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Feb. 28, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Penn State Lady Lion senior guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) have been named to the Naismith Women's Award Top 30 Watch List. The Naismith Women's Award is given to the nation's top female collegiate basketball player. Bentley and Lucas are two of six Big Ten players on the list, joining Ohio State's Tayler Hill, Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore and Illinois' Karisma Penn.
With the announcement of the Naismith Award Watch List, Bentley and Lucas have now been named to all four watch lists for National Player of the Year, the only players in the Big Ten to accomplish the feat. In addition to the Naismith, the duo is on the Wade Watch, Wooden Top 20 and USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Watch List.
The top 30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances during this year's college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the pack to four finalists. The Naismith Women's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded to one female athlete on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on Monday, March 25. Naismith Trophy presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
Bentley, who is also one of eight final nominees for the Lieberman Award, is the floor general for the Lady Lions. She averages 13.8 points per game to go along with 3.7 assists and 3.7 steals per game. She ranks third in the NCAA in steals per game and is 10th on Penn State's single-season thefts chart with 97 steals this year. Bentley is ninth in school history in scoring (1,694), third in steals (313) and eighth in assists (551). The Preseason Big Ten Co-Player of the Year is the just the fourth player in conference history to accumulate 1,500 points, 500 assists and 300 steals. She was the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 12 for the first time in her career.
Lucas continues to impress, averaging 19.9 points with 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals per outing. She leads the Big Ten and is third nationally in three-point field goal percentage with a .478 mark. She is also the NCAA active leader in three-point field goal percentage (.434) for all divisions. Lucas was named the Dec. 11 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week after hitting seven three-pointers en route to 39 points against Georgetown. The three-time Big Ten Player of the Week is tied for third in Big Ten history in three-pointers made (270) and is eighth in PSU history in scoring (1.712). Lucas is the third-fastest player in Penn State history to reach 1,500 points, behind Kelly Mazzante and Susan Robinson.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.
Penn State closes out the regular-season at Nebraska on March 2 at 6 p.m. (ET) on the Big Ten Network.
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.