BLOOMINGTON, IND - The #8/9 Penn State Lady Lions (19-3, 9-1 Big Ten) landed four players in double figures, led by 20 points each from Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) on the way to a 76-54 win at Indiana (10-13, 1-9)Thursday. The win is the 850th in program history, making Penn State one of 12 programs in NCAA Division I to reach the milestone. Additionally, Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) became the only player in Penn State history to accumulate 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks in the win.
Playing in her home state of Indiana for the final time in her collegiate career, Bentley posted her fourth 20-point performance of the season and the 22nd of her career with 20 markers. She also added four rebounds and three steals. Lucas, who was saddled with foul trouble for much of the first half, had 20points for her 10th 20-point effort of the year and 41st of her career. She also pulled in two rebounds and had two steals.
Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) was 4-for-6 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line as she posted 13 points with 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the year and 14th of her career. Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) also landed in double figures with 10 points to go with five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Greene pulled in 10 rebounds to go with four points, a block and a steal. With her block, she became the only player in Penn State history with 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks. She is also only the second player in school history with 200 rejections (Kim Calhoun).
The Lady Lions came out firing as Bentley and Lucas knocked down three-pointers on Penn State's first two possessions to take a 6-0 lead in the first two-plus minutes. A three-point play by Aulani Sinclair cut the deficit in half before Lucas hit her second shot of the game to push the lead back to five (8-3). Following a three-pointer by Jasmine McGhee, the Lady Lions clicked off a balanced 10-3 run that was started by a great feed from Bentley to Taylor off of a steal. Nickson, Bentley, Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y) also scored before Taylor capped the run with a basket to make it 18-9 with 12:15 left.
A score by McGhee sliced the Penn State lead to seven, but back-to-back scores by Lucas and Bentley pushed the lead back to 11 (22-11) with 10:33 on the clock. Both teams went cold from the field over the next couple of minutes as the Hoosiers connected on a four free throws before Greene hit a pair from the charity stripe followed by scores by Bentley and Edwards to establish a 28-15 lead with 7:37 remaining.
The squads exchange scores over the next several minutes until the Hoosiers scored eight of the final 10 points of the half to make it a 37-30 Penn State lead at the break.
The Hoosiers continued their streak by scoring the first four points of second half, but Bentley and Taylor scored back-to-back buckets to put the lead back to the halftime margin of seven (41-34) with 18 minutes left. After a SashaChaplin basket, a Bentley three-pointer jump-started a 13-1 run that gave the Lady Lions a 54-37 lead with less than 12 minutes remaining. Bentley and Lucas each accounted for five points in the run, while Taylor had two and Nickson had one. The teams swapped scores to keep the Penn State lead at 14 (59-45) before the Lady Lions went on a 15-9 run for the 22-point win.
--PSU Athletic Communications--