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Dec. 16, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #11/10 Penn State Lady Lions (9-2) earned a 60-50 victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (6-5) on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. After entering the half tied at 25, the Lady Lions outscored South Dakota State 35-25 in the second half to secure the win. Senior point guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) led the way for the Lady Lions with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
With the five assists, Bentley eclipsed the 500 mark for her career to push her career total to 503 dimes. Bentley becomes just the sixth player in Lady Lion history to record 1,000 points, 500 assists and 250 steals, joining Nancy Kuhl, Tina Nicholson, Jess Strom, Helen Darling and Suzie McConnell. Additionally, Bentley moved up two spots into 12th place in the Penn State scoring record books with 1,474 career points.
Senior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) led all scorers with 17 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) scored nine points while recording a career-high four blocks and five steals. Senior Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) added nine points and five rebounds in the win.
The back-and-forth first half started with South Dakota taking a 4-2 lead on a Leah Dietel jumper following a Bentley layup. Greene succeeded on an old-fashioned three-point play a minute and a half into the contest to give the Lady Lions a 5-4 advantage. The Jackrabbits scored the next six and took a 10-5 advantage on three-pointers by Ashley Eide and Gabrielle Boever. Then leading 13-7, South Dakota State surrendered six-straight points to the Lady Lions on a jumper by Bentley, a layup by Greene and another layup be Bentley.
With the contest tied up at 13, the Jackrabbits put together a 6-2 run to take a 19-15 lead with 8:33 to go in the first half. Penn State would put a quick end to that when Bentley grabbed a steal and scored on a breakaway layup. Redshirt junior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) then tied it up to 19 on a steal and layup of her own with 6:42 to go. A steal and layup by Ashley Eide helped the Jackrabbits retake the lead at the 5:28 mark, but Lucas answered with a step back jumper at the elbow to tie it up at 21.
Heading into the second half tied at 25, the Lady Lions opened things up with a 7-0 run. Greene hit a jumper in the paint to get things started, followed by a Lucas free throw. Greene converted on another layup and Bentley assisted Taylor on a fastbreak layup to give the Lady Lions a 32-25 advantage with 17:29 to go in the second half, forcing a South Dakota State timeout.
Penn State went up 34-28 on a Bentley field goal at 13:40 and then took an eight-point lead on a Nickson layup 31 seconds later. Nevertheless, the Jackrabbits scored the next five points on a three by Chloe Cornemann and a fastbreak layup by Tara Heiser. Lucas halted the South Dakota State threat by sinking two free throws to give Penn State a 38-33 lead. Greene muscled her way through in the paint to make a layup and up the Lady Lion lead to seven (40-33). Following a field goal for the Jackrabbits, the Lady Lions netted the next seven points on free throws by Bentley, a Nickson turnaround jumper and Lucas' first three of the game for a 47-35 Penn State lead to force a South Dakota State timeout with 7:03 remaining.
Freshman Candice Agee (Victorville, Calif.) notched her second field of the game on a hook shot in the lane at the 5:20 mark to give the Lay Lions a 50-37 lead. Then with 2:50 remaining, Edwards hit back-to-back jumpers to give Penn State a 56-43 lead. Greene put the Lady Lions at the 60-point mark as she scored the final four Penn State points. A three at the buzzer by Eide resulted in the final count of 60-50.
GAME NOTES: With the five assists, Alex Bentley became the ninth player in school history to eclipse the 500-assist mark (503) ... Bentley is just the sixth player in Lady Lion history to record 1,000 points, 500 assists and 250 steals, joining Nancy Kuhl, Tina Nicholson, Jess Strom, Helen Darling and Suzie McConnell ... With 15 points, Bentley upped her career point total to 1,474 tallies and moved into 12th place on Penn State's career scoring list, passing Katina Mack (1992-96) and Jess Strom (2002-05) ... With today's win, the Lady Lions extend their non-conference home court winning streak to 12 games, tied for the third largest in school history ... With six rebounds, Nikki Greene moved into eighth on PSU's career rebounding list (810), passing Amanda Brown (2004-07) ... Maggie Lucas finished with nine points, her lowest scoring output since tallying nine points against Purdue on March 3, 2012 ... With six three-point field goals attempted, Lucas tied Tyra Grant (2007-10) for third place on Penn State's career three-point field goals attempted list with 531 ... Lucas recorded a career-high four blocks, passing her previous career high of two rejections, set twice previously ... Tori Walder tied her career-high with three blocks (Wagner 12/18/11) ... Bentley pulled in a career-best nine rebounds, surpassing her previous personal best of seven boards, set twice in her career.
After a break for final exams, the Lady Lions continue their season-long three-game homestand against NJIT on Dec. 23 at 1:30 p.m. The game is a doubleheader with the men's team (vs. New Hampshire at 11 a.m.). It will be a $5 general admission ticket for both games. After a break for the holidays, Penn State will begin Big Ten play against Northwestern on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in the BJC. The Big Ten opener will be a Subway Full Court 4-Pack, as well as Dollar Dog Night. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.
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). 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.