Lady Lions Edge Michigan and Clinch Big Ten Title
The Lady Lions defeated the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center, 68-57, in front of the largest Pink Zone crowd in history.
The five graduating seniors on the team — Gizelle Studevent, Mia Nickson, Nikki Greene, Marisa Wolfe, and Alex Bentley — were honored during a pre-game ceremony with a special video and presentation.
Despite an early scoring drought, the Lady Lions picked up speed, going on a 23-4 run to start out the half. Michigan struggled from beyond the arc, going just 2-for-11 from the 3-point line throughout the half.
A 7-0 run from Michigan got the Wolverines within striking distance with 6:33 left in the first half and although Michigan hit a three to end the half, Penn State led 40-26.
During halftime, 621 survivors of breast cancer were honored on the court and given a performance by singer/songwriter Jessy Kyle, who is a 23-year survivor herself.
The second half proved tougher for Penn State as Michigan narrowed the Lady Lions’ lead to just four after ten minutes of second half play. After a huge three point shot from Ariel Edwards and a massive block from Tori Waldner, those in attendance at the BJC got on their feet and into the game. Penn State increased the lead to 57-48 with 6:04 left in the game on a Mia Nickson bucket. The Lady Lions would not look back from there.
The game ended as Dara Taylor dribbled out the few remaining seconds on the clock with the crowd on their feet and confetti shot into the air as Penn State had clinched at least a share of the Big Ten Conference title for the second season in a row. This win continued a 20-game winning streak at home for the Lady Lions which dates back to last year.
Maggie Lucas led the team with 21 points and 3 steals. Edwards, Nickson, and Bentley each contributed with 11 points apiece.
The Lady Lions take on Minnesota on Thursday in Minneapolis at 9 p.m for a chance to be the outright winners of the Big Ten.
Note: The preliminary fundraising total for this year’s Pink Zone is $182,824.44, which does not include donations from single-game ticket sales, t-shirt sales, or online auction.