WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.
- Take a look back at the running blog from Wednesday's 80-56 setback inside Mackey Arena.
Welcome to GoPSUsports.com gameday coverage of Nittany Lion basketball.
Tonight, Penn State (10-14, 2-9) is in Mackey Arena for its final road game of
the 2012 Big Ten season on Senior Night at Purdue (19-10, 9-7).The Nittany Lions return to the floor after a
heartbreaking loss to Northwestern at home on Saturday night.
The Nittany Lions are expecting a physical contest against a hungry Purdue team
looking to send senior starters Robbie Hummel, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith out
with a victory in their final appearance at Mackey Arena.The Nittany Lions are coming off two very
strong days of practice heading into the penultimate game of the regular
season.The Lions need a quick start in
the hostile environment.
VIDEO: Tour Newly-Renovated Mackey
Arena During Penn State Shootaround Penn State will be playing its first game in the newly-renovated home
of Mackey Arena.GoPSUsports.com took a
walk around the facility at shootaround on Wednesday.Take a look.
In-Game Blog: Check back at 6:30 p.m. for live
updates as the game progresses.
- The Nittany Lions
will be without a significant piece of its lineup on Wednesday night.While cutting around a screen at shootaround
on Wednesday morning, senior Cammeron Woodyard suffered a fracture of the fifth
metatarsal bone in his right foot.
Starting Lineups Penn State: G - Frazier, G - Colella, G - Marshall, F - Travis, C
- Graham Purdue: G - Smith, G - Jackson, G -
Johnson, F - Hummel, F - Carroll
First Half: 15:15 - Penn State 9, Purdue 9 Junior point guard Tim Frazier is off to a superb start in Mackey
Arena.The Texas native is perfect from
the floor and the foul line.He has
scored all nine of Penn State's points thus far.The Boilermakers have missed a couple open
looks from the perimeter, but the Lions are off to a good start in front of a
packed house inside Mackey.
11:47 - Penn State 14, Purdue 14 The Nittany Lions are
5-for-9 from the field in the opening eight-plus minutes of game action.A good start on offense was an absolute must
tonight, and Penn State has done just that.The Lions held Hummel without a point before he slipped free under the
basket for an easy lay-in.The Purdue
senior will head to the foul line for two shots after the media timeout.Nonetheless, the Nittany Lions are playing
the type of game they need to thus far.Jon Graham will head to the bench after picking up his second foul,
5:20 - Purdue 29, Penn State 25 Just when we
mentioned Hummel was quiet at the start of the game, the Indiana native poured
in 10-straight tallies to put the Boilers up by eight (22-14).Frazier answered with an old-fashioned
3-point play to make it a five-point game.Frazier is putting on quite a show in the first half with 16 points on a
blistering 6-for-7 shooting performance.No one on the Purdue side of the ball can keep Frazier in front of
them.The Lions are in a very good spot
down just four.
0:00 - Purdue 37, Penn State 32 The Nittany Lions put
together a very good first half of basketball on the offensive end of the floor
after shooting 56.5 percent from the field, but they trail Purdue by five at
the break.Frazier played exceptionally
well in the opening 20 minutes, scoring 16 points with four rebounds and four
assists.He was out-done only by Hummel,
who nailed a big 3-pointer at the whistle to give the Purdue senior 17 points
in the first half of play.Two of the
Big Ten's best scorers gave the packed house at Mackey Arena their money's
worth in the first half.The Nittany
Lions need to take better care of the basketball in the second half after
committing seven turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.Nonetheless, Penn State played exactly how it
needed to in the first half to put itself in a position to contend for a win.
Second Half: 15:56 - Purdue 48,
Penn State 34 The Nittany Lions
scratched and clawed their way to a very solid first half, but a surge from
Purdue has drastically shifted the momentum in the early minutes of the final
20 minutes.The Lions were held
scoreless until Frazier knocked down a floater with 16:15 to play.Prior to that, Purdue scored the first 11
points out of the locker room en route to a 16-point cushion.Since Hummel scored a four-point play with
4:00 to play in the first half, Purdue has out-scored the Nittany Lions 19-4.
11:23 - Purdue 58, Penn State 42 Purdue has taken control of things with white-hot shooting in the first
8:37 of the second half.The Boilers
started the second half 8-for-9 before D.J. Byrd missed a 3-pointer.Marshall scored to trim the Purdue lead down
to 16, but the Nittany Lions must play better defense if they are going to
mount a comeback.The Boilers deserve a
lot of credit for hitting shots, but the offensive possessions have been too
easy for the black and gold.
7:38 - Purdue 69, Penn State 44 The Purdue lead has grown
to 25 on absolutely superb shooting from the Boilermakers.In the second half, Purdue is 12-for-16 from
the field.Penn State has done a decent
job on defense, but Purdue has been in the zone since the second half began.
0:00 - Purdue 80, Penn State 56 After playing a tight
first half, the Nittany Lions fell victim to a red-hot shooting performance
from Purdue inside Mackey Arena.Purdue
shot 65 percent from the field in the second half en route to a 24-point
victory.Frazier was tremendous, once
again, for the Nittany Lions.He scored
24 points on 10-for-16 shooting.Jermaine Marshall also scored in double figures, finishing with 10.After a very strong shooting first half, the
Lions shot 9-for-25 in the second 20 minutes.
Final Thoughts: The Nittany Lions went toe-to-toe in the first half of play, matching
every run the Boilers put together.However, the momentum began to shift at the 4:00 mark when Hummel
converted on a four-point play.From
there until the end of the first half, Purdue went on an 8-2 run.Prior to Hummel's basket, the Lions held a
Purdue took a five-point lead into the second half and never looked back.The Boilers were nearly perfect out of the
locker room on their way to a 43-point second half.The Nittany Lions never recovered from the
surge to open the second half.Nonetheless, give Purdue a great deal of credit for a superb stretch on
the offensive end of the floor.Purdue's
senior trio of Hummel, Ryne Smith and Lewis Jackson combined for 17-for-28
shooting on the Senior Night.The
evening belonged to Hummel, though, as the outstanding senior guard finished
with 26 points in his final game at Mackey Arena.
For the Nittany Lions, they return home to take on Michigan Sunday afternoon in
the Bryce Jordan Center.Penn State is
12-18 on the season and 4-13 in Big Ten play.
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Rec Hall
has played host to Division I collegiate volleyball for a long time now,
welcoming men's and women's volleyball fans into its stadium seats for weekend
classics, EIVA championships and even national tournament contests.
But on Saturday, the courts in
the main gym of the athletic facility showcased a different kind of volleyball
than the typical Nittany Lion fan is used to seeing. The players on the court
weren't jumping or sidestepping, or even playing on their feet.
They were playing on their butts.
Members of the U.S. Army Wounded
Warriors sitting volleyball team came to Happy Valley to put on two exhibition
matches featuring the game of Seated Volleyball. After the Penn State men's
volleyball team finished its EIVA match against George Mason on Saturday
evening, the Army athletes took the floor against members of the Penn State
Ability Athletics program in its first match.
The 7-foot-11-5/8" net was
lowered significantly, hanging just above the surface of the wood floor. Blue
tape marked the changed court boundary lines, which covered a little more than
half of the size of the typical collegiate floor space, and six players
occupied the area on either side of the net.
The U.S. Army team took the first
exhibition match over the Ability Athletics squad with ease in just two sets,
and then welcomed seven Nittany Lions from the Penn State women's volleyball
team to the court. Ali Longo, Deja McClendon, Dominique Gonzalez, Erica Denney,
Kristin Carpenter, Lacey Fuller and Maggie Harding represented the five-time
national champion team and gave the Wounded Warriors a run for their money, but
lost in three sets to the national squad.
After the loss, freshman
defensive specialist Fuller was still all smiles and said that in a rematch,
she think she and her teammates would definitely be able to come out on top.
"It was different, but I got to play front row so that was amazing because I
got to hit the ball and I got a few kills and it felt good," said Fuller. "A
rematch is called for as soon as possible."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a dramatic one-point setback to
Northwestern on Saturday, the Nittany Lion basketball team (12-17, 4-12) will
wrap up its road schedule with a trip to Purdue (19-10, 9-7) on Wednesday night
inside Mackey Arena.
Penn State came up just short of scoring its third-straight home victory when
two free throws from John Shurna with 2.6 seconds to play sent the Lions off
the floor with a heartbreaking loss.While
it was a disappointing setback for Coach Chambers and the Nittany Lions, Penn
State returned to the floor with renewed sense of energy and positive attitude at
practice on Monday.
With the rigorous schedule in the Big Ten, teams cannot afford to let losses
linger.The Nittany Lions will meet a
red-hot Purdue in an arena that is not kind to opposing teams.The Boilermakers have won four out of their
last five games, including a 14-point victory over No. 16 Michigan.Additionally, Purdue is 12-4 on its home
floor in West Lafayette this season.
The Nittany Lions are 2-15 all-time in Mackey Arena, but fell agonizingly short
of a win their last season when All-American JaJuan Johnson drilled a mid-range
jumper in the final seconds to lift the Boilers to a 63-62 victory.
Coach Chambers stressed on Monday that there is still a lot to play for and a
great opportunity for the Nittany Lions to grow in the final two weeks of the
season.With two victories in their
final two games, the Lions could still potentially vault to ninth in the Big
Coach Chambers is looking for effort and attitude at Purdue.Playing good defense and rebounding are
always critical, but the Lions are seeking to avoid a slow start on the
road.Making shots in the first half at
Mackey Arena is crucial for the Nittany Lions on Wednesday night.
The emergence of two freshmen during in the latter stages of Big Ten play could
help the Lions avoid a slow start at Purdue.For the third-straight game on Saturday, redshirt freshman Jon Graham
set or equaled his career-high in scoring with 10 points.True freshman Ross Travis scored 10 points
and pulled down a career-best nine rebounds in 31 minutes of action on
Additionally, sophomore Jermaine Marshall enters the Purdue game on a career-best
string of seven-straight double figure scoring games.When Tim Frazier, who ranks second in the Big
Ten in scoring with 19.9 points per game, has several members in his supporting
cast score in double figures, the Nittany Lions are a completely different team
on the offensive end of the floor.
Translating the double figure scoring numbers from the BJC to Mackey Arena will
be critical for the youthful Nittany Lions.Purdue is averaging 77.3 points per game in its last three contests at
home.That figure is largely due to a
strong finish to the season from veteran Robbie Hummel.
The sharp-shooting fifth-year season enters the game as the Boilermakers'
leading scorer at 16.5 points per game.Hummel
has taken his game to a new level in recent weeks as Purdue closes in on
another NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Nittany Lions will kick off the final week of the regular season at 6:30
p.m. (BTN) at Mackey Arena before returning home on Sunday for a clash with No.
16 Michigan.The Big Ten Tournament
begins one week from Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lorenzo Wrestling Complex in Rec Hall played
host once again to this year's Big Ten Tournament Media Day with the defending
conference champion Nittany Lions. While the rest of his coaching staff drilled
and threw a Nerf football with his athletes at practice on Tuesday, head coach
Cael Sanderson addressed the media to preview the upcoming conference
tournament, which will begin Saturday.
Sanderson identified the whereabouts and progress his 10 competing wrestlers,
and touched on a few of the key things that his team will have to do in order
to have success over the rest of a talented Big Ten conference.
New Year, Same Attitude Last season, Penn State claimed its first ever Big Ten wrestling
championship in the program's history. The Lions inched past then frontrunner
Iowa by just one point with a team score of 139.0 to the Hawkeyes' 138.0
points. This year, Sanderson's team garnered top-12 rankings in the coaches'
poll at eight of its 10 competing weight classes and two of those wrestlers,
David Taylor and Frank Molinaro, hold top spots.
Sanderson said that this year he looks at the conference tournament less as
an opportunity to defend last season's title and more of a chance to establish
a consecutive winning program.
"Winning the Big Ten tournament last year, that was one of the thrills of my
coaching career for sure," said Sanderson. "But overall the Big Ten tournament
is very competitive and it's something that you've got to visualize yourself
winning it and if you're doing that not smiling, you're probably in the wrong
business. Next to the National Tournament it's probably the biggest thing in college
Ruth is Good to Go After a tough dual meet season and a recovery period for Ed Ruth, the 174
pounder was held out of the final two dual meets of the year on precautionary
measures. Sanderson said that the sophomore was held out of competition
strictly as a caution, and freshman Matt Brown stepped in where Ruth was not
After a little bit of rest and some time off of the mat, Sanderson said that
his entertaining athlete is ready to go.
"Ed Ruth is 100 percent," said Sanderson. "The minor potential injury that
he had, he wrestled in the Michigan match with that same thing so he's 100
percent and a couple weeks off have only motivated him even that much more
which is exciting. He's been one of the last guys, if not the last guy, to
leave the room the last couple of weeks just because he's excited - and an
excited and motivated Ed Ruth is a scary dude."
Having Fun and Wrestling Hard for
Seven Minutes The head coach also said that not much changes when his team heads into the
postseason as far as the way it prepares and acts both in and out of the
practice room. Like he and his coaching staff have preached all season long,
the Nittany Lions are looking to wrestle their hardest against any competition
for a full seven minute bout. But they are also going to do it with a smile on
"I think there's a lot of the personality that we have on the team and they
kind of realize and figure out and remember that this is fun," said Sanderson.
"To do things well you've got to do things seriously but it helps to enjoy them
and you don't need to be on-guard or on on-call 24 hours a day."
Sanderson went on to assure the media that he isn't worried about how his
athletes will handle the big stage of postseason action, because he says they
should be used to it by now.
"They know what to do," said Sanderson. "They're competitors and they've
been down this road many times. The pressure is a complement. If they feel
pressure then that means that they've done something that should warrant that
pressure and that's a blessing."
By Laura Finley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Adults and children alike were decked out from
head to toe in pink as fans flooded into the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday
afternoon in support of the sixth annual WBCA Pink Zone. People sported pink
tutus, pink wigs and pink boas in a team effort by the Lady Lions, fans and the
community to support breast cancer awareness and celebrate its survivors.
With pink trim on the jerseys and shoes and an honorary pink ball tipoff, the
Lady Lions stated from the start that they wanted to win their last home game
for the survivors. In the end, they did just that, taking the win against
"We have so many survivors and so many fans," said senior guard Zhaque Gray. "I
wanted to win it for the survivors. I go to other schools and I see their Pink
Zone and I just think, 'What are they doing' because ours is so great. I am
just excited to watch it grow and I know it is going to keep growing."
And grown it has, as the event honored a record 505 survivors during halftime. With
the lights down, blinking pink ribbon pins dotted the arena like fireflies,
serving as a constant reminder of the 13,849 fans who came out to fill the BJC
in support of the Pink Zone.
"I've been coming here for six years now," said breast cancer survivor Mary
Hower. "It's emotional the way it has kept growing. I'm so grateful to still be
able to come. It's a reminder to enjoy every day and just take it one day at a
With all attention focused on the center court, survivors gathered
around four-time Grammy Award winner Regina Belle during halftime. Belle sang
an emotional rendition of her song "If I Could," dedicating it to those
"These are the real team players and the real survivors," said WTAJ new anchor
Carolyn Donaldson. "They've fought the good fight and as Coach Coquese
Washington said in her pregame speech, the [Lady Lions] are playing for these
Now in its sixth year, the Pink Zone has raised more than $500,000 with
the money going towards medical research and treatment in the fight against
breast cancer. This year alone, the preliminary fundraising total was $159,795,
not counting money from ticket sale donations, T-shirt sales and the online
"I've been here every year since 2008," said survivor Christine Marchese. "The
event has grown so much. It's wonderful seeing the crowd and having everyone
recognized. They've really done a lot for [the cause]."
Throughout the afternoon, the Pink Zone held promotions around the BJC
concourse, allowing fans to do their part in supporting the cause. From a
silent auction with over 70 items up for bid, to pink paw face tattoos, it was
truly a collective effort by all in recognizing the achievement of the breast
cancer survivors and ensuring that something is being done to combat the
Head coach Coquese Washington spoke for her Lady Lions and all the fans in
attendance when she said Sunday's game was not just about winning or clinching
sole ownership of the Big Ten title. It was all about honoring the survivors
and celebrating a great cause.
"Our fan base is outstanding on a normal night," said Coach Washington, "but on
a day like today when it becomes pink, we have a Grammy Award winning artist
doing the halftime show, pink hats, and over 500 survivors it becomes a
phenomenal environment. It is one that I feel honored, privileged and blessed
to be able to coach in and that our kids can play in."
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. -There seemed to be a special feeling in the Bryce Jordan Center air Sunday
afternoon for the sixth annual Penn State Pink Zone game.With 13,000 plus in the stands wearing pink
to help fight breast cancer, the Lady Lions did their own version of fighting
on the court to get a big win.
The home team came out firing as the Penn State used a 13-0 first half run to
take a commanding 39-17 halftime lead, before going on to a 74-51 win over the
Minnesota Golden Gophers.
While the outcome Sunday never seemed in doubt, it was a different story than
the first time these two squads met.With the Gophers taking an eight point half time lead, before Penn State
battled back to win by 68-65.
"I thought we did a
pretty good job of coming out and playing hard and drawing on the survivors and
the fans that were in attendance," said head coach Coquese Washington."I thought that it gave us a lift in that
added how playing at home, not only with the great "Pink Zone" atmosphere, but
also with the shooting familiarity, played a big difference from this game to
the first time vs. Minnesota.
"I thought we got
some pretty good looks when we played them in the first half (the first game) they
just did not go down," she said."We
got some of those looks tonight, but we made them."
One of those
players who seemed to have no problem hitting those shots was sophomore
sharpshooter Maggie Lucas.
Lucas came out
firing from the tip as she scored 17 points in the first half (equaling
Minnesota's 20 minute total) before finishing the afternoon with 24 points, to
go along with her five rebounds and eight assists.
"I think we took advantage of what the defense was giving us," Lucas said."We made the extra pass a few times and we
were able to get out in transition. We were just doing what we usual do."
Another player who
thrived on what the defense was giving her all day long was senior Zhaque Gray.
Playing in her final game at the Bryce Jordan Center she was a huge part of the
win, knocking in 18 points, including 4-7 from three.
"I thought she
played very well. She hit some big shots and shot the ball with confidence,"
Washington said on her senior guard."I
think our kids really fed off of that."
For Gray, while
playing strong was a nice thing to have, it was all about the team.
"It was nice. Then
again, I just wanted to win. It does not matter if I play well or not. I just
wanted to win," she said.
attitude is one of the many reasons that Gray's teammates love playing with
her, as Lucas mentioned just how much she means to the group.
"Zhaque has just meant so much to this team and she plays with so much heart
and we just try to follow that example," Lucas said."She sets that example every time she steps
on the court. We want to win it for her, but we cannot win it without her."
With a person like
that to take a lead from this team will have a chance to continue to do great
The first step in that journey will be Friday at 6 p.m. in the second round of
the Big Ten Tournament (Penn State got a first round bye).The Lady Lions will face the winner of the
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin first round matchup.
This past weekend at Rec Hall our men's team played two conference games.We matched up Friday against the Princeton Tigers and Saturday against the George Mason Patriots.This was the sixth time playing each of these teams for me.I was especially excited to play Mason to beat up on my teammate from club volleyball Andrew Dentler.Both games had a similar feeling.Our team played well in stretches, but we found it to be very difficult to maintain our high level of play throughout the match.Both matches were won in three games, but we can't say it was one of our better weekends.This weekend did help us show some of the areas of volleyball that we need to work on so that we are happy come May, for instance our blocking.Our serving is very good and it puts us in great situations, but our blocking doesn't allow us to fully capitalize on them.We will continue to work on closing the block and staying physical at the net this week in practice.
We only have one match to worry about this weekend, No. 8 Ohio State.It will be the eighth time playing them for me in the last three years.The rivalry is well known in football, but Ohio State is the only consistently ranked team we played twice a year, so for our team they are pretty much our only rival, especially considering last May.I know our team will be pumped up, and I hope the game draws the crowd it deserves.Meanwhile it is a midterm week for many of us on the team; I have two this week, along with a drill project in my machine design class, so it will be a busy one.
Thanks to all the fans following our team and coming to our games, I hope to see you at Rec Hall this Saturday
Where my desk is as cluttered as only a home office desk can be! The Nittany Lions went to 6-0 in the EIVA with a 25-13, 25-22, 25-20 win over GMU tonight.
The volleyball evening was made even more complete with the US Army sitting volleyball team competing against the PSU Abilities Athletes and the PSU Women's Team.A vast majority of the crowd stayed around to watch the sitting discipline of volleyball and really got into the competition.
The Patriots had lost to SFU on Friday evening and came into the match with a 1-2 record in the EIVA. The playoff structure of the EIVA has changed from previous years. Now only the top four finishers in the regular season get into the semifinals. GMU certainly doesn't want to dig themselves too deep a hole early in this season. We always expect to see GMU's best but we were ready for even more tonight.
Game one started out just as we expected . Neither team could get an early lead but at 13-11 a Sunder kill got the ball for Goodell's serve. Goodell started with an ace, three GMU hitting errors, a Turko stuff and a Sunder kill and two more Goodell aces gave PSU an insurmountable 21-11 lead. Another GMU hitting error closed out game one 25-13. Leaders for PSU were Goodell (Kills - 3; Aces - 3), Sunder (Kills - 3; Digs - 2), Turko (Blocks - 3) and Goas (Digs - 2). PSU hit .529 and GMU hit .000.
Game twohad PSU get out to a 15-8 lead when GMU made an interesting switch. They pulled their starting setter and made their opposite set. We had not seen this at any point on video. It altered their offense just enough to through us off-stride. It almost made their offense less physical to which we didn't react well enough and after a GMU attack tied the score at 22 it was looking like something was finally going to rock our calm and steady demeanor. It looked even worse when they made a great dig and were taking a swing to go up 22-23; however, the attack sailed wide and we got the point and the ball. Peter Russell went back to serve and forced them into an overpass which Joe Sunder put away and then another GMU hitting error ended game two 25-22. Game leaders were Sunder (Kills - 6), Goodell and Aaron Russell (Blocks - 3) and Goas (Digs - 5). PSU hit .207 while GMU hit .000 again.
Game three hadGMU come out with their standard line-up, but with a renewed determination. They knew they could go toe-to-toe with us. The game was tied at 18 when two kills from Aaron Russell gave us a 20-18. After a GMU sideout, a Goodell kill followed by a GMU hitting error and a Sunder kill moved the score to 23-19. After the teams traded serving errors the final GMU hitting error gave the match to the Nittany Lions 25-20. Game leaders for the Nittany Lions were Goodell (Kills - 6), The Russell Brothers (Blocks - 1) and Wolf (Digs - 3). PSU hit .303 while GMU hit .111.
We knew going into the match we would have to weather some GMU storms and answer back with good play from our side. We did just that. In game three Ryan Wolf came off the bench and came up with three big digs which we converted for points late in the game. I keep waiting to see what will knock this steady group for a loop but it seems like we take everything in stride: the good and the not-so-good. This team finds a way to steady itself and we keep getting contributions at big times from everyone and anyone.Match leaders for PSU were Goodell (Kills - 13; Aces - 3; Points - 18.5), Aaron Russell (Blocks - 5) and Goas (Digs - 9). PSU out-hit Mason .316 to .037; out-blocked them 10.5 to 7; out-dug them 26 to 23 and out-aced them 5 to 1.
If it wasn't for the grittiness of GMU we would have had about three more aces and four more stuffs. They tracked some balls down in Rec Hall and sent them back over and they made some outstanding coverage plays to keep our blocks from hitting the floor. We weren't happy about our blocking mentality yesterday but tonight it was very aggressive and physical. It paid dividends for us tonight.
We are now 6-0 in EIVA play with only SFU left to finish out our first half of the EIVA season. SFU has two losses as they have been beaten by Harvard and Princeton. So we have put some distance between us and the rest of the EIVA field. We need to keep attending to our EIVA opponents.
After our match the US Army sitting volleyball team took on our PSU Abilities Athletes.This was coordinated by Teri Jordan, our Abilities Coach and USAV's Blake Elliot. The US Army is preparing for the Warrior games in early May where they will compete in 15 different sports against the other branches of the US Armed Forces. The team came into town on Thursday and trained through the weekend. They gave a clinic on sitting volleyball to our Abilities Athletes. It was great to see so many of our PSU faithful stick around after our match to watch and support these athletes. After the Army dispatched the PSU Abilities Athletes...who were playing their first ever game of sitting volleyball...the PSU women's team took the court. In a best of three match the Army prevailed with a 15-12 third game win.
I can't say enough about the young men and women who make up the Army team. They are a wonderful group of people who were fun to be around. The sacrifices that many of these soldiers have made didn't go unappreciated here in Rec Hall! There was genuine joy and fun being had in all four games which they played. I would love to get them back in the fall to compete against our guys and again in spring for another date after one of our matches. We wish them all the best in the upcoming Warrior Games and hope they stay safe. We can't thank them enough for what they dofor us all. It was a great night of volleyball in Rec Hall!
Our next match is Saturday against the Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU will be returning to the site where they won their first NCAA Championship this past May. I have no doubts that they will be fired up to take us on once again in our Big Ten face-off. The match starts at 7 PM and we hope to see you there!
Friday evening the Nittany Lions defeated the Princeton Tigers 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 to move to 5-0 in EIVA play this season.
Princeton came into the match with an EIVA record of 2-1. They had defeated Sacred Heart and Rutgers-Newark but had lost to Harvard. Princeton has added a couple of freshmen who will be very good players in the league for the next three years.Coach Sam Shweisky has the program moving in the right direction and Princeton can be a team that can get hot. They have a senior setter and a senior opposite thatwere main cogs in their run to the EIVA finals in 2010. We needed to assert our physical level play constantly and hope to wear them down.
Game one had us creep out to a 9-5 lead only to see the Tigers close to 11-9. PSU managed to extend the lead to 13-9 on a Goodell kill and Princeton error. We were adding a point here and there when a Peter Russell kill gave us a 19-14 lead. A tough serve by Turko resulted in a misconnected set by Princeton then Turko came up with an ace for a 21-14 lead. At 24-18, a Sunder kill gave game one to the Nittany Lions 25-18. Game one leaders for the Lions were Sunder (Kills - 6; Blocks - 1), Turko (Blocks - 1; Aces - 1) and Goas (Digs - 3). PSU hit .542 to Princeton's .300.
Game twostarted out streaky as PSU ran two quick points only to have Princeton tie with their own two points. The game was tied at 8 when a Goodell kill was followed by two Princeton hitting errors and a Turko kill for a 12-8 lead. Little did I know that we were going to pushing the lead even more.At 14-11 we had kills from Sunder andAaron Russell. Then brother Peter served an ace then another Tiger hitting error gave PSU an 18-11 lead. At 24-15 the last Princeton hitting error of the game ended it at 25-15. Game two leaders for PSU were Goodell (Kills - 6), Goas and the Russell brothers (Blocks - 1) and Curry (Digs - 2). PSU hit .480 while Princeton hit .158.
Game three had Comfort and Hendries giving a break to Goodell and Turko. Once again the early points were close as it was tied at 7. A Sunder kill was followed by two aces from Goas for a 10-7 lead. AT 13-10, a Comfort sideout kill gave him the chance to serve. A Goas/Hendries stuff and twokills from Sunder sandwiched a Hendries kill and the lead went to 17-10. From that point on the Nittany Lions just rode out the win with our offense as a kill by Aaron Russell ended the match 25-18. Game three leaders were Comfort (Kills - 5; Blocks - 1), Goas (Blocks - 1; Aces - 2), Hendries and the Russell brothers (Blocks - 1) and Sunder (Digs - 3). PSU hit .379 and the Tigers hit .240.
We did keep pressure on Princeton from our serving and eventually gained the separation we needed . Our transition game was pretty good all match. If Princeton couldn't put a ball away and we kept it off the floor we were doing a very good job at converting those for points. The only drawback to this match was we didn't a very good job controlling the two hitters which we had wanted to control. Our block was somewhat disappointing . I know I may be "painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa", as long-time friend Larry Bock would say, but we have to have a better effort and focus with our blocking.
Match leaders for the Nittany Lions were Sunder (Kills - 10; Points - 11.5; Blocks - 1), Goodell (Kills - 10), Goas (Blocks - 1; Aces - 3; Digs - 5), both Russells, Turko, Comfort and Hendries (Blocks - 1) and Curry (Digs - 5). PSU out-hit the Tigers .462 to .234 and out-aced them 7 to 0. Both teams had 19 digs but Princeton out-blocked us 6 to 3.5.
Our serving and our offense gave us the advantageswe needed. I thought Edgardo Goas had one of his best nights as a setter and our hitters were doing a good job of hitting the court and challenging the Princeton block.
Tomorrow we have the GMU Patriots. They were knocked off tonight in Loretto by the Red Flash of SFU. We will see a desperate GMU teamas they come to PSU with two EIVA losses already. They are 1-2 with the other loss to Sacred Heartand a win over Harvard.
After our match Saturday the US Army sitting volleyball team will be competing against PSU's Abilities Athletes and also against members of our women's team. It should be a fun night of volleyball! I'll be back to you with my thoughts after the match.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On March 17, the Penn State men's volleyball team
will be halfway finished with its regular season conference schedule. After
playing six of the seven teams in the EIVA, the Nittany Lions have established
themselves not only as the frontrunner of the conference but also as the most
dominant team in the league.
Penn State added two more matches to its win column this past weekend,
defeating EIVA competitors Princeton and George Mason in Rec Hall.
On Friday night, the Nittany Lions took the Tigers in three sets and swept
their ninth match of the season. Penn State won out 25-18, 25-15 and 25-18
respectively behind a fast-paced offense and big hitting numbers all-around.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Joe Sunder and redshirt freshman Nick
Goodell led the squad with 10 kills each and paced the Lions' offense from the
very start of the match. Penn State hit .462 on the night en route to its 11th
victory of the season and fifth conference win of the year.
On Saturday night, fifth-ranked Penn State tallied one more shutout victory
over yet another EIVA opponent, George Mason. The Nittany Lions battled a bit
more than the night before, but won out 25-13, 25-22 and 25-20 in three sets.
Sunder and Goodell shared the leading spot on the offense once again with
13 kills apiece and Goodell was especially on point behind the service line,
dishing out a match-high three service aces to keep the Patriots' defense on
After Saturday night's match, the Lions' head coach Mark Pavlik said that
he was looking for his team stay focused and execute cleanly, which is just
what he got.
"I thought the way we came out today we really wanted to kind of set the
tone of not necessarily for them across the other side of the net but for us,"
Concerning his top two offensive threats, the leading coach said that he
wasn't all too surprised by the big numbers that both Goodell and Sunder put up
all weekend long.
"I think it's part of what we expect from anybody that's out there," said
Pavlik. "Whether it's Joe [Sunder] whether it's Peter [Russell], whether it's
Nick [Goodell] whether it's Tommy [Comfort], there's a certain level of
expectation that we have for those positions and these guys have been filling
For the first two sets of both weekend matches, the five-year veteran
occupied one side of the net while the second-year freshman stood at the other.
Their difference in age and experience, however, has not slowed down the Lions'
attack whatsoever. In fact, it seems to have helped.
"Joe's been through the wars now for four years and Nick's trying to start wars
of his own and I think that's part of what collegiate athletics is about," said
Pavlik. "You get that mix every year. This year's team is a unique team just
like last year's team was and just like next year's time is going to be. Right
now the pieces seem to complement each other very, very well."
With more than three years of experience on the court as a starting outside
hitter, returning All-American Sunder said that he is more than happy to share
the weight of the offensive attack responsibilities with a teammate like
"I just feel more confident when the ball is in the air on the way to him than
I have in a couple of years," said Sunder. "There's no one I'd rather have the
ball go to but him with the way that he's playing right now."
With a 12-1 overall mark and an unbeaten 6-0 record in conference play,
Penn State is halfway through its scheduled matches this year. Next week, the
Lions will host Ohio State for a second look at the Buckeyes and a Big Ten
opponent that never ceases to excite a homestand volleyball crowd.
"We're moving in the right direction and we're just always ready to go,"
By Jackson Thibodeau, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Just three games into the regular season, several
freshmen have already made a sizeable impact for the Penn State men's lacrosse
The youth-laden team, consisting of only four
seniors, has called on their younger counterparts to become key contributors at
this early point in the season.
"Our younger guys have brought a lot of fresh
energy to the field," said head coach Jeff Tambroni. "They have made up for
their inexperience with a lot of hard work."
More than a quarter of the Nittany Lion roster
is made up of freshman, making their class the largest represented class on the
In the opening three games of the Nittany
Lions' season, freshmen have already accounted for six points (four goals and
Freshman attackman Pat Manley (Arnold, Md.)
has recorded three of those points for Penn State, scoring a goal in his
collegiate debut against North Carolina and striking again with a goal and an
assist in the home opener against Michigan.
Manley was recently rewarded for his
contributions to the team, being named the Colonial Athletic Association's
Rookie of the Week last Monday.
"It feels great to be named rookie of the
week," Manley said. "It is still a long season and we as a team are going to
continue to focus on getting better out there as a group and not just
Manley is not the only freshman displaying his
talents at this early point in the season...he is joined by other point scorers
and two defensive starters.
"I like to remind myself that nothing,
including playing time, is ever guaranteed," said freshman defenseman Jack
Donnelly (Toronto, Ont.). "Every week I come to practice and continue to work
hard to make sure I am prepared for our next game."
For Donnelly, collegiate lacrosse brings a
completely new style of play. Not only does the native Canadian need to adjust
to a new speed, but also a new game all-together. The freshman is accustomed to
playing box lacrosse, which is a version of the sport played on a much smaller
surface with smaller goals.
Donnelly is accompanied by another freshman,
JP Burnside (Garden City, N.Y.), as a defensive starter. The duo has combined
to force five turnovers and collect seven ground balls.
Outstanding offensive and defensive play from
freshmen most recently made an impact in Penn State's upset victory over then
No. 2/4 Notre Dame.
Freshman Michael Richards (Skaneateles,
N.Y.) picked up two ground balls and tallied a second quarter goal during
the upset in South Bend.
JP Burnside credits the early impact that freshmen have had to the team's
camaraderie on this team has definitely helped us younger players adjust," said
Burnside. "The older guys always have our back and have helped us out from the
day we stepped on campus."
youthful team can be seen in action again next weekend when they travel to
Columbus to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- Take a look back at Penn State's 74-51 victory over Minnesota at the annual Pink Zone game in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Welcome to the GoPSUsports.com in-game blog for the Lady Lion basketball team.
It is the annual Pink Zone game inside the Bryce Jordan Center, as the Lady
Lions (22-5, 12-3) look to clinch sole possession of the Big Ten regular season
title against Minnesota (14-15, 6-9) on Sunday.Penn State has already clinched the top seed for the upcoming Big Ten
Tournament in Indianapolis, but with a win on Sunday the Lions will lock down
sole possession of the regular season conference crown.
Stay tuned for updates from a special day in the BJC where the Lady Lions honor
breast cancer survivors and fight for a cure to the disease.
Check back throughout the game for updates.
Starting Lineups Penn State: G - Bentley, G - Lucas,
G - Gray, F - Nickson, C - Greene Minnesota: G - Banham, G - Kellogg, G
- Buford, G - Mastey, F - Riche
First Half: 11:54 - Penn State 18, Minnesota 9 The teams exchanged baskets early before the Lady Lions turned up the wick
on the offensive end of the floor.Maggie Lucas accounted for seven tallies on a 10-0 scoring run.Lucas has been aggressive early with nine
points on 4-for-6 shooting.Nikki Greene
is also off to a good start offensively with four points on 2-for-2
shooting.Penn State is 8-for-16 from
the floor in the early minutes.The
Lions are off to a very good start in a critical game leading up to the
3:50 - Penn State 35, Minnesota 11 The Lady Lions have
flexed their muscle in the first half of the regular season finale.After a 10-0 run early in the half, the Lions
mounted a 13-0 scoring spurt to make it a 31-9 game with 5:56 left in the first
half.Penn State's scoring charge has
been led by Lucas, who has a game-high 15 points on 6-for-10 from the
field.The Golden Gophers went 7:25
without a point before a basket from Micaella Riche.Nonetheless, Minnesota is just 5-for-23 from
the field.The Lions have seemingly done
whatever they have wanted on both ends of the floor.
0:00 - Penn State 39, Minnesota 17 The Lady Lions never
trailed in a dominant first half of play on Pink Zone day in the Bryce Jordan
Center.After leading by as much as 24
in the first half, Minnesota trimmed the margin down to 18 with a 6-0 scoring
spurt.Nonetheless, that would be as close
as the Gophers would get as Lucas and Bentley closed out the half with
four-straight points to set the halftime margin at 22.It was the Lucas show in the opening 20
minutes, as the sophomore guard finished with 17 points on 6-for-11
shooting.On the defensive end, Penn
State held Minnesota to just 7-for-30 from the field (23 percent).Penn State played the type of half it needed
to leading up to the Big Ten Tournament.
Second Half: 14:50 - Penn State 48, Minnesota 19 Penn State picked up right where it left off at the end of the first half
with a 9-2 scoring surge out of the locker room.Greene and senior Zhaque Gray have accounted
for all nine points.The Golden Gophers
have not found any type of rhythm on the offensive end of the floor.The Lions are in cruise control mode as they
close in on sole possession of the regular season Big Ten title.
6:25 - Penn State 66, Minnesota 33 It is great to see
Gray playing a strong game in her final appearance inside the Bryce Jordan
Center.The senior is pouring it in
against the Gophers with 16 points on 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-7 from
3-point range.Lucas has 22 points,
seven assists and five rebounds.Greene
is the third Lady Lion in double figures with 10 points.Greene sent the Lions into the media timeout
with a lay-in, which made it a 33-point game.Penn State has gotten great play from its post players during the past
few weeks during the season.That will
be a big area to watch in the postseason.
0:00 - Penn State 74, Minnesota 51 The Lady Lions capped
off a wire-to-wire finish to earn sole possession of the 2012 Big Ten regular
season in fine style on Sunday afternoon.The Lions built a lead of more than 30 points in the second half,
largely thanks to hot shooting from Lucas and Gray.The sophomore sharpshooter tallied 24 points
and eight assists to lead the Lady Lions.Gray scored 18 points in the final home game of her Lady Lion
career.The Lions shot 45 percent from
the field.They were equally as
effective on the defensive end of the floor, limiting Minnesota to just 36
Final Thoughts: Penn State wasted little time taking control of the regular season
finale on Sunday afternoon.The Lady
Lions used a 10-0 scoring run mid-way through the first half to build a 16-4
lead on the scoreboard.From there, they
never looked back.Penn State led by 22
at the break and as much as 33 in the second half before walking off the floor
with a 23-point victory.
The win sealed sole possession of the Big Ten regular season Big Ten title for
the Lady Lions.They finished the
conference season with a 13-3 mark in the Big Ten, and the Lions will enter
this week's Big Ten Tournament as the top seed.Penn State could potentially see the Golden Gophers again on Friday in
the conference quarterfinals depending on how the seeding shakes out on
Sunday.Additionally, the Gophers would
need a victory in the No. 8-No. 9 game on Thursday.
Sunday's game was about much more than basketball, though.For the sixth-straight season Penn State
hosted a Pink Zone game in honor of breast cancer awareness.Several hundred breast cancer survivors walked
onto the floor at halftime for a special halftime ceremony.Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien
addressed the crowd in the second half with a pink T-shirt on.He talked about his mother Ann, who is a
two-time breast cancer fighter (survivor).The Pink Zone game and more than 13,000 fans in attendance was a huge
success, once again for Lady Lion basketball.The Lions are 5-1 in Pink Zone games in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Tony Mancuso, Athletic Communications on February 25, 2012 7:27 PM
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
-Take a look back at Penn State's dramatic 67-66 setback to Northwestern on Saturday night inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
Welcome to the GoPSUsports.com
gameday blog for the Nittany Lion basketball team.
We will bring you coverage from tonight's matchup between Penn State (12-16,
4-11) and Northwestern (16-11, 6-9) inside the Bryce Jordan Center.The Nittany Lions are seeking their third-straight
home victory, while the Wildcats are fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament
Follow along here on the in-game blog for updates throughout Saturday's contest
Starting Lineups Penn State: G - Frazier, G - Colella, G - Woodyard, F - Travis, F
- Graham Northwestern: G -
Sobelewski, G - Hearn, G - Cobb, F -
Crawford, F - Shurna
First Half: 15:11 - Penn State 11, Northwestern 6 The Nittany Lions are off to a very good start on both ends of the
floor.Penn State is 5-for-8 from the
field early without a point from Tim Frazier.Jon Graham and Cammeron Woodyard each have two baskets, with Nick
Colella accounting for the fifth field goal.Both teams have played zone defense in the early minutes.Northwestern is in its trademark 1-3-1 zone,
while the Lions have been playing a 1-2-2.Penn State is very active early.
11:53 - Penn State 18, Northwestern 13 Jermaine Marshall
capped off a 9-0 scoring run with a 15-foot jumper, which put the Lions up
13-6.However, Northwestern quickly
answered with two-straight baskets to trim the lead down to just three.Tim Frazier came right back with a pull-up jumper
before a powerful old-fashioned 3-point play from Sasa Borovnjak.Penn State has returned to its man-to-man
defense, but the story so far is the Lions' 8-for-14 shooting start from the
7:27 - Northwestern 25, Penn State 20 The Nittany Lions
took a seven-point lead on Graham's third basket of the night, but it has been
all Wildcats since then.Northwestern is
on a 12-0 scoring run (15-2 overall) en route to a five-point lead on the
scoreboard.Penn State has gone 4:06
without a basket while the Wildcats mounted their scoring charge.The Lions need to get the ball in Frazier's
hands.The junior guard has just one
field goal in the first 12:33 of action.
3:59 - Northwestern 28, Penn State 24 Right on cue, Frazier
scored two-straight baskets for the Nittany Lions to pull the Lions within
four.Both teams have cooled off
slightly, now each shooting under 50 percent.Despite going more than 4:00 of game time without a point, the Lions are
still well within striking distance.The
big difference has been on the perimeter with Northwestern 6-for-13, while the
Lions are 1-for-6.
0:00 - Northwestern 34, Penn State 28 The Nittany Lions got
off to a very good start on the offensive end of the floor en route to an
eight-point lead, but a sloppy finish sent Wildcats into the locker room with a
six-point edge on the scoreboard.Northwestern drilled eight 3-pointers in the first half, while the Lions
made just one from beyond the arc.Give
the Wildcats credit for their defensive effort in the 1-3-1 down the stretch in
the latter stages of the first half.Penn State committed four turnovers on four successive possessions, but
fortunately Northwestern was not able to extend the lead beyond six.Frazier led the way with eight points, while
Graham added six and Woodyard tallied five.Penn State shot 41 percent from the field, while Northwestern shot at a 48
percent clip.The Lions are fortunate to
be down just six with the way the first half ended, but well within striking
Second Half: 15:04 - Northwestern
43, Penn State 34 The Nittany Lions
scored the first four tallies out of the locker room to make it a two-point
game, but Northwestern again answered with a 9-2 scoring burst capped off by
five tallies from Big Ten leading scorer John Shurna.The Wildcats now lead by nine, their largest
lead of the night.When you give Shurna
an inch, he has a very quick trigger.The Lions need to answer out of the first timeout of the second half.
11:37 - Northwestern 46, Penn State 41 Needing a spurt, the
Lions turned to Frazier.The Lion junior
scored five-straight points, including a one-handed slam on an old-fashioned
3-point play to set the score at 43-39 with 14:03.Frazier now has 15 points (6-for-12) and six
assists.Northwestern answered with its
10th 3-pointer of the night to put the Wildcats back up by seven before a dunk
from Ross Travis.
6:55 - Northwestern 58, Penn State 55 Trailing by seven,
the Nittany Lions mounted a crucial scoring run to pull ahead for the first
time since mid-way through the first half.Travis scored the first six points of the run before Frazier and Graham
tallied baskets and Woodyard dilled a 3-pointer in the corner.In all, the 13-3 scoring run covered 3:59 to
put the Lions up 52-49.Northwestern's
3-point shooting is the only thing keeping the Wildcats in the ballgame.Six of the last seven Wildcat field goals
have come from beyond the arc.A huge
triple from Drew Crawford sent Northwestern into the timeout with a 58-55 lead.
0:00 - Northwestern 67, Penn State 66 The Nittany Lions
tied the game on a bucket from Borovnjak with 4:26 to play to set the score at
63-63.Shurna answered with a move in
the paint to put Northwestern on top by two.Frazier fielded an in-bounds pass before kissing a bank shot off the
glass while fouled.He converted the
free throw to give the Nittany Lions a 66-65 lead with 2:48 on the clock.That is where things would stand until the
final seconds.Graham had two
opportunities to extend the Penn State lead at the foul line with 14.1 seconds
to play, but missed both.Northwestern
drove the length of the floor before Shurna pulled up for a fadeaway jumper
from the corner.The shot fell short
because Graham blocked the attempt, but a foul was whistled on the play.Shurna went to the foul line with 2.6 seconds
to play.He made both to send the
Wildcats out of the Jordan Center with a dramatic 67-66 victory.Frazier topped the 20-point plateau for the
15th time this season, finishing with 23 points and eight assists.Travis and Graham each finished with 10
points.Shurna scored 23 points to lead
Final Thoughts: It was a
heartbreaking loss for the Nittany Lions inside the Bryce Jordan Center on a
very close foul call with 2.6 seconds to play.Northwestern's red-hot 3-point shooting carried the Wildcats to a
victory in a must-win for their NCAA Tournament hopes.The Lions led early in the first half, but
Northwestern went on top with a 15-2 scoring burst mid-way through the first
half.The Lions battled back with a 13-3
run of their own in the second half to go on top, 52-49, with 8:39 to play.
From there it was seesaw affair with neither team leading by more than four
points down the stretch.Frazier's 3-point
play with 2:48 to go put the Lions up by one, but it came down to four foul
shots in the final 14.1 seconds.Penn
State failed to connect on two attempts, but Shurna sank two huge shots at the
charity stripe to send the Wildcats home with a narrow one-point victory.Northwestern finished the game 15-for-29 from
3-point range and just 7-for-21 on two-point attempts.
It was a tough loss for the Nittany Lions on two late free throws, but Coach
Chambers talked after the game about plenty of possessions during the game that
the Lions could have executed better on.Nonetheless, Penn State will look to regroup before heading to Mackey
Arena on Wednesday night for a clash at Purdue.
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
Hello friends, family, and fans! I hope everything is going well! I know things here are
going really well for us. We are at the half way point of our season and I feel like it has gone by so fast. I feel like it was just yesterday when I was moving all my stuff into the dorms and was eagerly waiting to start classes and official practices. So, I guess it really is true that time flies when you're having fun! Right now we are on the bus going to Ohio State for a double dual with the men's team. This is the first time that we have done a double dual together on the road. It will be an exciting meet because we are going against the Buckeyes who are ranked 11th and we are ranked 10th. It is always interesting to compete against a Big Ten team because we can compare ourselves to them so we know what we need to work on before the Big Ten competition, which is in four weeks! We have two more home meets and one away meet after this one and then we officially enter post season. Summer is also quickly approaching as we have about two more months left of the semester; can't believe freshman year is almost over. Until next time... We Are!
Last weekend was a very exciting and eventful one. We had our first double dual of the season. We competed against SUNY Brockport, while our men's team competed against the University of Illinois. It was a great night, and both teams came out victoriously. It was really fun competing with the guys and felt just like a normal day of practice. It was also nice to finally be home again in Rec Hall with our Penn State fans after three long weeks of traveling.
Immediately after the meet we had to sign autographs, change, and run to THON. It was absolutely amazing. The atmosphere was so upbeat even at 11:00 at night. The BJC was completely packed. We got there just in time for the pep rally and got to watch all the athletes do their dances before it was our turn up. Even though it was our second year doing this, we were still just as nervous to get up and dance in front of all those people, but it ended up going great. It is always an experience to do something like that for such a great cause. The men's gymnastics team went after us and did a hilarious dance with lots of flips, and ended up winning the whole thing (even over football!). THON ended up raising $10.6 million for childhood cancer, a new record, and we couldn't be more proud! Overall, it was an incredible weekend.
This week in the gym we had some awesome workouts as a team to prepare ourselves for the meet this weekend against Ohio State. It's another double dual, and we actually traveled with the men's team this time. It was a packed bus ride for 6 hours, so we all had to share seats, but it was fun because both teams get along so well. We know it is going to be a close meet tomorrow, since we are ranked 10th and Ohio State is 11th, but we are as ready as we could possibly be, and are excited to go out there and do our thing. It should be an exciting meet!
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In
sports, players and teams are often looking for any extra motivation they can
find, looking to play "for" something.A
player can often play for an individual goal, record, rivalry, or even trophy.
Or they can play for something bigger than all of that.
The Penn State Lady Lions will be playing for that something bigger this coming
Sunday at 2 p.m. as they take on the Minnesota Lady Golden Gophers in their
annual "Pink Zone" game to help fight breast cancer.
This will be the sixth annual "pink" game for the Lady Lions, in a cause and
program that has really grown over the years.While the game raised just over $20,000 its first year in 2007, that
figure jumped to just over $197,000 this past year.
In the first five years the game has raised a total of over $359,000 to help
raise awareness and help fight breast cancer.And they are hoping to make a big jump in that total this year.
For both the players and coaches this is a meaningful day, one they circle on
the calendars each year.
"It (the Pink Zone game) means a tremendous amount to me personally," said head
coach Coquese Washington, who has been a part of all but one of the "pink"
games in Happy Valley.
"We have an opportunity to have such a positive impact in so many ways,"
Washington added."As our program has
grown "Pink Zone" is one of the most significant ways we can impact our
community outside of the game."
For the coach, being able to give back and support a community in this way for
an event is just one small way the program looks to return the favor to a fan
base that supports them all year long.
"I'm just pleased and fortunate we have this ability to positively impact the
community," she added.
The game and its impact is not only known by the coach, but felt by the players
"Pink Zone is going to be amazing, I'm really excited," said guard Alex
Bentley.Adding how Washington's Pink
Zone pregame speeches about being appreciative of what they have and not taking
anything for granted have always really resonated with her.
"The game is important, but we're playing for a much bigger cause, much bigger
battle and we're excited, it's a wonderful day," added guard Maggie Lucas.
Sunday will be a wonderful day for the Lady Lions.No matter who comes away with a win on the
court, the team and program will already have won off it with the cause.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Nittany Lion basketball team (12-16, 4-11) will be seeking its
third-straight victory in the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday night when it
takes on Northwestern (16-11, 6-9).
Penn State returns to action after five full days off after a 65-55 setback at
Wisconsin on Sunday.The Lions will be
looking to continue a streak of strong defensive performances on their home
floor.In the last four home games, Penn
State's opponents have averaged just 38 percent shooting and 54.8 points per
Northwestern enters Saturday's contest after a tough overtime loss to Michigan
(67-55).The Wildcats are on the NCAA
Tournament bubble as they enter the final three games of the season.John Shurna comes into the game leading the
Big Ten in scoring at 20.0 points per game.With Shurna and Tim Frazier (18.5 ppg) on the floor together, Saturday's
game will feature the Big Ten's top two scorers.The Wildcats are 47th in the latest RPI
(RealTimeRPI), and they have little margin for error down the stretch.
The Nittany Lions have a lot to play for in the final three games of the
regular season, as well.Coach Chambers
has stressed the importance of the team playing its best basketball at the end
of the season, and it is especially crucial with Big Ten Tournament seeding on
the line.With a win against
Northwestern, the Nittany Lions could potentially vault from 12th to a tie for
ninth this weekend.Currently, two games
separate eighth from 12th in the standings.
Associate head coach Eugene Burroughs breaks down the Northwestern game with
GoPSUsports.com.Take a look.
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By Cassie Speno, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Captain and 2011 ALC Goalie of the Year Dana
Cahill is a phenomenal player and student to the game of lacrosse. She is a
game changer in more ways than one and her teammates are grateful she is on
their side. Assistant coach, Amy Altig, says Cahill has fantastic natural
ability and very technically sound skills.
"She really has a nose for the ball," said Altig. "She tracks it really
well, no matter what level the ball is shot at. She has great patience and
allows herself the time to make the save."
One of Cahill's many strengths is her ability outside the cage. Last
year she ranked first on the team and second in the conference in ground balls
(47) and finished the season with seven caused turnovers.
"She is becoming better outside of the cage looking for interceptions and
coming up with ground balls," said Altig. "She is a complete and utter game changer. When
things might be a little crazy on the defensive end, you know she's right there
and is going to come up with the big save. She comes up big when you need her
all the time."
Being a captain and a goalie, Cahill has a very vocal presence on the
field. She is a tremendous leader and the anchor to the defensive end.
"She has such a voice back on the defensive end," said Altig. "Due to
her success in the goal cage her teammates really look up to her. They know in
a time of need Dana is going to be there. I think when you're a leader you feel
a little pressure, but she does a great job of channeling that and really rising
Over the past two years, Altig has worked closely with Cahill to
advance her skills even further. Altig says when training they focus on how to
play certain attackers, taking away certain angles and specific opponents
"Dana has a natural ability to really see the ball and just go get it,"
said Altig. "It's hard to teach hand eye coordination and hand speed, but Dana
has those things. She has been a real sponge and great student of the game. She
is always in here asking to do film; individual sessions and we are constantly
throwing ideas at her so she loves the learning part. It is great as a coach
working with a player who wants to learn so much. She was great from the start,
but she has only gotten better because she is such a student of the game."
Cahill's coaches and teammates are extremely proud of all of her
accomplishments and are looking forward to her success this season.
"I couldn't be more proud of her being on the Tewaaraton Watch List right now,"
said Altig. "For her, I hope she looks back at the ends of this year and says I
had an awesome senior year. All the accolades aside, I hope she is proud of herself
for the progress she has made in the last year. I know we couldn't be more
proud of her and I know her teammates are."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
GoPSUsports.com sat down with new assistant coach Charlie Fisher for a
one-on-one interview this week.Coach
Fisher rounded out Coach O'Brien's staff when he was named quarterbacks coach
Entering his 31st season in coaching, Fisher comes to Penn State after one
season as the quarterbacks coach at Miami of Ohio.Fisher spent nine seasons on the offensive
staff at Vanderbilt prior to his stint with Miami.The list of
players Fisher has coached or helped mentor include Earl Bennett and Jay Cutler
(Vanderbilt), Torry Holt and Koren Robinson (North Carolina State) and Zac Dysert
and Nick Harwell (Miami Ohio).
Fisher, a native of Allenwood, Pa., grew up in a Penn State house with several
family members attending school in Happy Valley.He traveled to games in the late 1960s, as
well.Take a look at an interview with
GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - So far this season, the fifth-ranked men's
volleyball team has rolled over its EIVA competition and remains undefeated in
The well-rounded squad has featured 15 of its 17 rostered athletes in the
11 matches that have been played already this year. The Lions have only lost
one battle, which came in their third contest of the season to the Lewis Flyers,
and have taken home wins in the other 10 matches.
Four of those 10 victories have been over EIVA opponents, and each of those
four wins was won without dropping a single set. So literally, the Penn State
team has been sweeping its conference competition.
This weekend, head coach Mark Pavlik said that he and his team will
continue to push the throttle as Princeton and George Mason come to Rec Hall.
"Right now, playing those two teams at home I think gives us the
opportunity to try to make sure we put more distance between us and the rest of
the EIVA field," said Pavlik. "I think after this weekend all that is left is
St. Francis to get us through the first half of the season."
Penn State will match up with the Tigers of Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m.
and follow-up the next evening with another contest against George Mason at 5
Two years ago, the Nittany Lions met Princeton in the finals of the EIVA
Championship for what would end in a 3-0 victory in Penn State's favor. But
Pavlik said that ever since, he has noticed a steady progression in the central
New Jersey program.
"They're moving their program forward," Pavlik said of the Tigers. "They've
gotten a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and we're going to have to
make sure that we win the serve- and pass-game and try to keep them very
George Mason has only played two conference matches this far into the
season, dropping one to Sacred Heart and taking one over Harvard. The Patriots
are currently on three-game losing streak after a tough road weekend last week,
but Pavlik said that with a couple of threats and a strong game at the net
George Mason is not a team that should be taken lightly.
"George Mason has always been a tough opponent in the EIVA," said Pavlik.
"Their lineup is getting a little bit bigger with a couple of 6'6 and 6'7
outside hitters in [Andrew Dentler] and [Michael Kvidahl] and their blocking
has always been their strong suit - as long as they've been involved in the
league they've blocked very, very well."
Of the 36 sets that the Lions have played this season, they've won all but
five. Pavlik said that his team prepares for each match the same way and that
this weekend he expects to continue to have the same outcome. Winning.
After the second conference contest on Saturday night, the Nittany Lions
will host a different kind of volleyball match and welcome two more squads to
the courts in Rec Hall.
This time a match will be played with a net that is not at the 7-foot-11
and 5/8" regulation height, but rather just hovering above the floor's surface.
And in this match, the competitors won't be doing any kind of jumping or diving
or even playing on their feet.
They'll be competing on their butts.
Members of the U.S. Army Sitting Volleyball team will put on exhibition
matches in Rec Hall that display what they have grown to know and compete in as
Seated Volleyball. The team is comprised of wounded warriors that have served
in the Army, and now feature their talents in this Paralympic form of the
main difference between Seated Volleyball and familiar Division I collegiate
volleyball is indeed the fact that players compete for the entire match on
their 'bottoms'. The 'bottom' of a player is defined as the upper part of the
body, from a person's shoulders down to their butt. Players are not allowed to
lift their bottoms off of the court at any time while trying to execute a type
of attack, but they are allowed to lift their bottoms from the floor in certain
Athletes from the Penn State women's volleyball team and the Penn State Ability
Athletics program will be participating alongside the U.S. Army team throughout
While Coach Pavlik said that he won't be participating in these
highly-anticipated matches, he did admit that he is pretty excited to watch.
"I've never personally witnessed a match so I'm looking forward to this," said
Pavlik. "It is what it says. Your butt is on the ground and you play
"I think it's just volleyball of another sort and I think certainly the crowd
that has seen enough great volleyball in Rec Hall over the years with both our
women's and men's teams, this will be something that should be very interesting
and a little bit different for them."
This past weekend we went on a trip Harvard and Sacred Heart that I will never forget. Not only was it the first time playing these teams on the road, but we had bus problems even more extreme than the complications we had on our trip to Chicago.
We were about three hours into the trip when the back of the bus began to fill with smoke and exhaust fumes from the engine. Our bus driver decided it was a good idea that we pulled over at a gas station while he checked the engine. After about 30 minutes and a quick bite to eat, we hopped back on the smoke-free bus and began traveling again. No more than about 45 minutes later, the same engine problems we were experiencing earlier began to occur. At this point, we needed a new bus. We pulled over to another gas station and learned that we needed to wait three hours until a new bus drove from State College to our current position. So some of the guys, along with myself, decided to pass the time with a "science experiment". We bought Diet Coke and Mentos from the gas station with our food money. If you don't know about this experiment, the Mentos, when dropped into the Diet Coke, create some kind of chemical reaction to make the Coke fizz over and spray out of the bottle. After a few successes, someone had the idea to keep the cap on after dropping in the Mentos and then throwing the bottle in the air. Me being the only freshman, I was the one to handle this messy task. The experiment ended as we thought it would, exploding when it hit the ground and soaking my jacket. After a few more similar experiments, the bus arrived and we made it to Boston at 5 am.
The next day, we arrived at the Harvard campus and did our usual pre-match routine and for our pre-match meal, we went to an Unos on the Harvard campus. As you can imagine, taking 18 peoples orders can be a lot on a waiter and when he was bringing us our waters, he spilled about 9 or 10 waters on Tommy Comfort. As you can imagine, that made for many laughs at our table and stories to tell those who couldn't make the trip. Later that day, we beat Harvard quickly and got out of Boston and into Sacred Heart at 1 am.
The next day, we headed onto campus to find that instead of our usual serve and pass, a women's basketball game was going on. We waited out the game and then began our serve and pass about an hour off schedule. After a pre-match meal, we headed back to the gym to wait for our match to start. Despite the weird rhythm to the match, we won in three and got on the bus to head home as soon as we could and arrived home at 3 am.
Overall it was a good trip despite the obstacles we had to overcome. Hopefully we can have a good week of practices to get ready for another home EIVA weekend, hosting Princeton and George Mason.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at the matches this weekend!
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the Lady Lions clinching a Big Ten title
and a busy month of postseason competition for several teams in March,
GoPSUsports.com caught up with Penn State Acting Director of Athletics Dave
Joyner for an interview this week.Dr.
Joyner talks about the upcoming postseason, Coach O'Brien and a typical week in
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
On Friday and Saturday we faced off against Rutgers- Newark and NJIT respectively, sweeping both teams in three sets to keep our home record at 4-0. It was good to be at home for two weekends in a row, and to be playing great volleyball through that stretch as well. Our whole team stepped up and took care of business, even in the third sets when the starters were taken out. Having such an all-around dominant match just proves how deep our bench can be in times of need. Our team is going to continue to press on through the EIVA schedule in the upcoming weeks into March. We have another road weekend coming up, this next weekend before we take the home floor again before March. Many of us are battling injuries and fatigue from travel, but the team is still putting in some solid work at practice on a daily basis.
Other than that, midterms are either here for many of us or coming up soon, and by this time I'm sure all of us are looking forward to spring break, when the team will be going to California for a week-long trip. In response to Nick Goodell's last post, we all know who the real kings of short court are (shout to my boy Dennis Del Valle). It's a shame what graduation can do to such a dominant tandem in that game. I'm only hoping to pick up where we left off with the addition of Peter Russell.
We hope to see you at the next home matches. Thanks for reading!
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Shortly after head coach Bill O'Brien was hired in January, the Penn State
PRIDE student group organized an opportunity for the students to welcome their
new head football coach.
PRIDE, Penn State Sportsmanship Team, is an organization that was designed to
make Happy Valley a welcoming place for all fans.The group wants to create a positive
environment for fans of both teams at Nittany Lion sporting events.
On Wednesday afternoon, PRIDE members personally delivered a signed welcome
poster to Coach O'Brien in his office at the Lasch Football Building.The group sat in Coach O'Brien's office and
talked for a few minutes before taking a group photo.
As PRIDE president Emily Schultz described what the group does on football
gamedays, Coach O'Brien joked that he doesn't want the organization to be too
nice to visiting teams. Take a look at the meeting.
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By Scott Traweek, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - Ever since losing senior closer Ryan Ignas to Tommy John surgery in the
final month of last season, Penn State has been searching for someone to step
up and fill the crucial vacancy at the end of the bullpen. Now, after Sunday's comeback-win against
Cincinnati, the Nittany Lions may have found their answer.
Joe Kurrasch, a
junior transfer out of the University of California, entered the game in the seventh
inning with Penn State trailing 3-2 and proceeded to shut down the Bearcat
offense, allowing no runs and a mere two hits during the three-inning stretch.The Nittany Lions went on to score three runs
in the eighth inning and emerged victorious by a final count of 5-3.It was the junior lefthander's first official
outing since joining the squad in 2011 and the clutch performance was just what
he had been hoping for.
"It was really good
for my confidence just getting out there and facing live hitters," said
Kurrasch."Getting in that real game
situation, it was really good for my confidence going forward."
The closer is
arguably one of the most important pieces of a well-rounded bullpen.It is his job to enter the game in a tight
situation and hold a one-run lead or keep his team in the game when they are
behind.There is no room for error.He needs to be calm and collected under
pressure, and he needs to be lights out.Kurrasch demonstrated each and every one of these abilities in Sunday's
game and he believes he is prepared to assume the position.
"It's the role that
the coaches gave me and they have confidence in me," said Kurrasch."It's a big responsibility and, moving
forward, just have that be my motivation to go out there and make sure to shut
the game down."
Kurrasch has a wide
variety of pitches in his arsenal including a two- and four-seam fastball, a
change up, a curveball, and a slider.He
likes to freeze hitters with his off-speed pitches, but when the game is on the
line he goes to his overpowering two-seam fastball.
"I'm very confident
in my fastball," said Kurrasch."I think
I can beat a lot of guys with it, so if it's in a tough situation I think that
would be the go-to.Just a good,
Kurrasch was inspired by two different, but talented Major League
pitchers.The first was none other than
former New York Yankees starter and five-time World Series Champion, Andy
"Growing up, I
always looked at Andy Pettitte," recalled Kurrasch."Just watching him and his mentality and his
demeanor, so calm.I kind of took a lot
from him growing up."
The second was San
Francisco Giants' quirky, yet intense closer, Brian Wilson.
Wilson] gets out there, he's very confident in his stuff," said Kurrasch."He knows what his job is and he takes his
job very seriously, but he likes to have fun doing it, so I think he's a player
that I look to for some inspiration."
an injury during his freshman year at California, which led him to transfer to
Penn State.He joined the team in 2011,
but NCAA transfer rules required him to sit out last season.Nevertheless, Kurrasch didn't miss a
beat.He spent the time he had off
recuperating from his injury and preparing himself for when his opportunity
"For me [the
offseason] was really pushing myself physically to get myself in the right
place to where my body can withstand a full season of throwing, get myself in
the right place with regards to my health." said Kurrasch.
He chose Penn State
because he was looking for a new experience.He sought the opportunity to become a better person and he was drawn by the
unity and passion of the Nittany Lion faithful.
"I wanted to put
myself in a place where I could develop myself as a person," said
Kurrasch."I wanted to go some place
unique, some place different.It was
really appealing to me to see the unity that was here and the pride behind Penn
Kurrasch is now a part
of a diverse, but close-knit group of players who have a chemistry that he has
never seen before.They are all
different, yet they value what each teammate brings to the table.In the end, they all have the same goal in
mind: to win.
"We have a very
eclectic group of guys," remarked Kurrasch."Which is great because it keeps things loose, it keeps things
real.The diversity is essential... We
have different personalities, but we have the same goal in mind."
The match is
perfect.Penn State found a gifted
closer and a great addition to the family and Kurrasch found a home away from
the staff, the team, the people, Penn State--We Are Penn State--it's a great
group to be associated with," said Kurrasch."State College as a whole is a great place and I'm proud to be here."
It has been awhile since I last wrote so there is obviously a lot to update everyone on!I have to say...wow does time fly!? I feel like just yesterday we were at our first meet of the season in West Virginia just to find that we are actually now entering our eighth meet! As a team, this year has been nothing but fun and full of great experiences.We are a group of fighters who go in every competition and make the most of the experience we have been given. We have developed some amazing chemistry through all of our travels this year and I can safely say there is unconditional love towards each girl on the team.
As far as gymnastics goes, after a few weeks of traveling, it was great being home in Rec Hall again! It is always fun competing in front of our home crowd! We have also been making a lot of progress at practice.We have been in the gym focusing on the small details that are going to take us from being good to great!So far we have been making great progress with cleaning up some form issues, adding amplitude to skills and focusing on landings.We hope to see these things carry over into competition in the near future and help us increase some scores!
This past weekend was THON weekend. Our team got the honor of making up a dance for the Student Athlete Pep Rally.We ran right over from our meet and autograph session to the BJC to participate in the breathtaking event. For those of you that are not aware of what THON is, it is also known as Penn States Dance Marathon where selected Penn State Students stay on their feet for 46 hours. Penn State students and organizations work all year to raise as much money as possible to help the fight against pediatric cancer. The money raised goes towards the Four Diamonds Fund, which is charity devoted to defeating pediatric cancer through research and caring for patients at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Children's Hospital. This year Penn State raised another record high amount, $10,686,924.83 FOR THE KIDS!What an unbelievable achievement!
Next up is Ohio State this coming weekend! We look forward to an amazing in conference competition against the Buckeyes!
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The corner of Curtin Road and University Drive is a hub of construction
activity as the preliminary steps are ongoing for the new home of Penn State
Excavation work at the site of Pegula Ice Arena, the 6,000-seat home of the
men's and women's ice hockey teams, began in early February.The 200,000-square foot state-of-the-art
facility is scheduled for completion in September of 2013.
As part of the site excavation for Pegula Ice Arena, underground blasting began
on Monday.Blasts will take place
between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 and 3 p.m. from Monday-Friday each day for
the next six weeks.Depending on the
location of each blast, traffic along University Drive is stopped during
blasting efforts.The blasting is necessary
to make way for the arena's foundation.
Mortenson Construction is operating the project on the east side of the
University Park campus.Pegula Ice Arena
is one of three Penn State projects the Golden Valley, Minn. based company has
been awarded.The group also built the
new lacrosse facility, Penn State Lacrosse Field, next to the Multisport
Building.Additionally, Mortenson will
work on the Intramural Building renovation project, which is scheduled for
completion September of 2013.
Men's hockey head coach Guy Gadowsky and women's hockey head coach Josh
Brandwene are excited about the progress at the future home of Pegula Ice
"We're really excited about what's going in there," Coach
Gadowsky said."The Pegulas do things
right and so does Penn State, and it's a great marriage. This arena is going to be awesome. I think it will be one of the premiere
facilities in NCAA hockey."
"It's just tangible
evidence of where we're going as a hockey program," Coach Brandwene said."To see a change every day and know there's
great work being done by great people is very exciting. Everything that this
wonderful facility will do for the Penn State community, the Centre County
region and State College is going to be great."
Take a brief look at
the construction progress at the site of Pegula Ice Arena.
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By Laura Finley, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Confetti and blue and white streamers rained down
on exuberant fans, as the Penn State Lady Lions threw back their heads,
screaming in triumph.
After cruising past Ohio State, 84-66, the Lady Lions received a
standing ovation from over 5,000 fans as echoes of the Penn State Alma Mater
filled the Bryce Jordan Center. This was the emotional scene that played out for
the team on Monday as the Lady Lions won their first Big Ten regular season
title since 2004.
"We stuck together as a team when things got hard," said sophomore guard Maggie
Lucas. "Tonight decided it, but there was a bunch of other games that led up to
this. We took care of business and we're pretty proud of that."
And it was a game to be proud of for the Lady Lions, who worked together to
deny Ohio State the victory. But the team effort did not stop there. With the
trophy presentation over and congratulations given all around, the team assumed
its position under one of the goals as each player and coach cut a single piece
of the net - a small memento of a hard-fought season.
"There are no words," said junior forward Mia Nickson. "It's amazing. We
worked so hard to get here. My team is amazing. I'm so glad I was able to come
here to get this opportunity."
Each player displayed this same sense of awe and thanks, acknowledging the
good and the bad of the season, and their own hope for the future. Hope in
themselves, their team and their university.
"We try our best night in and night out to represent Penn State's
slogan, Success with Honor," said head coach Coquese Washington. "At this
moment, I cannot be prouder to represent Penn State University."
The feeling was mutual for players and fans alike, as the Lady Lions
have battled all season to help bring success with honor back to Penn State.
After starting the Big Ten season 1-2, the team fought hard to get back on
track, working on the team dynamic and defensive skills. Everything finally culminated
on Sunday, as the team played together, with a combined effort to shut down
"This is a two and a half month journey and there's so many things, so
many variables that impact that," said Coach Washington. "Whether or not you
have the fortitude and mental toughness, not to mention the talent, and the
health, there's so many thing that go into it. For this team to do that this
year given everything we've gone through this year, it really means a lot."
After making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year,
the Lady Lions set the stage to accomplish something more this season. The team
soon found out, however, that not everything goes as planned. After playing in
only three conference games, the team dropped two games at home.
"I remember sitting at that table
then and [the press] was asking, 'You're 1-2, how are you going to win? Are you
feeling pressure?' and I was like, 'No, we'll be fine'," said Coach Washington.
"We just needed to fix some things. We were looking at how that was game three
and we played a bad half, so let's fix some things and go on to game four and
then game five and so on and so forth to get to this moment."
This mentality brought it all
back for the Lady Lions who focused on defending and rebounding. While Maggie
Lucas and Alex Bentley seemed to steal the spotlight, racking up points and
assists, other players hung back, patiently waiting for their time to shine.
And it arrived Monday night.
While Lucas and Bentley handled
the ball, setting the pace of the game, it was the posts who made the plays.
Nickson, junior Nikki Greene and sophomore Talia East took control, feeding off
the energy of the crowd, and showing everything they had worked hard to perfect
"A big emphasis has been rebounding this year," said Nickson. "We lost Julia
[Trogele] who was a big guard for us. Everybody has stepped up and with that we
didn't lose any momentum."
This momentum will be crucial for
the Lady Lions as they close the regular season this Sunday, hoping to log
another win and head into the Big Ten tournament on a seven-game winning streak.
For now though, the players reflect on their achievements this season and continue
growing together as a team who stands as a testament to what Penn State is all
about, success with honor.
"It means a lot to me for Penn
State to have this experience, especially after this year and all that our
university community has gone through," said Coach Washington. "For us to give
something to be proud of and to remember that there's a lot of good here at
Penn State; there's a lot of things right. All year long we've tried to be
shining examples of what success with honor means. I'm glad that our community
is able to share in this moment with us."
By Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. - All season long the Penn State Lady Lions and coaches have been saying
one basic thing, "We're just taking it one game at a time."Eventually that "one game at a time" strategy
will add up to something, and that something came into view Monday night.
The Lady Lions are regular-season Big Ten champions.
Coming into the contest with a half-game lead over their opponent, second place
Ohio State, a win would clinch the top seed in the Big Ten tournament and at
least a share of the regular-season title (while also owning the tie-breaker).
A win is exactly what the team got as the Lady Lions dominated all game long to
walk away with an 84-66 win in the Bryce Jordan Center.
This is the program's first regular-season title since 2004, and the first
under head coach Coquese Washington.
"There are no words. It's amazing. It's just amazing," said forward Mia
Nickson."We worked so hard to get here
and I couldn't see it with anyone else around me. My team is amazing. I'm so
glad I was able to come here to get the opportunity."
"All of these kids come from all over the country - California, Texas,
Atlanta, Chicago - and we said `Hey, come to central Pennsylvania and let's win
a Big Ten title,' For them to have that kind of faith and to come here and have
that experience it really means a lot," added Washington.
This group from all over the country put on a show in central Pennsylvania
against the Buckeyes from the tip, and never looked back.
The inside duo of Nikki Greene and Mia Nickson was a combo that could not be
stopped, combining for 43 points and 30 rebounds.A total of two less rebounds than the entire
Ohio State team.
"It (the rebounding) is incredible and that was one of the things we talked
about going into this game," said Washington."Our post really stepped up."
"We just executed the game plan. Whatever coach said in practice, we
just kind of took it to heart," said Greene."We knew that this game was one of the big ones, so we tried to take
advantage of every minute possible."
Taking advantage was a key statement for the Lady Lions as that's
exactly what they did, especially on the boards.
Not only did the squad outrebound Ohio State 60-32, there was also a 29-0 Penn
State advantage on second-chance points.
As big as the rebounding
edge and second-chance points edge both were, they were not the only things
that head coach Coquese Washington was happy about post-game.
"I thought we did a pretty good job on our team defense," she said."I thought we were aggressive. I thought for
most of the game we tried to make them take tough shots."
That defense forced the Buckeyes into tough shots all night long as they never
seemed to be able to get into an offensive rhythm.
As the Lion defense clamped down early to build a 15-point halftime lead, the
offense and rebounding continued to stay strong as Ohio State was never able to
make a run.
As exciting as the game was Monday night the team still has work to do.The Lady Lions will have one more home game
Sunday against Minnesota before heading on to the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With one game left to play on Sunday, the Lady
Lions already know where they will be seeded for the Big Ten Tournament at
Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Thanks to an 84-66 rout of 11th-ranked Ohio State on Monday night, the Lions
clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title and the top overall seed in the
Big Ten Tournament, which begins on March 1.This will mark the fifth time since Penn State joined the Big Ten that the
Lions will be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.
The Lady Lions will open play on Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m. against the winner
of the No. 8-No. 9 matchup, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March
1.The winner of the quarterfinal
matchup on Friday will play in Saturday's second semifinal matchup at
approximately 7:30 p.m. on March 3.The
championship game is slated for Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m.
Nonetheless, as Coach Washington said after Monday's win over the Buckeyes,
there is still one more regular season contest to be played.The Lady Lions are focused on Minnesota, and
Minnesota only.The postseason
preparations will begin immediately after Sunday's Pink Zone game with the
Sunday's clash is a big one for the Lady Lions.A win would hand Penn State sole ownership of the regular season Big Ten
crown.Additionally, it would send the
Lions into the postseason on a seven-game winning streak.Penn State enters the weekend having won 11
of its last 12 games.
Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Take a look back at Penn State's dominant 84-66 victory over 11th-ranked Ohio State on Monday inside the Bryce Jordan Center. With the win, the Lions clinch a share of the 2012 Big Ten title and the top overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Welcome to the
GoPSUsports.com in-game blog for the Lady Lion basketball team.
With Big Ten title implications on the line, the Lady Lions (21-5, 11-3) are
set to clash with the 11th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (23-3, 10-3) on Big
Monday (7 p.m. ESPN2).The stakes are
clear for both teams.A win for Penn
State would hand the Lions at least a share of the Big Ten regular season
title.An Ohio State victory would vault
the Buckeyes into first place in the standings with two games to play.
Penn State finishes the season with a home game against Minnesota on Sunday,
while the Buckeyes have Minnesota at home and Nebraska on the road.The Lady Lions will be looking to slow down
the guard duo of Samantha Prahalis and Tayler Hill.Prahalis and Hill average a combined 41.1
points per game this season.
The Lady Lions enter the game on a five-game winning streak.Overall, Penn State has won 10 out of its
last 11 games dating back to Jan. 12.A
win on Monday night would mark Penn State's first Big Ten regular season title
Check back throughout the game for updates.
Starting Lineups Penn State: G - Bentley, G - Lucas, G -
Gray, F - Nickson, C - Greene Ohio State: G - Prahalis, G - Hill,
G - Stokes, F - Beach, C - Adams
First Half: 15:53 - Penn State 9, Ohio State 7
As expected, the pace has been very fast in the early minutes.The Lady Lions have worked the ball into the
paint on every possession but one in the first 4:07.Nikki Greene has two baskets in the paint,
Mia Nickson drew a foul on a post move and Talia East has a turnaround jumper
in the lane.On the other end of the
floor, Ohio State's scoring duo of Tayler Hill and Samantha Prahalis has
accounted for all seven Ohio State points.It looks as though we are headed for a high-scoring affair in the Jordan
11:02 - Penn State 22, Ohio State 15 Nickson has been superb already in the first
half.The junior forward has already
scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds.In all, 18 of Penn State's 22 points have
been scored by the Lion post players.It
was clear from the opening tip that the Lions wanted to be physical in the
paint.Thus far, Ohio State has had no
answer on the defensive end of the floor.
7:53 - Penn State 28, Ohio State 19 The Lady Lion lead has grew to 11 after a
driving layup from Alex Bentley.Prahalis answered with a jumper from the elbow, but Penn State is still
in control because of its physical play in the paint.The Lions are shooting 42 percent and lead by
nine.Ohio State has missed some open
shots, but the Lions have done a nice job on the defensive end of the floor
3:16 - Penn State 37, Ohio State 26 The Buckeyes closed to within four at 28-24 with
6:49 to play, but the Lions answered with a big 7-0 scoring spurt.Greene tallied a basket before Maggie Lucas
got on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer.Gray then sank a transition jumper to quickly put the Lions back up by
11.Greene has been strong in the first
half with 12 points and eight rebounds to lead the Lions.Nickson currently has nine tallies and eight
0:00 - Penn State 45, Ohio State 30 Thanks to a 17-6 run to close out the first
half, the Lady Lions have a 15-point lead at the break.The Penn State post players were dominant in
the first 20 minutes of action with Greene tallying a first-half double-double
with 16 points and 10 rebounds.Nickson
added nine tallies and nine rebounds.Penn State scored 20 of its 45 points in the paint, and the Buckeyes
truly had no answer for the Lions' post play.As a team, the Lions shot 41 percent from the field, while the Buckeyes
managed just 37 percent shooting.The
Lions played a very strong first half of basketball en route to a 15-point