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Dec. 2, 2010
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. - The Penn State Lady Lions (6-2) erased an 11-point second-half deficit to force overtime, but could not come away with the win in a tough 113-104 loss at Boston College (7-0) Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Sophomore Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) was 11-for-21 from the field, including the game-tying shot with 0.5 seconds left in regulation, on the way to a career-high 28 points. Penn State has play to overtime in every true road game this season, posting a 2-1 mark in those games.
Bentley surpasses her previous career-high of 27 points set against Purdue on Jan. 28, 2010. She also accounted for eight assists and three rebounds against the Eagles. Freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) also tallied a personal best with 28 points, including six three-pointers. She was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line tonight.
Sophomore center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) posted her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals. In her return to Boston College, Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.), who transferred from BC after the 2008-09, accounted for nine points, six rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa.) also reached double figures for the Lady Lions with 11 points, six rebounds and two steals.
The Eagles started off 4-for-5 from the field with the only miss leading to a rebound and layup en route to a 9-0 lead. Stefanie Murphy scored BC's first five points in the first minute of the game. Lucas got Penn State on the board with a three-pointer and Nickson grabbed a rebound and laid it in to cut the deficit to 9-5 at the 16:33 mark.
Boston College extended its lead to 10 points (17-7) with 13:42 remaining thanks to a 8-2 run as the Lady Lions struggled to connect from the field and turned the ball multiple times. Penn State responded with a 10-0 run that included four points by Trogele and two free throws each by Lucas, Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) and Greene to tie the game at 17-17 with 10:24 left in the frame. However, the Eagles got eight-straight points from Jaclyn Thoman to take a 25-17 lead within one minute of the Lions tying the game at 17-17.
Penn State cut into the lead with back-to-back scores by Greene and Renee Womack (Lansdale, Pa.), but the Eagles scored seven of the game's next nine points to push the lead back to nine (32-23) with 5:34 remaining in the half. The Lady Lions would get within four points at 39-35 with 2:04 remaining, but the Eagles scored six of the final 10 points of the half to take a 45-39 lead into the break.
Lucas led the Lady Lions with 10 points, while Bentley added nine tallies on 4-of-8 shooting. Greene pulled in eight rebounds to go along with four points and a block. Despite shooting just 38.7% (12-31) from the field, Penn State remained close by knocking down 13 of their 15 free throw attempts. The Lady Lions had more made free throws (13) than field goals (12) in the opening half. Thoman led all scorers in the first half with 18 points.
After a pair of missed free throws by Greene on the opening possession, the Eagles' Kerri Shields drained a three-pointer and BC converted on a steal and layup on the ensuing Penn State possession to push its lead to 11 points (50-39) less than a minute into the second half. On the next time down the floor, Greene made a layup on was fouled, but missed the free throw. However, Nickson corralled the rebound and Trogele eventually found Greene down low for a layup as part of a 12-2 run. Trogele, Bentley and Nickson also scored for Penn State during the run. Greene capped the run with a layup off of a pass from Bentley to cut the deficit to 52-51 with less than 16 minutes left in the game.
Following a three-point play by Carolyn Swords, Bentley drained a pair of free throws and Greene knocked down one of her two attempts to get the Lions within one point (55-54) with 13:46 remaining. On the ensuing Boston College possession, Bentley got the steal and layup to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 56-55 with 13:29 left in the game.
The Eagles cored the game's next five points, but Lucas drained a three-pointer to keep Penn State within one. Following a bucket by Swords, Bentley hit a fade away jumper and Lucas netted a pair of freebies to give the Lady Lions a 63-62 lead with 11:38 left. After an exchange of scores, the Eagles scored eight of the game's next 10 points to establish a 73-68 lead with 9:09 to play.
Freshman Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) got the Lions within a possession with a nice drive into the lane, but the Eagles scored two baskets within four seconds to push the margin back to seven points (77-70) with less than nine minutes to play. Penn State would go on a 5-0 run thanks to a layup by Bentley, one free throw from Greene and a jumper by Lucas to pull within a pair at 77-75 with less than seven minutes left. The Eagles pushed the lead back to five points on three freebies, but Penn State responded with an old-fashioned three-point play by Bentley and a layup by Trogele to even the score at 80-80 with less than six minutes remaining.
Neither team took more than a two-point lead over the next four minutes until three consecutive hoops by the Eagles gave Boston College a 90-86 lead with 1:51 on the clock. Bentley went to the line with 1:34 remaining, but could only convert on one of her two shots to get the Lions within one possession at 90-87. Greene converted on a layup in traffic to cut the deficit to one points (90-89) with 33 seconds on the clock. Thoman drained both of her free throw attempts with 22 ticks on the clock to extend the lead back to three (92-89).
On the ensuing possession, Gray drained a three-pointer to even the score at 92-92 with 13.5 seconds left. However, the transition defense did not hold up for the Lions and Thoman got an easy layup with 5.9 seconds left to give the Eagles the lead. Following a timeout by Coquese Washington, Bentley drove the length of the court and hit a jumper with 0.5 seconds on the clock,
Boston College started the overtime period with a basket by Swords. After Bentley made one of two free throws, Tiffany Ruffin nailed a three-pointer to make it a 99-95 game with four minutes left. Penn State responded with a trey from Lucas, but the Eagles would score the game's next five points to establish a 104-98 lead with 2:32 remaining. Lucas hit her fifth three-pointer of the game to pull Penn State within a possession, but the Eagles pushed it back to nine with 44 seconds left after six free throws by Shields and Swords.
Lucas connected on another shot from deep to get Penn State within six points (110-104), but the Eagles salted away the win with three free throws in the final 37 seconds.
GAME NOTES: Penn State has play to overtime in every true road game this season, posting a 2-1 mark in those games ... Sophomore Alex Bentley had a career-high 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting ... Freshman Maggie Lucas tallied a personal-best 28 points ... Sophomore Nikki Greene tallied her fourth career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds ... Sophomore Mia Nickson had nine points and six rebounds in her return to Boston College ... The Lady Lions are 1-3 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games ... PSU is now 1-1 against Boston College.
The Lady Lions return home to meet Texas Tech in the inaugural Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. to kick off a seven-game homestand. Sunday is Youth Day where any youth in a jersey will get in for free. It's autograph day at the BJC and fans will receive Lady Lion trading cards for the postgame autograph session while supplies last. 2010-11 Lady Lion Basketball Single-game tickets are available by calling 814-863-1000 or 800-NITTANY. The 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 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon as the Lady Lions take on Northwestern in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network. Last year, the Lady Lions donated more than $80,000 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 and J.C. Blair Memorial 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.