day and the Lady Lions will host a kids clinic postgame for kids that register by emailing their information (names and ages) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday, Nov. 17. YMCA members can show their card at the ticket office on game day and can get $5 off per ticket. Additionally, fans that show their ticket from the Penn State-Indiana football game will receive a buy one ticket, get one free offer for the day. The Lady Lions are also helping the Penn State football team Stuff the Blue Bus for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and will offer fans that bring a canned good to the game a $5 ticket.
Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale now. Tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are still available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2012-13. 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.