Penn State guards Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley were among the best in the Big Ten this season and now they’ve been honored nationally.
Lucas, the Big Ten Player of the Year, was selected to the second team on the Associated Press All-America squad which was announced Tuesday. Bentley was picked for the Honorable Mention team.
Lucas’ honor was the Lady Lions’ since Kelly Mazzante was selected as a first team pick. Tanisha Wright was also honored that year, the last time Penn State had two All-America picks.
Lucas, an honorable mention pick as a sophomore, helped lead the Lady Lions (26-6) to their second consecutive Big Ten regular-season title and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Lucas averaged a career-high 20.1 points per game and was fourth in the country by making 46 percent of her three-point attempts. Her 644 points this season ranked fifth on the school’s all-time list.
Lucas was ninth in the country in free throw percentage (90.0) and 11th in three-point field goals made per game (3.06).
She’s on pace to finish second on the school’s all-time scoring list behind Mazzante (2,913). Lucas is alread seventh on the career scoring list with 1,838 points. She’s second in three-pointers made (292) and career 3-point percentage (43.3 percent) and leads in career free throw percentage (88.7 percent). She’s also 19th in career steals (176).
Bentley, a member of the Big Ten’s first team and All-Defensive Team, earned AP All-America honors for the first time. She averaged 14.1 points and 3.5 assists this season.
She was sixth nationally averaging 3.4 steals per game and earned the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner for the nation’s outstanding female collegian that was 5-foot-8 or smaller.
Bentley is just the fourth player in Big Ten history to accumulate 1,500 points, 500 assists and 300 steals. She finished her career in the Top 10 in school history in steals (second, 325), assists (tied for sixth, 567) and scoring (eighth, 1,786).
Baylor’s Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne earned first team selections.
Joining Lucas on the second team were Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas, Duke’s Chelsea Gray and Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies.
Connecticut’s Stefanie Dolson, Texas A&M’s Kelsey Bone, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons and Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride made the third team.
Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill, Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore, Purdue’s Drey Mingo and Illinois’ Karisma Penn were Big Ten players who joined Bentley on the honorable mention team.