Washington wins 100th game as Lady Lions top Virginia Tech, 60-41

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Penn State head coach Coquese Washington collected her 100th career coaching win as the No. 11/10 Lady Lions (8-2) earned the 60-41 win at Virginia Tech (4-4) Wednesday (Dec. 12) evening. Washington is just the second women's basketball coach in school history to surpass the 100-victory mark.

Junior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) was a stellar 7-for-9 from the field en route to a team-best 17 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists. Fellow junior guard Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) tied her best scoring performance as a Penn Stater with 15 tallies, including a career-high three makes from beyond the arc. She also had three rebounds and a steal. Senior forward Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) notched her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double figures with 10 tallies to compliment four assists and five steals.

The Hokies took the early 4-0 lead in the first three minutes as the Lions struggled to find an offensive rhythm, but Lucas got Penn State on the board with a floater with 16:56 left in the first to start a 7-0 run that included a three-pointer from Taylor and rebound and putback from Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) to make it 7-4 with 15:14 left in the opening frame. Following a Virginia Tech bucket, Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) connected on a jumper, Nickson made one of two free throws and Lucas drained a jumper to give the Lady Lions the 12-6 lead with less than 11 minutes left in the half.

Virginia Tech would score six of the game's next eight points to close within two (14-12) before Gizelle Studevent (La Jolla, Calif.) and Lucas connected on back-to-back shots to extend the lead back to six (16-12) with 6:40 on the clock. The Hokies made their lone three-pointer of the first half to cut the lead in half before Bentley and Lucas teamed up to score the next four points of the game and make it a 22-15 contest with 4:10 left. The lead remained seven for the remainder of the half with the teams exchanging score and the Lions took a 28-21 lead into the break.

The teams exchanged scores to open the second, but Bentley and Lucas scored the next four points to push the Penn State lead to its largest of the game to that point at 34-23 with 16:43 remaining. VT's Alex Kiss-Rusk hit a three-pointer, but the Lady Lions responded with a 12-2 run that featured five points from Taylor, a three from Lucas and a bucket each from Nickson and Bentley to extend the lead to 46-28 with 10:36 left.

Both teams went cold from the field as neither team scored a field goal for more than five minutes. The only scoring was six free throws by Virginia Tech's Monet Tellier to make it a 46-34 game with 5:50 left. Taylor snapped Penn State's scoreless streak with a three-pointer, but the Hokies responded with a three of their own to keep the gap at 12 (49-37). Nickson scored five consecutive points to start a 11-0 run to give the Lady Lions a 60-37 lead with 1:42 remaining. Virginia Tech scored the game's next four points for the 19-point win (60-41).

GAME NOTES: Coquese Washington earned her 100th victory as a head coach, becoming the second coach in program history to accomplish the feat (Rene Portland; 606) ... The Lady Lions improved to 3-0 all-time against Virginia Tech and 36-26 vs. ACC opponents ... Junior guard Maggie Lucas eclipsed the 1,400-point mark with her 17 points tonight, giving her 1,415 for her career ... Lucas sits tied for fourth with Jess Strom for the most three-pointers attempted in Lady Lion history (525) ... Dara Taylor matched her best scoring performance in a Penn State uniform with 15 points, equaling the mark she set against Fairleigh Dickinson Dec. 2 ... Taylor connected on a career-best three shots from beyond the arc, passing her previous mark of two three-pointers, set twice as a Maryland Terp.

The Lady Lions return home to face South Dakota State Sunday at 2 p.m. to open a season-high three-game homestand. Sunday is Social Media Dollar Day, as well as the Lady Lions' annual Book Drive and Library Day. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.

Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale now. 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 December 14, 2012