No. 7/8 Lady Lions fall to Wisconsin, 63-61

MADISON, Wisc. -- The No. 7/8 Penn State Lady Lions (17-3, 7-1 Big Ten) had their 11-game winning streak snapped as Tiera Stephen converted on a rebound and layup with five seconds left to lift Wisconsin (10-11, 2-6) to a 63-61 Thursday (Jan. 31) night. Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but her attempt lipped out. The loss also snapped a 14-game Big Ten regular-season winning streak.

Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) was 7-for-12 from the field, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, en route to 18 points. She also had three rebounds and a pair of steals. Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) added 11 points and six boards, while Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) rounded out the double figure scorers for the Lady Lions with 10 points, two assists and three steals. Bentley had nine tallies, four assists and a trio of steals.

The Badgers came out firing on all cylinders taking an early 8-2 lead that included a pair of three-pointers. A pair of Nickson baskets sandwiched around another Badger three by Morgan Paige cut the deficit to five (11-6) with 14:43 on the clock, but back-to-back triples by Jackie Gulczynski extended the lead to 17-6 at the 12-minute mark.

Penn State came out of the media timeout strong with a jumper byBentley, a bucket by Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) and a beautiful layup by Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) on a pass from Studevent to cut the deficit to five at 17-12 with 10:27 left. However, the Badgers countered with a 9-3 run to take an 11-point lead (26-15) with 6:29 on the clock.

A Taylor three-pointer and jumper following one Wisconsin free throw kicked off a Lady Lion run and cut the deficit to seven. Following a Paige basket, Nickson converted on a pair of free throws and Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) scored on an up-and-under to close within five (29-24) with less than four minutes left. The Lions tightened their defense as Lucas had a steal and layup and Taylor notched her own steal and layup on the ensuing possession to get PSU within a point (29-28). Several possessions later, Lucas gave the Lions their first lead of the game on a tough bucket and Taylor capped the 18-3 run to end the first half with a three-pointer to send the Lady Lions into the break with a 33-29 lead. Penn State held Wisconsin scoreless for the final 4:43 after Paige's basket.

The Badgers scored seven of the first nine points in the second half to push ahead 36-35 with 17:48 to play, but back-to-back three-pointers by Lucas and Edwards along with a bucket by Nickson gave the Lady Lions a 43-36 lead with 14 minutes left. However, the Badgers fought back with four points before Lucas drained her third three-pointer of the game to make it a 46-40 differential with 11:12 on the clock.

After an exchange on single free throws, the Badgers scored six of the game's next eight points to close within a pair (49-47) with eight minutes remaining. Nickson would split a pair of free throws to extend the lead to three, but five consecutive points from Paige gave the Badgers a two-point lead (52-50) with 6:19 on the clock. Bentley and Lucas sandwiched three-pointers around a triple by the Badgers to give Penn State a 56-55 lead with less than five minutes remaining.

Greene made one of two chances from the line to make it a two-point game, but the Badgers scored the next three to take a 58-57 lead with 1:52 remaining. A jumper by Bentley gave the Lions a 59-58 lead, but Paige responded on the ensuing possession with an NBA-range three-pointer to give the Badgers a 61-59 lead with 57 seconds left. Bentley came down and connected on a jumper to tie the game at 61-61 with 28 seconds left. On the Badgers' final possession, Tiera Stephen grabbed a Cassie Rochel airball layup and laid it in to give the Badgers a 63-61 lead with five seconds left. Bentley had one final chance to tie the game tie the game, but her shot came up short.

GAME NOTES: Penn State drops to 17-3 on the season and 7-1 in Big Ten play ... The loss snaps an 11-game win streak for the Lady Lions ... The loss snaps Penn State's 14-game Big Ten regular season game winning streak, dating back to last season. The Lady Lions last lost in Big Ten play back on Jan. 29, 2012 at Michigan State ... Penn State now leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 28-11 ... Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley are now tied for 10th all-time on the career scoring list with 1,592 points each ... Lucas passes Lisa Shepherd for second on Penn State's all-time three-point field goals attempted list with 585 attempts ... Bentley passes Nancy Kuhl for eighth place on Penn State's all-time assists chart with 530 dimes on her career ... Ariel Edwards netted her 500th career point... Tori Waldner scored her 100th career point ... Talia East reached the 50-block plateau for her career.

The Lady Lions return home on Monday, Feb. 4 to face Purdue in a Big Monday battle on ESPN2. The Purdue game will be Centre County Women's Resource Night and fans that bring an item off of the CCWRC's needed items list will receive $5 off their ticket. Fans are also encouraged to wear blue to show their support of survivors and victims of child sexual abuse. Additionally, the first 2,000 fans will receive a Nikki Greene Wind-Up Walker, the third in the series. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.

Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale. Tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.

The 2013 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24 as the Lady Lions take on Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $203,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.

The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.

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Last Updated February 06, 2013