No. 17/18 Lady Lions Sprint Past Virginia Tech, 66-28
Dec. 6, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #17/18 Penn State Lady Lions (7-2, 0-0 Big Ten) held Virginia Tech (2-5, 0-0 ACC) scoreless for the final 13 minutes of the game to secure a convincing 66-28 win. After scoring seven of her 11 points in the first half, junior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) became the 33rd Lady Lion to reach 1,000 career points and the 15th to reach the milestone as a junior. The 28 points were the fewest scored by the Hokies in program history, surpassing the 33 points scored against Tennessee during the 1995 campaign. It is also the fewest points scored by a Penn State opponent since giving up 21 tallies to Rider on Nov. 14, 2010.
Sophomore Maggie Lucas (Narbeth, Pa.) posted a game-high 20 points while also posting a team-best eight rebounds and two assists. Junior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) added 14 points, five rebounds and three steals, while Bentley chipped in 11 points, five assists and three steals. Sophomore Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) had a strong night off the bench with six points and three rebounds.
It was a slow start offensively by both teams, but Lucas put the Lions on the board with a three. Virginia Tech's Monet Tellier found the basket at the 17-minute mark to give the Hokies their first points of the game and put VT within one, 3-2. A free throw from sophomore Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.), followed by a layup from Lucas had the Lady Lions leading by two. However, Aerial Wilson scored off a jumper to tie it up at 6-6 with 12:39 left to play in the first half.
Bentley sparked a 14-0 run by the Lady Lions with a jumper that gave Penn State a convincing 20-6 lead. Lucas, junior Marisa Wolfe (Ford City, Pa.), Greene, freshman Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) and East all put the ball away during the run. Despite a missed basket by the Hokies, a PSU turnover led to a three-pointer by Larryqua Hall cutting off the Lady Lion run. Hall managed to close the gap to 10 (21-11) with a jumper with 4:23 remaining, but a layup by Edwards had Penn State back ahead by 12 (23-11).
Virginia Tech managed to come within 10 twice more thanks to baskets from Latorri Hines-Allen and Wilson, but the Hokies were unable to cut Penn State's lead down to single-digits before the half ended. After a Wilson foul, Bentley put the Lions ahead 27-15 heading into the break.
Penn State continued its dominance in the second half scoring seven of the first nine points to take a 34-17 advantage. Hines-Allen scored on a second chance basket to make it 34-19, but Penn State pushed its lead to 19 after a Greene layup and a fastbreak basket by Bentley to make it 38-19.
An 8-2 Hokie run brought Virginia Tech within 14 (38-24) with 14:35 to play, prompting a Penn State timeout. Out of the break, Greene knocked down a jumper to push the Lady Lion lead to 16 (40-24). Alyssa Fenyn nailed a trifecta with less than 14 minutes to play before Wilson headed to the free throw line where she made the front-end bringing VT within 12 (40-28).
Nearly two minutes passed with neither team scoring until a steal by senior Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.) led to a fastbreak layup by Bentley. From there with a little more than 11 minutes left in the game, Penn State embarked on a 26-0 scoring run and held the Hokies scoreless for the final 13 minutes. Six Lady Lions contributed to the scoring run, with Lucas leading the way with 10 points, including seven of Penn State's last nine points.
GAME NOTES: Alex Bentley became the 33rd member of Penn State's 1,000-point club with 11 points. She is the 15th Lady Lion junior to reach the milestone and the first since Tyra Grant ... Penn State improves to 2-0 all-time against Virginia Tech ... The Lady Lions held the Hokies to 28 points, their lowest point total in school history. Virginia Tech's previous low was against the Tennessee Volunteers on Feb. 22, 1995 with 33 points ... It is also the fewest points given up by a Lady Lion team since allowing 21 points to Rider on Nov. 14, 2010 (W, 95-21) ... Nikki Greene is tied for sixth with Tina Henry on Penn State's all-time blocks chart (140) ... Maggie Lucas eclipsed the 700-point mark with her 20-point performance ... Penn State ended the game on a 26-0 run and didn't allow a Virginia Tech point for the final 13:15 of the game ... Penn State held an opponent under 45% shooting for the eighth time this season, winning all but one ... Penn State shot 71.4% (15-21) from the field in the second half, it's best-shooting half since shooting 70.4% against Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament (3/4/07) ... The Lady Lions are now 5-0 when outrebounding their opponent, Penn State held the advantage on the boards, 39-31.
The Lady Lions continue their homestand with their first-ever meeting with UMES on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game is a Subway Full Court 4-Pack, fans get four reserved game tickets, one voucher good for four 6-inch subs at any of seven State College Subway locations, and one voucher good for four soft drinks at the BJC, for just $40. 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.