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December 9, 2012

Lucas scores 39 in Lady Lions' win

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) scored 26 of her career-high 39 points in the first half to give the #10/10 Penn State Lady Lions (7-2) a 97-74 victory over Georgetown (7-3) on Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. The 39 points for Lucas is a single-game record in the BJC for a men's and women's game and is tied for the third-most points in a game by a Penn State player overall (Angie Potthoff vs. Indiana, 1/10/97). Lucas' 39 tallies are the most for Lady Lion since Kelly Mazzante scored 49 at Minnesota on Dec. 28, 2001.

Lucas was 11-for-21 on the day from the field and converted on 7-of-13 three-point attempts en route to her third career game with 30 or more points. The seven three-pointers and 13 three-point attempts match her career highs. Lucas, who made seven threes in a game for the third time in her career, equaled the BJC record for three-pointers made in a game, tying the mark that she owned with Adrienne Squire and Kelly Mazznate. Additionally, the junior also tallied a career-best six steals, with five of them coming in the first half.

Senior point guard Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) had one of her best outings of the 2012-13 campaign, tallying a season-best 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting and a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. Bentley also grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists in the win. Junior Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) tallied 11 points of 5-of-6 shooting from the field to reach double figures for the third straight game, while senior Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

With Georgetown leading 9-8 in the early stages of the game, Lucas went on a tear, scoring the next seven points on a three-pointer and two fast-break layups to give the Lady Lions a 15-8 advantage. Penn State upped its run to 10-0 when Bentley made a layup and Lucas converted on one of two free throws as the Lady Lions held an 18-9 lead with 14:09 remaining in the first half.

After the Hoyas chipped in a three, the Lady Lions put together a 15-0 run starting with back-to-back three pointers from Lucas. In fact, nine of the first 11 points of that run came from Lucas, who added another three following a Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) layup. Bentley and junior Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) added additional field goals to up the Penn State lead to 33-12 with 8:42 remaining in the half.

The game of runs continued, as Penn State added an 18-3 run that took the contest to the near end of the half. The run started with the Lady Lions leading 33-14. Greene sunk a free throw to start the run and Bentley made a jumper to give Penn State a 36-14 advantage. Edwards made a layup and Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers made a three, the only basket for the Hoyas during the run. Senior Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) scored at the 5:48 mark to give the Lady Lions a 40-17 lead before Lucas scored the next five points, all on free throws, and Bentley made her next two field goals to give Penn State a 50-17 lead. Edwards ended the run on a made free throw. The Lady Lions entered the half with a 28-point lead (53-25).

Lucas started what was a back-and-forth second half with two three-pointers in the first 1:51 to give the Lady Lions a 61-28 lead, their largest lead of the game at that point. However, the Hoyas cut the lead to 27 with 16:59 to go, but a trio of free throws form Lucas, a layup form Edwards and a jumper by Bentley helped the Lady Lions maintain a 30-point advantage with 14:45 to go. That lead would increase to a game-best 35 (75-40) on two good free throws by Nickson at the 12:48 mark.

Georgetown cut into the lead as a Lucas layup with 9:07 remaining gave the Lady Lions their last 30-point lead of the afternoon. The Hoyas would get as close as 21 points with 1:48 remaining, but Edwards drained a three to give the Lay Lions a 95-71 advantage and sophomore Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) drained a jumper in the final 15 seconds, giving Penn State its final points and a 97-73 win.

GAME NOTES: Junior guard Maggie Lucas had a career-high 39 points and broke the Bryce Jordan Center record for points in a game (men's or women's) ... She is the first Lady Lion to break the 35-point mark since Kelly Mazzante had 35 against Wisconsin on March 2, 2003 ... Lucas also tied a BJC record for three-pointers in a game with seven triples, equaling the mark she set against Michigan State (1/7/12) and also held by Adrienne Squire and Kelly Mazzante ... Additionally, Lucas had a career-high six steals ... Alex Bentley notched a season-best 23 points ... Bentley moved into eight place on Penn State's career steals chart (248), passing Corinne Gulas ... Bentley also moved into seven place on Penn State's career field goal attempts list (1,349) ... Lucas and Bentley each surpassed the 300-rebound mark for their careers (304 each) ... Senior center Nikki Greene reached the 800-rebound mark for her career (800) ... Dara Taylor hit the 300-point mark for her collegiate career (300) ... Penn State extends its non-conference home court winning streak to 11 games, the fourth-longest streak in school history.

The Lady Lions travel to Virginia Tech Wednesday in their final non-conference road game before returning home to face South Dakota State Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday is Social Media Dollar Day, as well as the Lady Lions' annual Book Drive and Library Day.


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