No. 8 Penn St. 84, Wisconsin 40

Nikki Greene’s performance Thursday night prompted only three

postgame words from teammate Alex Bentley.

”She’s a beast,” Bentley said after Green scored a season-high

23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead No. 8 Penn State to an

84-40 rout of Wisconsin.

It was Greene’s third double-double of the season.

”They were guarding Alex (Bentley) and Maggie (Lucas) pretty

tough and I took advantage of what their defense gave me and I just

scored,” Greene said.

Bentley added 14 points, Lucas had 11 and Ariel Edwards 10 for

the Nittany Lions (14-2, 4-0 Big Ten), who won their eighth

straight game overall and third in a row by at least 20 points. It

was Penn State’s first conference victory of 40 or more points

since the 2000-01 season.

Morgan Paige scored 14 points and Jacki Gulczynski had 10 for

Wisconsin (8-10, 0-5), which lost its sixth consecutive game.

”When you can string some wins together, you certainly start to

build a little bit of confidence,” said Penn State coach Coquese

Washington.

Penn State was able to make the most of a size advantage under

the basket, scoring 52 points in the paint compared to 10 by the

Badgers.

”When Nikki can play big minutes, she can put up big numbers

for us and that opens things up for other people,” said

Washington. ”Nikki’s incredibly talented.”

Relentless defensive pressure enabled the Nittany Lions to

outrebound Wisconsin 55-31 and Penn State scored 29 points off 24

Wisconsin turnovers.

”Our foundation and defensive principles have to be solid,”

Washington said. ”We did a good job of really attacking the ball,

especially on the defensive end.”

The Nittany Lions also had a distinct depth advantage. Wisconsin

began the season with 14 players but is down to nine after senior

Taylor Wurtz (back) and sophomore AnnMarie Brown (knee) underwent

the team’s most recent season-ending surgeries.

Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey also noted that starting center

Cassie Rochel, who had four points and six rebounds, was battling a

stomach illness.