INDIANAPOLIS — Behind a Lady Lion Big Ten Tournament record 38 points from junior Teniya Page (Chicago, Ill.) the Penn State women’s basketball team earned a decisive 83-57 victory over the University of Illinois to open the 2018 Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Page recorded her 15th-straight double digit scoring effort with a game-high 38 points in the opener, which marked her seventh career 30-point game. She is tied for No. 2 all-time at Penn State with seven games of 30-or-more points, equaling Maggie Lucas‘ total from 2011-14.
The 38 points marked just the fourth 30-point game for Penn State in the 25th edition of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and she joins Kelly Mazzante as the only other Lady Lion with multiple 30-point games in the event. Mazzante scored 30 vs. Ohio State and 34 vs. Wisconsin during the 2002 event. Page added a 35-point outburst last season vs. Minnesota in the second round.
In the Big Ten Tournament record books, Page’s 38-point effort ranks No. 2 all-time, trailing only Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell’s 42-point outburst vs. Rutgers in 2016. Page now owns the No. 2 and is tied for the No. 4 highest-scoring efforts in Big Ten Tournament history. Her 35 points against the Golden Gophers last season are tied with five other Big Ten student-athletes at No. 4 following Wednesday’s tournament games.
Along with the scoring mark, Page also broke Mazzante’s mark for most field goals in the Big Ten Tournament game, hitting 14 shots from the field – including four 3-pointers. She topped the mark of 12 which Mazzante set vs. Wisconsin on March 3, 2002.
Page’s 1,563 career points also moved her into the No. 12 spot in Lady Lion scoring laurels as she passed Tanya Garner (1,538; 1988-91). Furthermore, Page’s career-best 14 field goal of the day moved her into the No. 17 spot on career charts, passing Lisa Shepherd (523; 1998-2001) and Carol Walderman (524; 1981-83).
Finally, Page’s six made free throws moves her past Suzie McConnell (371; 1985-88) for No. 10 on the career made free throw charts with 373 makes.
Sophomore Amari Carter (Washington, D.C.) and freshman Alisia Smith (Lansing, Mich.) also notched double-digit scoring efforts for the Blue and White as Carter netted 10 and Smith added 11. Carter and Page paced the Lady Lions with four assists each and both Page and Siyeh Frazier (Detroit, Mich.) had a team-best two steals.
Penn State out-rebounded the Fighting Illini 41-37 with Carter grabbing a team-high seven boards and De’Janae Boykin (Springdale, Md.) adding six to the Lady Lion effort.
Penn State improved to 27-21 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, including a 6-2 mark against Illinois.
Alex Wittinger and Brandi Beasley combined for 42 of Illinois’ 57 points as both netted 21 points. Wittinger led all players on the glass with 11 rebounds in her double-double effort, while Beasley dished out a team-high five assists.
With 5:31 left in the second quarter
A Smith layup would pull Penn State within four points, 24-20, and spark a 15-0 run over the next four minutes. Smith’s two points were the only points not scored by Page in the scoring spurt, as she reeled off 13-straight tallies to push Penn State to a nine-point lead. Page scored via layup, followed by three free throws, then a jumper. A 3-pointer was followed by a jumper and she capped the scoring run with one more free throw.
The Lady Lions advance to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament and will take on No. 6 Michigan Thursday, March 1 at approximately 9 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.