PARK, Pa. - Welcome to in-game coverage for the 2012-13 Penn State women's
basketball season. Each home game, GoPSUsports.com will provide insight
from press row. Check back often for running updates as the action unfolds.
The Nittany Lions open their 2012-13 campaign versus Howard this afternoon in
the Bryce Jordan Center.
NOTE: Senior Nikki Greene made her 100th career start on Sunday
versus Howard. Greene has started every game of her Penn State career.
1st Half: 11:52 - No. 8/8 Penn State 15,
After some technical difficulties, we are up and running...as are the Lady
Lions. Penn State trailed 7-5 heading into the first media timeout, but solid
defense and seven points combined from Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas. Lucan hit
a three coming out of the first media timeout to get the offense some momentum
and connected on a jumper to move the PSU lead to three points later in the
action. So far, Penn State holds the edge in rebounds (9-6) and steals (4-2),
while forcing six turnovers and committing just four.
1st Half: 6:58 - No. 8/8 Penn State 21, Howard
Penn State has struggled to find any momentum on the offensive end and some
sloppy play before the third media timeout of the first half has given Howard
the opening to knot the score, 21-21. The Lady Lions have turned the ball over
seven times and Howard has seven steals, so far in the contest.
1st Half: 3:49 - No. 8/8 Penn State 25, Howard
Howard is shooting 47-percent from the field and has connected on three-of-six
from the beyond the arc to match their largest lead of the game at six points.
The Lady Lions have connected on 45-percent from the field and own a 14-10 edge
on the boards, but nine turnovers have hampered the offensive flow and they are
just one-of-seven from three point range.
End of the 1st Half - No. 8/8 Penn State
39, Howard 31
Maggie Lucas scored seven points over the final four minutes of the half to
help Penn State outscore Howard 14-0 down the stretch and take an eight point
lead into the locker room. At the half, Penn State is 14 of 29 from the field
(48%), nine of 15 from the free throw line (60%) and owns the edge in rebounds
(18-15), steals (10-7) and blocks (2-1). The Bison have forced ten PSU
turnovers, but have turned it over 15 times themselves to lead to 17 Penn State
2nd Half: 15:49 - No. 8/8 Penn State 46,
Since Howard built a six points lead, 31-25, late in the first half, it has
been all Penn State. The Lady Lions have found that offensive footing to the
tune of a 21-4 run over the last eight game minutes. Lucas currently leads all
scorers with 20 points - including three, three-point field goals - she also
has two assists. Bentley has seven steals, ten points, four rebounds and three
assists for PSU.
2nd Half: 11:36 - No. 8/8 Penn State 53,
Penn State has forced Howard into 19 turnovers and turned those into 22
points, however, the game has remained relatively close with the Lady Lions
committing 15 turnovers of their own. Mia Nickson leads the way with five
rebounds for PSU, while Lucas connected on her fourth three-pointer of the game
just before the media timeout to give her 23 in the game.
2nd Half: 7:36 - No. 8/8 Penn State 58, Howard
Just four minutes came off of the clock between media timeouts, but Penn
State continues to hold a comfortable lead against the Bison. Howard continues
to struggle against the pressure of the Lady Lion defense, now with 18
turnovers, but have turned 16 PSU turnovers into 20 points.
2nd Half: 3:10 - No. 8/8 Penn State 68, Howard
Nickson now has a double-double with 14 points and ten rebounds and Lucas
sits on 23 points in the contest. The pressure of the Lady Lions has forced
Howard to shoot just 27-percent so far in the second half, while the Lions have
shot 44-percent through 17 minutes of the second half. Penn State's owns a 21-6
edge in fast break points and a 26-14 advantage in the paint.
FINAL - No. 8/8 Penn State 72, Howard 61
Discipline was a key
word throughout the postgame press conference, because I think that most of the
Lady Lions feel as if they were fortunate to come away with the victory. It's
not often that a team turns the ball over 20 times and is still able to win the
game, but the Lady Lions were able to overcome some sloppy play early on in
their win over Howard to open the season at 1-0 for the seventh straight year.
One reason was the play of Maggie Lucas, who poured in 25 points in the game,
including seven over the final three minutes of the first half to give PSU the
lead heading into halftime. Mia Nickson opened her senior season with a double-double
of 14 points - ten in the second half - and ten rebounds. Nickson was tied with
Bentley for second on the team in points, going six-of-ten from the field and
connected on both of her free throws, while her 10 rebounds were a game high.
Saadia Doyle - the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year - was as advertised,
ending the game with 36 points, six rebounds and three steals. Doyle connected
on nine-of-21 from the floor, but was 17-for-23 at the free throw stripe,
setting an opponent record for free throw attempts in a game. The record was
previously held by Georgeann Wells of West Virginia who was 19-for-20 on Feb.
Fast Break Press Conference Recap
"I think we have to play a lot more disciplined than we played tonight. We have
to be better on both ends of the floor. We have to be more disciplined." - Head
coach Coquese Washington
"They wanted to play better. They wanted to have a better performance, but it
is what it is. We know the things we have to work on and, on the other hand, we
can be confident in the things we did well. It's November, it's our first game
and we didn't play as well as we wanted to play, but it gives us information,
it gives us feedback so we know the things we need to get better at. And we
have to do it quickly, because we know going to Texas A&M is going to be a
big challenge for us." - Head coach Coquese Washington
"We're happy that we got the win, but have to be more disciplined." - Junior
guard Maggie Lucas
"I just took advantage of my opportunities. When I got the ball I just tried to
make a positive play, whether it be with a pass or making a shot. (Howard) was really
physical down low, so (our post players) just tried to do what we could." - Redshirt-Senior
forward Mia Nickson
"We came in to the game and knew Howard was a good team...We have a lot to work
on over the next couple of days and I look forward to working on our weaknesses
in practice. We need to have a couple of good practices before we take on Texas
A&M." - Senior guard Alex Bentley
- Penn State is meeting the Bison for the first time since the 1989 season
and have played Howard just twice in program history. The Lady Lions are 2-0
all-time against Howard winning 82-44 at home on Dec. 2, 1980 and claiming a 107-69
neutral site win on Nov. 26, 1989. The Lady Lions are a perfect 6-0 all-time
against MEAC schools.
- Senior guard Alex Bentley opens her senior season ranked among the Top 15 in
the Penn State record books in a host of categories. The Indianapolis native
enters her final year in the blue and white 15th in scoring (1,335), 10th in
assists (455), 12th in steals (216) and 10th in field goals attempted (1,245).
- The Lady Lions have won 13 of their 16 home openers since playing their first
full season in the Bryce Jordan Center in 1996-97. Penn State is riding a
string of six straight home opening wins, with their last loss coming at the
hands of No. 1 Duke on Nov. 18, 2005, and will play their tenth season opening
game at home since beginning the 1996-97 slate with a victory over Maryland at
- Howard swept the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason awards, taking the
top spot in the preseason coaches poll and watching as Saadia Doyle - the 2011-12
MEAC Player of the Year - was selected to repeat that honor as the preseason
choice for the award. The Bison opened the season on Friday at St. Francis
(Pa.), falling 69-61 to the Red Flash. Doyle led the squad in points and
rebounds with 21 and seven, respectively, as senior Cheyenne Curly-Payne
distributed seven assists.