No. 11 PSU women cruise in final tuneup
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Maggie Lucas scored 21 points and Alex Bentley made eight steals, tying her career high, to lead No. 11 Penn State to an 82-37 rout of New Jersey Institute of Technology Sunday in front of a crowd of 7,852 at Bryce Jordan Center.
The Lady Lions (10-2), in their final game before starting Big Ten Conference play, raced to a 44-9 halftime lead against the Highlanders (6-7) of the Great West Conference.
The nine first-half points were the fewest allowed by the Lady Lions in a half since giving up seven to Rider on Nov. 14, 2010.
Bentley had six steals in the first half, when NJIT turned the ball over 15 times and shot 17.4 percent (4 of 23).
The Lady Lions, who won their 12th consecutive home game, closed the half with a 24-2 run.
Lucas scored 13 first-half points and was 5-for-8 from 3-point range overall. She is shooting 52.6 percent behind the arc for the season.
She was 7 of 11 from the field and moved into 15th place on Penn State's all-time scoring list with 1,445 points, passing Jen Bednarek.
Lucas also passed Lisa Shepherd for second place all time in 3-point field goals made with 234.
Lucas was one of four Lady Lions in double figures as senior Nikki Greene scored 12, and Bentley and junior Ariel Edwards added 10 apiece.
Melanie Griffin led the Highlanders with 10 points.
Rayven Johnson, who was averaging 18.4 points per game for NJIT, made 2 of 16 shots and scored just four points.
Lucas was hot right from the start, hitting a 3-point just six seconds into the game.
On the ensuing possession, Mia Nickson converted a layup, and then Greene made jumper in the lane off a Lucas offensive rebound.
After NJIT scored, the Lady Lions went on a 9-0 run with Lucas scoring seven of the nine, and when Edwards hit a baseline jumper at the 10:51 mark, Penn State was in command with a 13-point advantage.
At the 6:07 mark and with 25-9 lead, Penn State went on a 19-0 run to end the half. Sophomore Tori Waldner start the run with a jumper from the top of the key, and Edwards capped it with a five-point surge and a 44-9 lead at halftime.
The Lady Lions scored the first nine points of the second half to go in front, 53-9.
Bentley scored the first four points on two free throws and a jumper, junior Dara Taylor made two free throws and Lucas hit a 3-pointer.
Penn State's lead grew as large 49 points on a layup by freshman Candice Agee with 2:13 remaining in the game.
Penn State extended its non-conference home court winning streak to 13 games, the third longest in school history, and extended its overall home court winning streak to 12 games, tied for ninth longest in school history.
First Published December 24, 2012 12:00 am