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Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

Penn State pounds Michigan women's basketball team, 77-56, at the Crisler Center

By Melanie Maxwell

Updated 10:32 p.m.

Despite its third-place standing, Michigan women’s basketball coach Kevin Borseth has frequently referred to Penn State as the best team in the Big Ten.

On Thursday night, the No. 18 Nittany Lions gave him no reason to change that opinion.

Two weeks after Penn State handed Michigan its worst loss of the season -- 78-63, in State College, Pa. -- the Nittany Lions thumped the Wolverines again, 77-56, in front of 1,072 at the Crisler Center.

Of course, some of the damage was self-induced. Michigan (16-5, 5-3) made just 34.4 percent (22-of-64) of its shots and missed its first 12 attempts from 3-point range, finishing 3-of-20 from behind the arc.

"We had the shots. We were 0-11 from the arc in the first half with really good shots. We got where we wanted to get to, we got in the lane, hit the shot in good rhythm," Borseth said in a post-game press conference. "I mean, obviously, every time we got in that lane, they collapsed and forced out kids to pitch it. We threw it to the right people, didn't make it."

Penn State (16-4, 6-2) made 56.1 percent (32-of-57) of its chances, led by a 10-for-13 performance by sophomore guard Maggie Lucas, who finished with a game-high 23 points. Penn State shot 55.4 percent from the field and Lucas scored 22 points in that convincing victory against Michigan on Jan. 12.

Penn State, wearing "JVP" patches on their jerseys as a tribute to former football coach Joe Paterno, took control early on Thursday.

A Lucas jumper with 12:01 remaining in first half started a 17-1 run that gave the Nittany Lions a 25-9 lead with 6:58 left until halftime.

Nikki Greene, Penn State’s 6-foot-4 junior center, scored nine of her 13 points and Michigan was 0-for-8 from the floor with three turnovers during the game-changing, 5-minute span.

Penn State led 35-19 at halftime and Michigan would never cut into that 16-point deficit in the second half. The Nittany Lions’ led by as many as 31 points, when Lucas completed a three-point play to make it 71-40 with 6:13 left to play.

After a rocky start to conference play that included a pair of home losses, Penn State has won five straight Big Ten games, four of them coming on the road.

The loss was Michigan's first at the Crisler Center this season.

"The kids tried hard and one game does not make a season," Borseth said. "Penn State has a very good team obviously and we just have to pick the pieces up and get ready to go for Monday (at Wisconsin)."

Greene’s 11 rebounds helped give the Nittany Lions a 45-29 advantage in that category. Junior point guard Alex Bentley finished with 18 points and eight assists.

Junior forward Sam Arnold led Michigan with 12 points. Senior guard Courtney Boylan and junior forward Nya Jordan added 10 points apiece. Jordan also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to record her first career double-double.

"I thought Nya was fantastic," Borseth said. "She got 12 rebounds, she had four assists, she had some points. She didn't shoot it from the free throw line very well (3-of-7), but I thought Nya did great. Nya, in my opinion, was our shining star of the game."


Nice in A2

Fri, Jan 27, 2012 : 5:07 p.m.

A tough loss, the UMich women were doing things well but not getting their shots to go in early. Against a team this good you can't afford to let them get too far ahead and into a comfort zone. Hopefully we will build on this and be ready to pull off an upset in Indy.