Battle of the Unbeatens as No. 8/8 Lady Lions Travel to No. 25/RV Michigan Monday
Jan. 19, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Arguably two of the hottest teams in the country will square off at Crisler Arena Monday night as the #8/8 Penn State Lady Lions (14-2, 4-0 Big Ten) and the #25/RV Michigan Wolverines (15-2, 4-0) meet for the 6:30 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network. The squads are two of the three unbeaten teams remaining in Big Ten play and possess two of the top 10 current winning streaks in the country. The Lady Lions have won eight straight games, while the Wolverines have been victorious in their last 10 contests. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and Stephanie White (color) on the call.
TV: The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and Stephanie White (color) on the call.
RADIO/LIVE STATS: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and ESPN Radio 1450 locally with Jerry Fisher calling the action. A link to the audio feed and GameTracker are available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in an 84-40 wire-to-wire victory over Wisconsin Thursday night. The 44-point victory is the largest for the Lady Lions in a Big Ten game since defeating Michigan State by 48 (97-49) on Jan. 28, 2001. Leading the way for the Lady Lions was senior Nikki Greene, who scored 23 points to go along with 14 rebounds for her 12th career double-double and fifth career 20-point game. Senior Alex Bentley was one of four Lady Lions who scored in double figures, as she chipped in 14 points to go along with six steals and five assists. Juniors Maggie Lucas and Ariel Edwards tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN: The Wolverines are ranked 25th in this weeks AP poll after riding a 10-game winning streak to a 15-2 overall record and perfect 4-0 in Big Ten play. UM is ranked in the AP top 25 for the first time since Dec. 23, 2002 and is off to the best start in school history. Kate Thompson paces the Wolverines with a 15.8 scoring average, including 66 three-pointers. Rachel Sheffer accounts for 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while Jenny Ryan adds 11.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
ALL-TIME VS. THE WOLVERINES: The Lady Lions are 28-9 all-time against Michigan, including a current four-game winning streak. Penn State is 13-5 in road games versus the Wolverines. Penn State swept the season series last year with a 78-63 win at the BJC (Jan. 12) and a 77-56 victory in Ann Arbor (Jan. 16).
LAST TIME VS. UM: The Lady Lions shot 56.1% from the field, including 66.7% in the second half, on the way to a dominating 77-56 win at Michigan Jan. 26, 2012. Maggie Lucas tallied 23 points via a 10-for-13 effort from the field. She also pulled in eight rebounds with four assists and two steals. Alex Bentley had a solid all-around game with 18 points, eight assists, four rebounds and a steal, while Nikki Greene notched her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
RACKING UP STEALS: The Lady Lions have recorded at least 17 steals in four contests this year. By comparison, the season-high for steals in a game for last year's squad was 17. The four games with 17 or more steals are the most since the 1993-94 squad had six games with 17 or more thefts.
NIKKI CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS: Senior center Nikki Greene is closing in on 1,000 career tallies after a 23-point performance against Wisconsin on Jan. 17. The Diboll, Texas native needs 13 points to become the 35th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
BIG BIG TEN WIN: The Lady Lions claimed an 84-40 win over Wisconsin Jan. 17 to move to 4-0 in conference play. Penn State's 44-point win is the biggest margin of victory over a Big Ten opponent since topping Michigan State by 48 points (97-49) on Jan. 28, 2001. Additionally, the 44-point win also marked the first time that Penn State defeated a Big Ten opponent by 40 or more points since a 43-point win over Northwestern (91-48; 1/22/06). The margin of victory for the Lions also marked the worst loss for the Badgers since falling to Purdue (93-45) on March 6, 1994.
NIKKI DOUBLES DOWN: Senior center Nikki Greene recorded her 12th career double-double and her third double-double of the season with 23 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Wisconsin Jan. 17. Greene's 23 points are a season-high and mark her second 20-point game of the season and fifth of her career.
DT DISHES OUT #300: Redshirt junior guard Dara Taylor recorded her 300th career assist with six helpers in the win over Wisconsin Jan. 17. Taylor has 59 helpers as a Lady Lion, but accumulated 242 dimes at Maryland before transferring after her sophomore season.
AB CLIMBS INTO SCORING TOP 10: Senior point guard Alex Bentley tallied 14 points against Wisconsin Jan. 17 and in the process, moved into the Top 10 on Penn State's career scoring list, passing Tanya Garner (1,538; 1988-91) for the 10th spot. Bentley has 1,539 career points and needs 80 tallies to tie Andrea Garner (1,619; 1997-00) for ninth place.
GREENE GOING FOR 1,000s: Senior center Nikki Greene will have a shot at becoming just the fourth player in school history to be a part of an elite club with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. The Diboll, Texas native needs 13 points to reach the 1,000-point mark and 146 rebounds for 1,000 career caroms. Greene would need to average 5.4 points and 9.2 rebounds in a 30-game season to accomplish the milestone. The members of the 1,000-1,000 club are Susan Robinson (2,253-1,070), Kahadeejah Herbert (2,025-1,103) and Andrea Garner (1,619-1,016).
GREENE MOVES UP BLOCKS LIST: Senior center Nikki Greene moved into second place on Penn State's career rejections chart after recording two rejections against Wisconsin Jan. 17. With 193 career blocks, Greene passes Mary Donovan (192; 1977-81) for second spot. Greene is 75 blocks away from Kim Calhoun's record of 268 set from 1993-96.
20-POINT BIG TEN WINS: With a 76-55 win over Michigan State Jan. 6, an 80-58 victory over Nebraska Jan. 13 and an 84-40 win over Wisconsin Jan. 17, the Lady Lions earned three consecutive Big Ten wins of 20 or more points for the first time since the 2004-05 season. In that season, the Lady Lions topped 76-41 win over Illinois (76-41; 1/13/05), Indiana (65-44; 1/16/05) and Purdue (77-54; 1/20/05).
PICKING UP Ws IN THE BJC: With the win over Wisconsin Jan. 17, the Lady Lions extended their home court winning streak to 15 games, which is the sixth-longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the ninth-longest streak in school history. The Lady Lions last lost at home Jan. 7, 2012 to Michigan State.
BIG TEN START: With an 84-40 win over Wisconsin Jan. 17, the Lady Lions moved to 4-0 in conference play. It was the first time since the 2004-05 season that Penn State has won it's first four games. The 2004-05 squad opened league play with a 7-0 mark.
The Lady Lions return home to meet Minnesota on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Fans can get their second of five senior wind-up walkers at the gates. The Minnesota game is also Penn State Faculty/Staff night where PSU faculty and staff can get a buy one, get one free ticket offer. Additionally, it will be AT&T Night and AT&T customers that show their bill or cell phone will get a buy one, get one free ticket offer. 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.