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Dec. 11, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #17/18 Penn State Lady Lions (8-2, 0-0 Big Ten) won their fifth-straight non-conference home game with a 76-51 victory against UMES (2-5) Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. Once again, the Lady Lions played solid defense to close the game, holding the Lady Hawks to just a 17.9% (7-39) field goal percentage in the second half and holding them without a field goal for the final 3:59 to secure the win.
Sophomore guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) led Penn State with a game-high 20 points, while also leading the team with three steals to go along with five rebounds. Lucas has reached the 20-point mark in four of the last five games and five times this season. Junior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field on the way to 13 points, four rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes, while fellow junior Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) narrowly missed her second career double-double wit 11 points and nine assists.
Freshman Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) and sophomore Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) each posted career high in rebounds with nine apiece to aid the Lady Lions in the win. Waldner also chipped in four points and a pair of blocks, while Edwards added seven points and three assists. Junior guard Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) chipped in eight points and three rebounds to celebrate her 21st birthday today.
Lucas opened the game for Penn State with a free throw before a bucket from Greene had Penn State leading 3-0. Agbasi put the Lady Hawks on the board with a jumper near the 18:40 mark. PSU's lead grew to four, 8-4, but two consecutive baskets by UMES had the score knotted at 8-8. A little less than five minutes in, UMES took a slim two-point lead (13-11) but Lucas nailed a trifecta to move Penn State back on top and the Lady Lions would not trail again.
With 7:33 left in the first half, Penn State grabbed its largest lead in the early going with a jumper from Lucas for a 26-20 lead. The Lady Lions maintained at least a four-point lead until back-to-back free throws from Studevent moved Penn State ahead by eight (34-26).
After a UMES timeout with just over two minutes remaining in the half, Studevent tossed one in from 15 feet to give Penn State a 36-26 lead. However, the Lady Hawks fought back to within six (36-30), thanks to layups from Adobi Agbasi and Chelsea Sanders. Lucas answered back with a basket with just over 40 seconds remaining in the half. She then stole the ball from Sanders on UMES' next possession and passed it to Edwards for a fastbreak layup to give the Lady Lions a comfortable 40-30 lead heading into halftime.
Greene opened the second half with a layup, which gave Penn State a 12-point lead at 42-30. The squads traded baskets with Penn State maintaining a 10-point advantage until a 6-0 Lady Lion run pushed PSU ahead by 17 (54-37). Agbasi cut off the Lady Lion run with a jumper at the 12:39 mark, but an Edwards layup kept Penn State comfortably ahead, 56-39.
Penn State's lead continued to grow with five straight points, including one free throw from Wolfe and two freebies from Bentley, to give the Lady Lions a 61-39 lead. The Lady Hawks managed to tally three consecutive points, but Wolfe put in a jumper to prevent UMES from taking off on a run.
The Lady Lions extended the lead to 23 (70-47) as the game began to wind down. The Lady Hawks closed the gap to 20 (71-51) with less than four minutes remaining, but it as close as UMES would come to Penn State for the remainder of the game. Penn State finished the game with five consecutive points, including two each from Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Studevent and one from Edwards for the 76-51 win.
GAME NOTES: This is the Lady Lions' first ever win over UMES (1-0) ... Today's victory over UMES marks the Lady Lions' 180th win at the Bryce Jordan Center ... Senior Zhaque Gray moved into a tie with Jess Brungo for 10th place in all-time three-point field goals made (117) ... Nikki Greene moved into sole possession of sixth place in all-time career blocks (143) ... With 13 points, Greene also surpassed the 600-point plateau for her career (608) ... Freshman Tori Waldner had a career-best nine rebounds, tied her career-high two blocks and played a career-high 21 minutes ... Sophomore Maggie Lucas posted her second-straight 20-point game and fourth in the last five contests with 20 tallies ... Junior Gizelle Studevent reached 100 career points and had a career-high three rebounds ... Sophomore Ariel Edwards had a career-best nine rebounds and tied her career-high with three assists ... With 11 points today, junior Alex Bentley has scored double-digits in six straight games ... Junior Marisa Wolfe had a career-high two blocks.
The Lady Lions take a break for final exams before returning to the court for their final home non-conference game against Wagner on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. The game is part of a women's-men's doubleheader with the men facing Mount St. Mary's at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission to see both games. 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.