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Dec. 9, 2009
The Penn State Lady Lions (6-3, 0-1) landed four players in double figures and had 11 players score on the way to a 67-42 victory over Monmouth (3-5) Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. Head coach Coquese Washington decided to shuffle the lineup and it immediately paid dividends as senior Meredith Monroe (Olney, Md.) tallied a career-high 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting and seven rebounds, including six on the offensive glass, in her second start of the season.
Monroe surpassed her previous career mark of eight, set earlier this season against Drexel, with nine points in the first four minutes. Freshman Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) tallied her first career double-double with career highs of 12 points and 14 rebounds. She also blocked a pair of shots; marking the seventh straight game that Greene has blocked two or more shots. Senior guard Tyra Grant (Youngstown, Ohio) led all players with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting in just 23 minutes of action. She also corralled five rebounds and had a steal in the win.
Freshman Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) recorded double-digits for the fourth-straight game and seventh time this season with 11 points. She also dished out seven assists, pulled in four rebounds and had her second career blocked shot. Sophomore guard Renee Womack (Lansdale, Pa.) was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field on the way to six points. She also contributed three rebounds, two steals and a block.
Monroe quickly proved why Washington put her in the starting lineup, scoring nine of Penn State's first 11 points to push the Lady Lions to five-point lead (11-6) in the first four minutes of the game. The Lady Lions added to their lead with a rebound and putback by Greene and one free throw by Grant.
Monmouth pulled within five points (18-13) at the midway point of the first half, but the Lady Lions reeled off 14-0 run over the final 8:09 of the opening period. Grant led the Lady Lion charge with eight points during the run, while Greene, Monroe and Emily Phillips (South Bend, Ind.) added two tallies apiece.
Monroe and Grant accounted for 11 points each in the first half. Monroe also grabbed seven first-half rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Greene added four points and six boards, while Bentley chipped in four tallies. The Lady Lions held the Hawks to a paltry 18.2% (6-for-33) shooting percentage from the field and grabbed 10 more rebounds. Gabby Singer led Monmouth in the first half with five points and three rebounds.
Adriana Allen stopped an 11-minute scoreless drought for Monmouth with a jumper in the first minute of the second half. However, the Lions immediately responded with a bucket by Bentley and an old-fashioned three-point play on the fastbreak by Grant to make it a 37-15 lead with 18 minutes left in the game. The Hawks banked in a three-pointer on their next position, but Penn State took the inbounds pass and ran the length of the court where Womack laid the ball in to complete the fastbreak.
The teams continued to exchange scoring opportunities to keep the lead at 21 until a basket by Carly Thibault and two free throws by Singer cut the Lady Lion lead to 16 points (43-27) with 13:37 to play. Penn State countered with a pair of free throws by Janessa Wolff (Park Rapids, Minn.) and a jumper by Womack for a 47-27 lead with 11:38 on the clock. The lead remained 20 points until a layup by Greene and a jumper by Nicole Arcidiacono (Langhorne, Pa.) pushed the Penn State lead to 57-33 with five and a half minutes remaining. The Hawks ended an eight-minute field goal drought with a layup by Alexis Canady, which started a 6-2 run for the Hawks and cut the Lady Lion lead to 19 points (59-40) with 3:17 to play. Penn State held firm and extended the lead with back-to-back baskets by Womack and Bentley in the final 33 seconds for the 25-point win.
GAME NOTES: Senior guard Meredith Monroe made her fourth career start...Monroe scored nine of Penn State's first 11 points and finished with a career-best 11 tallies...Freshman Nikki Greene posted her first career double-double with career bests of 12 points and 14 rebounds...Greene also blocked two shots, marking the seventh-straight game that she has stuffed two or more shots...The Lady Lions are now 2-0 all-time against Monmouth...The Lady Lions remained undefeated when wearing white uniforms with a 2-0 mark this year...Senior guard Tyra Grant has reached double-digits in each of her last 21 games...Penn State improves to 3-0 in games decided by 20 points or more this year and are 5-0 when leading at the half.
The Lady Lions host Big East rival Pittsburgh on Sat., Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. Penn State will be honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2000 Final Four team at the Pitt game and several members of that team are expected to be in attendance. The Lady Lions continue their four-game homestand against Oakland (Mon., Dec. 21) and Iowa (Mon., Dec. 28). Single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the Penn State ticket office at 814-865-5555.
The 2010 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m., as the Lady Lions take on Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on www.bigtennetwork.com. The first three Pink Zone events have raised more than $80,000 for breast cancer awareness. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone.
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.