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Jan. 25, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Just 10 days after meeting for the first time this season, the Penn State Lady Lions (16-5, 5-2) and the Illinois Fighting Illini (7-13, 2-5) meet again in Champaign on Thursday at 8 p.m. The Lady Lions are looking for the season sweep of the Illini for the second time in the last three years. The game will be available as a webcast on www.BigTenNetwork.com. The game also will be tape-delayed on the Big Ten Network as "Student U" broadcast on Fri., Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.
WEB/TELEVISION: The game will be available as a webcast on www.BigTenNetwork.com. The game also will be tape-delayed on the Big Ten Network as "Student U" broadcast on Fri., Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.
RADIO/GAMETRACKER: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and on ESPN 1450 locally with Jerry Fisher calling the action. The audio feed and a link to GameTracker are available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
SCOUTING ILLINOIS: The Illini are 7-13 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten with wins over Minnesota and Indiana. Karisma Penn is an all-around player for Illinois, leading the team in scoring (17.2 ppg), rebounding (10.5 rpg), blocks (2.5 bpg) and steals (2.3 spg). Amber Moore is Illinois' top threat from long range with 39 three-pointers en route to an 8.3 scoring average. Lydia McCully dishes out 3.7 assists per game to compliment her 7.8 points per game.
ALL-TIME VS. THE ILLINI: The Lady Lions are 25-14 all-time against the Illini, but are just 7-10 in games played in Champaign. Penn State picked up an 83-62 win over Illinois on Jan. 16 at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Illini have won four of the last five games played in Assembly Hall. Last season, Illinois notched a 69-60 victory in Champaign.
LAST TIME VS. ILL: Freshman Maggie Lucas etched her name into the Penn State record books as the Lady Lions cruised to an 83-62 win over Illinois on Jan. 16 at the BJC. Lucas nailed six three-pointers on the day to up her season total to 66, which breaks Kelly Mazzante's freshman season three-pointers record of 65 triples. As a team, the Lady Lions connected on 60% (12-20) of their shots from deep against the Illini. Lucas was 8-for-13 from the field, including 6-for-8 from three-point range en route to a game-high 22 points. She also tied her career high with eight rebounds to go with an assist. Junior guard Zhaque Gray was also stellar from deep going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points. She also had three assists and two rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions struggled with its worst shooting performance on the season, but dominated the glass on the way to an 82-69 victory over Indiana Sunday. The Lady Lions had a Jordan Center record 61 rebounds, while the Hoosiers had 36 boards. Sophomores Mia Nickson and Nikki Greene combined to outrebound the Hoosiers with 17 and 20 caroms, respectively. Nickson posted her third career double-double with 25 points and a personal-best 17 rebounds, including 14 offensive boards. The sophomore tied her career high with six steals against the Hoosiers. Sophomore Alex Bentley added 15 points, four rebounds and five assists in the win, while freshman guard Maggie Lucas had 16 points and four rebounds.
BOARDING: The Lady Lions set a Bryce Jordan Center record with 61 rebounds in the Jan. 23 win over Indiana. The performance bests the previous record was 58 versus Northwestern in 2000. The 61 rebounds are also the most in a game by a Penn State team since grabbing 68 versus Florida Atlantic on Nov. 23, 2001.
GREENE HAULS IN 20 BOARDS: Nikki Greene grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in the win over Indiana Jan. 23. She becomes the first Lady Lions to pull down 20 caroms in a game since Vicki Link grabbed 20 versus Rutgers on Feb. 16, 1987. Her 20 rebounds are tied for fifth on Penn State's single-game chart and are tied for the most rebounds by a player in Bryce Jordan Center history, tying the mark set by Michigan State's Kristen Rasmussen on Dec. 30, 1997.
HOME WINS: The Lady Lions picked up their 11th home win of the season with an 82-69 decision over Indiana on Jan. 23. With the 11 home wins, the Lady Lions have their most home wins since the 2006-07 season.
MIA'S DOMINATING DAY: Sophomore Mia Nickson turned in a dominating performance against Indiana on Jan. 23. Nickson posted her third career double-double with 25 points and 17 rebounds in the win. Her 17 rebounds were a career-high, besting her previous career high of 14. Nickson also tied her career high with six steals against the Hoosiers. Additionally, she passed the 200 career-point mark in a Lady Lion uniform.
ACCURATE SHOOTING STROKE: Freshman guard Maggie Lucas is currently second on Penn State's single-season three-point field goal percentage chart, while junior Zhaque Gray is fourth on the list. Lucas makes 46.5% of her shots from behind the arc, which trails record-holder Lisa Faloon (54.8%; 1986-87). Gray has made 43.4% of her shots from long range.
The Lady Lions return home to face Ohio State on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2 p.m. for National Girls and Women in Sports Day. There will be a pre-game all-sports clinic from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in South Gym for boys and girls, who will get a free ticket to the game. 2010-11 Lady Lion Basketball Single-game tickets are available by calling 814-863-1000 or 800-NITTANY. The 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 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon as the Lady Lions take on Northwestern in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network. Last year, the Lady Lions donated more than $80,000 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 and J.C. Blair Memorial 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.