When the softspoken Nikki Greene was asked about what it felt like to reach the 1,000-point career mark, fellow senior teammate Alex Bentley shouted “Beast.”
Maggie Lucas could only agree.
With her layup at the 7:54 mark in the second half, Greene put her name in the record books forever and became the 35th player in Lady Lion history to reach that milestone.
Six of her nine points — all from the field — came within the final eight minutes of the No. 8 Lady Lions’ 64-59 win over Minnesota and helped them to pull away down the stretch.
Despite picking up her third personal foul early in the second half — a mere 26 seconds after she was whistled for her second of the game — Greene was able to remain patient and went to work down low in the post.
“I believe I was more patient with the ball,” Greene said of her performance in the final eight minutes of the game. “[Coach Coquese Washington] kind of emphasized a lot every time we went into timeouts that they were going to double team me and so I tried to look for a shot every opportunity I got if I wasn’t double teamed.”
Greene ended the night one point short of a double-double, as she pulled down 13 rebounds. She was the only player to finish the night with double digits in the rebounding department and five of her boards came off of the offensive glass, which helped to generate more opportunities of the Lions’ offense.
“I thought she did a better job of getting great position as opposed to good position,” Washington said of Greene’s performance down the stretch. “When she got great position she went up and finished, I thought she got a couple key offensive rebounds [too].”
With Greene’s performance last night, she also became the third current Lion to reach the 1,000-point plateau, joining guards Bentley and Lucas.
Combined in their careers so far, the three have accounted for 4,127 points, causing headaches for the opposition. Having players that can perform night-in and night-out is a leisure that Washington is happy to have on her squad.
“I think we’ve got a very talented team and when we’re clicking and we’re sharing the ball and we’re playing up tempo, we’ve got lots of playmakers,” Washington said. “It starts with those three at the top with Alex and Maggie and Dara [Taylor]. It’s just a wonderful asset to have as a team, three players that can carry the load at any given point.”