11th-ranked Penn State Lady Lions ran past the NJIT Highlanders 82-37 front of 7,852 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center including Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight on Dec. 23.
Leading 25-9 at the 6:07 mark in the first half, Penn State went on a 19-0 run to take a 44-9 halftime lead. The nine points are the fewest points the Lady Lions have allowed since giving up seven to Rider on Nov. 14, 2010.
Penn State had four players score in double figures. Maggie Lucas, who moved up the school’s all-time list in points and three-point field goals, led the way for the Lady Lions with a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds. She was 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. With her performance, Lucas moved into 15th place on the all-time scoring list with 1,445 points and second on the all-time three-point field goal made list with 234.
Nikki Greene added 12 points while Alex Bentley and Ariel Edwards contributed 10 points apiece for the Lady Lions. Greene added six rebounds and a blocked shot, which moved her into a tie for third on Penn State’s all-time blocks chart with 189. Bentley added six assists and a career-high eight steals.
The Lady Lions, who have won four straight games, extended their home-winning streak to 12 games.
Melanie Griffin led NJIT (6-7) with 10 points while Uju Nwanko contributed seven points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Nicole Maticka, who blocked three shots against Penn State, set a Highlander record with 103 career swats.
Hofstra 63, Northwestern 54
The Hofstra Pride upended the Northwestern Wildcats 63-54 in the championship game of the New York Life Holiday Invitational on Dec. 23.
Leading 6-4 five minutes into the game, Hofstra (3-7) went on a 10-0 run to take a 16-6 lead with 12:13 remaining in the half.
With Northwestern struggling shooting from the floor, the Pride led by as many as 14 in the first but the Wildcats were able to cut the deficit to eight at halftime (31-23).
Northwestern continued to chip away at Hofstra’s lead in the second half. The Wildcats, who never led, knotted the game up twice in the second half with the last time being at 47-47. With the score tied at 47 and the shot clock running down, Andreana Thomas drained a three-pointer to ignite a 10-0 Pride run.
Shante Evans, who was named the tournament MVP, led the way for Hofstra with a season-high 26 points and 14 caroms. Thomas finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Anma Onyeuka added 13 points.
Northwestern (7-5) was led by Danielle Diamant’s 16 points and eight rebounds. Karly Roser had 14 points and Kendall Hackney contributed 10 points for the Wildcats. Lauren Douglas had a fine all-around game as she scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds (three on the offensive end) and blocked six shots.
Hackney, Douglas, Thomas and Evans along with Valencia McFarland of Ole Miss were named to the All-Tournament team.
North Dakota State 60, UW-Milwaukee 48
North Dakota State limited UW-Milwaukee to a season-low 48 points in their 60-48 victory at the Bison Sports Arena on Dec. 23.
Trailing 34-23 at halftime, the Bison (4-8) outscored the Panthers (4-7) 29-8 in the first 15 minutes of the second half to take a 52-42 lead. Milwaukee would cut the deficit to eight points on a couple of occasions but would not get any closer.
Katie Birkel and Jamie Van Kirk combined to score 23 of North Dakota State’s 37 second half points. Birkel, who had 12 second half points, finished with 14 points while Van Kirk contributed 15 points including 11 in the second stanza. The Bison got a team-high 16 points from Dani DeGagne and 11 rebounds from Marena Whittle. Whittle has grabbed double digit rebounds three times this season.
North Dakota State shot 40 percent (10-25) from the floor in the second half and 33.9 percent (20-59) for the game. The Bison were 17-of-18 from the charity stripe and held a 46-37 rebounding advantage.
The Panthers connected on just 20 percent of their second half shot attempt (6-30) and shot just 28.6 percent (18-63) from the floor for the game. Milwaukee was also just 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from beyond the arc for the game.
Angela Rodriguez led the way for the Panthers with 16 points while Sami Tucker contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
Green Bay 53, Wisconsin 38
Green Bay used their typical physical defense and a solid inside game to defeat Wisconsin 53-38 on Dec. 23.
Green Bay (8-2) held Wisconsin (7-3) without a field goal in the final 9:06 of the first half and just 10 points in the half. The Phoenix, who surrender 51.1 points a game, took a 27-10 lead into halftime.
Wisconsin was just 3-of-19 from the field in the first half (15.9 percent) and shot 30.2 percent (13-43) from the floor for the game. The Badgers set a school record for the fewest points in a half and tied a season mark for fewest points in a game.
Wisconsin started the second half on an 11-2 run to pull within eight (29-21) with 14:21 remaining in the game. The Badgers stayed within nine minutes over the next two minutes (34-25) but Green Bay then strung together six straight points to take a 40-25 lead with 11:02 left. Wisconsin would not get any closer than 13 points the rest of the game.
Green Bay outscored Wisconsin 38-6 in points in the paint and forced the Badgers into 25 turnovers. The Phoenix have won four straight games over the Badgers and are now 11-18 all-time against the Badgers.
Stephanie Sension led Green Bay with 13 points while Adrian Ritchie pitched in 12 points. Ritchie, the Horizon League’s steals leader, also grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists and came up with four steals.
Morgan Paige scored a game-high 21 points to lead Wisconsin. Jacki Gulczynski recorded her third straight double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) while Cassie Rochel hauled in 13 rebounds and blocked five shots.