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Jan. 23, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - After a Big Ten battle of the unbeaten in Ann Arbor Monday, the #8/8 Penn State Lady Lions (15-2, 5-0 Big Ten) are back in the BJC to face Minnesota (13-6, 2-3) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The game is the second of five senior class wind-up walker giveaways where the first 2,000 fans will get a Gizelle Studevent wind-up walker Thursday evening. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and LaChina Robinson (color) calling the action.
PROMOTIONS: It is Penn State Faculty/Staff Night at the BJC. Penn State faculty and staff members that show their ID will receive a buy one, get one free ticket offer. It is also AT&T Night and fans that show their AT&T phone bill or cell phone will receive a buy one, get one free ticket offer.
GIVEAWAY: Thursday marks the second of the five senior class wind-up walker giveaways. The first 2,000 fans will get a Gizelle Studevent wind-up walker.
TV: The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and LaChina Robinson (color) calling the action.
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 12-0 run to secure a 59-49 win over the #23/RV Michigan Wolverines Monday to take sole possession of first place in the Big Ten and secure their spot as the lone unbeaten team in Big Ten play (men or women). Junior guard Maggie Lucas connected on a trio of threes en route to 19 points with four rebounds and a steal, while Alex Bentley chipped in 16 points with a pair of rebounds, three assists and a game-best five steals. Senior center Nikki Greene posted her fourth consecutive double digit rebounding performance with 11 caroms to go with eight points and three blocks.
SCOUTING MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers are 13-6 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play. Sophomore Rachel Banham paces the Minnesota offense by averaging 20.3 points and 4.1 assists per game. She is also connecting on 89.9% of her shots from the free throw line. Micaella Riche is also averaging double figures at a 12.7 clip to go along with a team-best 7.4 rebounding average. Kionna Kellogg chips in 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while Kayla Hirt accounts for 7.3 points per outing off the bench.
ALL-TIME VS. THE GOPHERS: The Lady Lions are 25-11 all-time against Minnesota, including a current five-game winning streak. Penn State is 14-3 in home games versus the Golden Gophers. Penn State swept the season series last year with a 68-65 win at Williams Arena (Feb. 5), a 74-51 win at the BJC (Feb. 26) and a 78-74 comeback win in the Big Ten Tournament (Mar. 2).
LAST TIME VS. MINN: The Lady Lions shook off early jitters and scored 49 second-half points as they erased a 13-point deficit and picked up a 78-74 win over Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on March 2, 2012. Maggie Lucas led all five starters in double figures with 24 points. She also pulled in seven rebounds and two assists in the win. Zhaque Gray added 19 points, while Alex Bentley chipped in 12 points, five assists and seven steals.
WASHINGTON ON PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE: Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington will serve on the 18-person search committee for the next Penn State president. Current president Dr. Rodney Erickson will retire by June 30, 2014.
GREENE CLAIMS WEEKLY HONOR: Senior Nikki Greene was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the week-ending Jan. 21. It is the first career Player of the Week award for Greene and it is the third Player of the Week honor for the Lady Lions this season (Maggie Lucas, twice). Previously, Greene earned conference accolades as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Dec. 14, 2009. Greene averaged 15.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and shot 59.1% from the field as the Lady Lions climbed to 5-0 in conference play with wins over Wisconsin and #23/RV Michigan last week.
DUO ON WOODEN TOP 20 LIST: Senior point guard Alex Bentley and junior guard Maggie Lucas are two of 20 players that have been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason list. The list is comprised of players who based on their performances in November, December and January, are the frontrunners for selection to the ballot of college basketball's top award. Lucas and Bentley are two of three players from the Big Ten on the list, joining Tayler Hill from Ohio State. Penn State is additionally one of six schools to have multiple candidates on the list.
BEST START SINCE 1999-00: With a 15-2 record, the Lady Lions are off to their best start since the 1999-00 season. The 1999-00 squad started the season 16-2 and went on to finish with a 30-5 mark and a trip to the Final Four.
STREAKING: The Lady Lions are riding a nine-game winning streak after a 59-49 win at Michigan on Jan. 21. The streak is tied for the 10th longest streak in school history and is the tied for the seventh longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
CONFERENCE STREAKING: Penn State has won its last 12 Big Ten regular-season games, dating back to last season. It is the longest conference winning streak since the Lions won 12-straight over the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. The Lady Lions last lost in Big Ten play on Jan. 29, 2012 at Michigan State. The school record for consecutive Big Ten wins is 13, set over the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.
BIG TEN START: With a 59-49 win at Michigan Jan. 21, the Lady Lions moved to 5-0 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.
LUCAS MOVING UP BIG TEN THREES LIST: With a trio of three-pointers at Michigan Jan. 21, junior guard Maggie Lucas moved into fifth place on the Big Ten history in three-pointers list. She passed Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson (248; 2005-08) for fifth position. Lucas needs 12 triples to tie Iowa's Lindsey Meder (261; 1999-02) for fourth place. PSU's Kelly Mazzante holds the Big Ten record with 357 makes from beyond the arc.
KEEPING IT BELOW 50: The Lady Lions have held their last two opponents, Wisconsin (40) and Michigan (49) to less than 50 points en route to wins. It is the first time since the 2004-05 slate that PSU has held back-to-back foes to less than 50 points. That year, the Lions held Illinois to 41 tallies on Jan. 13 and Indiana to 44 points on Jan. 16 for a pair of wins.
LUCAS CLIMBS ONE SPOT IN ALL-TIME SCORING: Junior Maggie Lucas moved up one spot on Penn State's career scoring list with her 19-point performance at Michigan Jan. 21. The 19 tallies push Lucas past Vicki Link (1,514; 1984-87) for 12th place on PSU's career list. Lucas' career total is now at 1,530 points. Lucas needs eight points to tie Tanya Garner (1,538; 1988-91) for 11th place and she is chasing teammate Alex Bentley (1,555) for the 10th spot.
The Lady Lions begin a two-game road trip by heading to Ohio State Sunday for a Big Ten Network game before traveling to Wisconsin Jan. 31. Penn State returns home on Monday, Feb. 4 to face Purdue in a Big Monday battle on ESPN2. The Purdue game will be Centre County Women's Resource Night and fans that bring an item off of the CCWRC's needed items list will receive $5 off their ticket. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.
Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale. 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.