On her last regular season trip back to play in her home state of Indiana, Indianapolis native Alex Bentley seized the moment.
Bentley and the Lady Lions traveled roughly an hour south of Indianapolis to Bloomington, IN to battle Indiana on Thursday night. And while Indiana hung trailed by just seven at halftime, No. 8 Penn State (19-3, 9-1 Big Ten) ran away in the second half to win, 76-54.
Bentley finished with three steals, four rebounds and shot 8-for-17 from the floor, matching a team high of 20 points in 30 minutes.
She put on the performance in front of her friends and family in the crowd. Her father, Jeff Bentley, said in an in-game interview with the Big Ten Network, that his daughter always receives great support when the Lions play at Indiana or Purdue.
It was a refreshing, successful performance for Bentley as her two previous games she shot a mere 32 percent on 31 shots.
Junior guard Maggie Lucas matched Bentley’s productive night.
Lucas went 8-for-18 from the field to score 20 points with two rebounds and two steals on 25 minutes. Yet, foul trouble limited the Narbeth native early in the game as she finished the game with three total.
Despite scoring 76 points, Penn State wasn’t lethal from the floor, as the team shot 40 percent.
However, on Wednesday at media day, head coach Coquese Washington said the percentages were not her worry. It was the number of shots her team takes.
Against Indiana, the Lions shot the ball 70 times from the field compared to Indiana’s 50.
The abundant shots helped the Lions to surpass the 70-point mark against Indiana (10-13, 1-9). It’s the first time Indiana has allowed more than 70 points in a game this season.
Mia Nickson quietly had a solid game, as she grabbed 11 rebounds and tallied 13 points to record a double-double. The senior forward was the biggest source of offensive production from the frontcourt.
Senior Nikki Greene had another forgettable game. The center went 0-for-7 from the field, picked up four fouls in 20 minutes and recorded only four points — all from free throws.
Fortunately for the Lions, Greene still grabbed 10 rebounds to help the team win the battle on the glass against the Hoosiers, 54-30.