April 16, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. -
Four Big Ten standouts were selected during the annual WNBA Draft on Monday, marking the 14th time in the 17 years of the draft the conference has had three or more student-athletes chosen. Ohio State’s Tayler Hill and Nebraska’s Lindsey Moore were selected in the first round, while Penn State’s Alex Bentley was chosen in the second round and fellow Lady Lion Nikki Greene was picked in the third round. The four players selected marks the second time in three years that four Big Ten student-athletes have been chosen in the draft and the first time since 2007 two players were picked in the first round.
Hill was selected fourth overall by the Washington Mystics, becoming the third Buckeye in the last three years and fourth overall to be chosen in the first round of the draft, joining Jessica Davenport (second overall in 2007), Jantel Lavender (fifth overall in 2011) and Samantha Prahalis (sixth overall in 2012). Hill led the Big Ten with 22.3 points per game in conference play and finished 11th in the NCAA in scoring with 21.1 points in all games. The Minneapolis native was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and three-time All-Defensive Team selection, as well as a WBCA honorable mention All-American. Hill finished her career with 2,015 points, good for fourth on Ohio State’s all-time list.
Moore was chosen 12th overall by the Minnesota Lynx, becoming the third Husker picked in the first round, joining Nicole Kubik (15th overall in 2000) and Kelsey Griffin (third overall in 2010). Moore led Nebraska to the Sweet 16 last season, closing her career as the Huskers' all-time assists leader (699). She started (132) and won (94) more games than any other player in Nebraska history during her four-year career, while becoming the only Husker starter to play in a pair of Sweet 16 game. The Covington, Wash., native ranked among the Big Ten’s top 10 in six statistical categories last season, including No. 1 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1).
The Atlanta Dream chose Bentley with the 13th overall pick and first pick in the second round. The Indianapolis native capped off her career with honorable mention All-America accolades from the WBCA and Associated Press, as she accounted for 14.1 points, 3.5 assists, 3.4 steals and 3.4 rebounds per game as a senior. The three-time All-Big Ten first-team selection was selected as the 2013 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner for the nation's outstanding female collegian 5-8 and under. She leaves Penn State second in school history in steals (325), tied for sixth in assists (567) and eighth in scoring (1,786). Bentley is just the fourth player in Big Ten history to accumulate 1,500 points, 500 assists and 300 steals.
Greene was selected in the third round of the draft with the 26th overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury. With Greene and Bentley’s selection in the draft, Penn State now has a Big Ten-leading 14 draftees since the event’s inception in 1997. The Lady Lion duo is the first pair of Big Ten teammates selected in the same draft class since Purdue’s Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and Danielle Cambell in 2009. Greene was the first player in Penn State history to record 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks. She started all 131 games of her career, breaking the school record for games started and consecutive games started. The Diboll, Texas native finished her Penn State career ranked second in blocked shots (215), fourth in rebounds (994) and 30th in points scored (1,132).