UConn, the Raiders are not. But Penn State went up against a previously undefeated Texas Tech squad yesterday afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center, and not only held their own, but came away with an important 8-point victory.
The Lady Lions (7-2) had just come off a heartbreaking loss at Boston College–yet another overtime game this season–in which Penn State overcame an 11-point deficit, but fell short in the end. After such a close, tough contest, it’s easy to suffer a letdown. With 8-0 Texas Tech on deck, it was make or break time for the Lady Lions’ non-conference season.
But Penn State avoided what would have been a costly letdown loss, rising to the occasion, and put on a very impressive performance.
Redshirt sophomore Mia Nickson put on a show that easily made her player of the game for Penn State, as she grabbed her first career double-double, notching 26 points and 14 rebounds. Nickson shot 80 percent from the field, 10-for-11 from the free throw line.
But it was far from a one-lady show. Penn State shot a season-best 54.7% (29-53) from the field in the game and outrebounded the Lady Raiders by a 38-30 margin.
Sophomore guard Alex Bentley added 16 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals in the win, while freshman guard Maggie Lucas accounted for 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Senior guard/forward Julia Trogele and sophomore guard Zhaque Gray chipped in seven points each.
GAME NOTES: Mia Nickson made her first career start … Nickson posted her first career double-double with career highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds. Her previous career high in points came on Nov. 12 when she drained 15 points at Dayton. Her previous mark in rebounds also came at Dayton when she had nine … Nickson also eclipsed the 100-rebound plateau for her career … With her 16-point performance, Alex Bentley eclipsed the 500-point mark for her career … The Lady Lions shot a season-high 54.7 percent from the field. Penn State’s previous high this year came on Nov. 14 when it shot 52.9 percent vs. Rider … Penn State improves to 3-2 all-time against Texas Tech, including a perfect 3-0 record in home games.
Next up… Penn State hosts Army, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Any military members can present their ID to get a free ticket to the game. The first 200 fans will receive a camouflage Coquese’s Corps t-shirt.