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Jan. 4, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #9/9 Penn State Lady Lions (11-2, 1-0 Big Ten) hit the road for a Sunday matinee at Big Ten foe Michigan State (13-1, 1-0). The 2:15 p.m. tipoff will air live on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington on play-by-play and Stephanie White serving as the color analyst. The Lady Lions are 24-13 all-time against the Spartans, but are looking for the first win in East Lansing since the 2007-08 campaign.
TV: The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington on play-by-play and Stephanie White serving as the color analyst.
RADIO/LIVE STATS: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and ESPN Radio 1450 locally with Jerry Fisher and Brian Tripp calling the action. A link to the audio feed and GameTracker are available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions used a late rally to fend off Northwestern in their Big Ten opener by a score of 73-69 on Thursday. The Wildcats held a six-point advantage with 4:47 remaining in the contest, but Penn State closed the game on 17-9 run to seal the comeback victory. Junior guard Maggie Lucas led the way for the Lady Lions, netting 24 points. Senior Mia Nickson recorded her 13th career double-double, tallying season highs of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Dara Taylor chipped in nine points and a career-high seven steals, while Alex Bentley added nine tallies.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE: Despite losing several players to season-ending injuries, the Spartans are 13-1 and won their Big Ten opener against Minnesota Thursday. Klarissa Bell leads Michigan State with a 12.1 scoring average and 6.5 rebounding mark, while Annalise Pickrel chips in 10.2 points per outing. Jasmine Hines is also averaging double figures at a 10.0 per game clip. Courtney Schiffauer leads the Spartans on the boards (7.3) while scoring 7.4 points per game.
ALL-TIME VS. THE SPARTANS: The Lady Lions are 24-13 all-time against Michigan State, but have lost seven of their last eight to the Spartans. Penn State is 8-8 in road games against MSU, but have not won there since Jan. 5, 2008. Last season, the Spartans swept the season series with an 83-77 win in East Lansing and a 75-65 victory in Happy Valley.
LAST TIME VS. MSU: The Lady Lions dropped a tough 83-77 decision at Michigan State Jan. 29, 2012. Maggie Lucas was 9-for-13 from the field on the way to 21 points for her 12th 20-point game of the season, while Mia Nickson added a season-high 18 points via an 8-for-9 effort from the free throw line. Nikki Greene also reached double figures with 10 points and five rebounds. Ariel Edwards chipped in eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.
LUCAS CLIMBS TWO MORE SPOTS IN CAREER SCORING: Junior Maggie Lucas moved up two more spots on Penn State's career scoring list with her 24-point performance against Northwestern Jan. 3. The 24 tallies bring Lucas' career total to 1,469 points, passing Katina Mack (1,463; 1992-96) and Jess Strom (1,466; 2002-05). Lucas is chasing teammate Alex Bentley (1,493) for the 12th spot and needs 45 points to pass Vicki Link (1,514; 1984-87) for 11th place.
THEFT BY A BENTLEY: With a six-steal performance in the Big Ten opener against Northwestern Jan. 3, senior guard Alex Bentley moved into sixth place on Penn State's all-time steals chart, passing Tanisha Wright (267; 2002-05). Bentley has 270 career thefts and needs 19 steals to tie Kelly Mazzante (289; 2001-04) for fifth sixth place all-time. On Dec. 23, Bentley registered a career high eight steals against NJIT. The eight thefts ties her career mark set against Nebraska Dec. 30, 2011.
NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T: The Lady Lions recorded a season-best 19 steals in the Big Ten opener against Northwestern. The 19 thefts are the most by the Lady Lions since registering 21 thefts against Bucknell Dec. 28, 2010. Junior guard Dara Taylor had seven of those steals to establish a personal best mark, surpassing her previous career mark of six thefts against N.C. Central (11/14/09) as a member of the Maryland Terrapins. Taylor also surpassed the 100-steal mark for her career against the Wildcats.
MIA IS DOUBLE TROUBLE: Senior forward Mia Nickson posted her third double-double of the season and 13th of her career with season-bests of 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Northwestern Jan. 3.
FINDING A WAY TO WIN: In the Big Ten opener against Northwestern Jan. 3, the Lady Lions shot just 29.9% (20-67) for the game, but managed to pull out the 73-69 win. It was the first time that Penn State has shot below 30% and won since shooting 22.4% (15-67) at Minnesota on Jan. 3, 1999.
The Lady Lions return to the BJC to face Nebraska on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. for THON Day and Alumni Day. Fans that donate a hat to THON and get a $5 ticket and for every 10 single-game tickets sold, Penn State Athletics will donate a hat to THON. Additionally, Alumni Association members that present their membership card will get $5 admission. Maggie Lucas, Alex Bentley and Ariel Edwards will be signing autographs postgame. 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.
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