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April 14, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State women's basketball team held its annual postseason banquet today at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center and honored both players and supporters of the program for their dedication and commitment during the season.
Guards Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) shared the Joanie O'Brien Most Outstanding Player Award, while junior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) garnered the Collegiate Pride Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Academic Achievement Award. Senior post player Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) took home the Robin Lombard Award for the second straight season in honor of those qualities that exemplify the true spirit of Lady Lion basketball. Senior center Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) received the Tom Caldwell "Unsung Hero" Award, while senior guard Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) was named the winner of the Jeannette Goss Courage/Leadership Award.
The Red Dragons, the Lady Lions' male practice squad, were recognized for their outstanding service to Lady Lion basketball with the Hank Gambocurta Award. The members of the Red Dragons are seniors Matt Madia, Brandon Boekel, John McGrath and Dan Ordik, juniors Ben Pflaumer, Marley Akonnor, Fletcher Witter, Dan Green, Ayo Battles, Eric Sarra and Nick Keefer, sophomores Evan Hummer and Dan Shine and freshmen CJ Schroeder, Mike Anselmo, Josh Clothiaux and Matt Beattie.
The Kent Petersen Student Fan of the Year Award was presented to Robert Hunter, a senior political science major from Philadelphia, while Barbara "Babs" Wolfe, mother of senior Marisa Wolfe, was honored with the Ruth Ingram Award in recognition of a Lady Lion Basketball fan for outstanding enthusiasm and support.
Bentley, who was unable to attend due to the WNBA Draft and rookie orientation, is the fifth player in program history to earn All-Big Ten first team honors three or more times and is the only player in program history to take home All-Defensive team twice (award began in 2011). Additionally, she is the third Lady Lion to win the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner for the nation's outstanding female collegian 5-8 and under, joining Suzie McConnell and Helen Darling. She accounted for 14.1 points, 3.5 assists, 3.4 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game as a senior and ranked in the top 15 in the Big Ten in scoring (11th), assists (9th), free throw percentage (9th - .815) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3rd - 1.8). Bentley accumulated 107 steals this season to become just the fourth player in school history to notch 100 steals in a season, joining Suzie McConnell (four times), Corinne Gulas (twice) and Helen Darling (once) as the only other players to accomplish the feat.
The Indianapolis native leaves her name etched into the Penn State record books in several categories. Bentley ranks second all-time in steals (325), eighth in points (1,786), tied for sixth in assists (567) and tied for fifth in games played (131). She is just the fourth player in school history and the 15th player in Big Ten history to nab 300 steals. Bentley holds elite company, becoming just the fourth player in Big Ten history and second player in Lady Lion history to accumulate 1,500 points, 500 assists and 300 steals.
Lucas added several honors to her trophy case during an outstanding junior campaign, including Big Ten Player of the Year, Wade Trophy Finalist, Wooden Award Finalist, USBWA All-America, Associated Press All-America second team, Full Court Press All-America second team, WBCA All-America honorable mention and Big Ten All-Tournament team. She was third in the Big Ten in scoring (20.1), third in free throw percentage (.900), sixth in steals (2.3) and second in three-point field goals made (3.1). Additionally, Lucas leads the Big Ten and was fourth nationally in three-point field goal percentage with a .462 mark, which was also the second-best single-season mark in school history. The three-time Big Ten Player of the Week's most impressive performance of the season earned her USBWA National Player of the Week honors as she shot 11-for-21 from the field and 7-for-13 from three-point range en route to a career-high 39 points in the win over Georgetown on Dec. 9. The 39 tallies broke the Bryce Jordan Center record for points in a game (men or women).
The Narberth, Pa. native, will enter her final season in Happy Valley seventh in program history with 1,838 points and is on pace to become the fifth member of Penn State's 2,000-point club. Lucas also ranks second in Penn State history and third in Big Ten history with 292 career three-pointers made. Her .887 career free throw percentage also tops the Lady Lion charts, as does her .433 shooting effort from long range amongst those shooters with 100 or more attempts. Lucas also finds herself 19th in school history in steals (176) and tied for 24th in assists (216).
After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, Taylor made an immediate impact for the Lady Lions. She was second on the team and fifth in the Big Ten in steals with a 2.4 per game average. For her efforts, she was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team. Taylor also finished in the Top 10 in the league in assists (10th - 3.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (9th - 1.2). She also contributed 7.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Nickson accounted for 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in her senior season. She also dished out 31 assists with 32 steals and a career-best 13 blocked shots. The senior ranked 12th in the Big Ten in rebounding and was fourth in offensive boards (3.1). Despite only playing three years in the blue & white, Nickson finished her career 10th on Penn State's career rebounding average (7.0) list and 20th in total rebounds (632). She is also tied for 20th in school history with 257 free throws made.
Greene garnered All-Big Ten third team accolades after averaging 9.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. She also registered 39 blocks in her senior campaign. Greene finished fifth in the Big Ten in rebounding, seventh in field goal percentage (.485), 10th in blocked shots (1.2), second in offensive rebounds (3.7) and 11th in defensive rebounds (4.8). The Diboll, Texas native quietly became the first player to record 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks. She finished her career with 1,132 points, 994 rebounds and 215 blocks. Additionally, she broke the school record for games started and consecutive games started having jumped for the tip in all 131 games of her career. Greene finished her career ranked second in blocked shots, fourth in rebounds and 30th in points scored.
Studevent completed her career by scoring a personal-best 61 points this season, including several key scores that spurred on Lady Lion rallies. She also pulled in 21 rebounds, had six steals and two blocks. However, her impact at Penn State will be felt for years to come off the court with the development of Penn State Athletes Take Action (PSATA), which is an anti-bullying program created by Studevent in which Penn State athletes visits local middle schools monthly to talk about bullying and its impact. Studevent was recently recognized as a member of the inaugural Allstate WBCA Good Works Team that honors volunteerism and civic involvement.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2013 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Experience Camp (June 9-11), Elite Camp (June 22-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 20-22) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 2-4). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit GoPSUsports.com/camps and click on Girls Basketball Camp under Summer Camps.
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.
2012-13 Lady Lion Basketball Award Winners
Joanie O'Brien Most Outstanding Player Award - Maggie Lucas & Alex Bentley
Collegiate Pride Defensive Player of the Year - Dara Taylor
Robin Lombard Award - Mia Nickson
Jeanette Goss Courage/Leadership Award - Gizelle Studevent
Tom Caldwell "Unsung Hero" Award - Nikki Greene
Academic Achievement Award - Dara Taylor
Hank Gambocurta Award - The Red Dragons
Kent Petersen Student Fan of the Year Award - Robert Hunter
Ruth Ingram Award - Barbara "Babs" Wolfe