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Taylor Leads Lady Lions Past Alcorn State

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior point guard Dara Taylor had a feeling it was going to be a good afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center when her first two jump shot attempts went down on Sunday.

9562373.jpegThe Wilmington, Del., native knocked down the game's first two baskets, and Taylor did not look back from there.  She reached 20 points for the first time in her career on a red-hot 9-for-12 from the field.  Taylor also had seven steals and four assists in Penn State's 85-62 victory over Alcorn State.

"It doesn't feel any different than any other game. We were just focused on getting the win today," Taylor said.  "My shot felt good and I found some easy shots in transition...After my first two shots went in, I knew I was going to shoot the ball pretty decently today."

Head coach Coquese Washington liked Taylor's approach on the offense end of the floor.

"I thought she was very aggressive offensively and we like our players to be aggressive offensively," Washington said.  "I thought she kind of came out and set the tone for us being aggressive on the offensive end."

With the Big Ten season just around the corner, Washington said that Sunday's victory provided a great opportunity to get several younger players significant minutes.  In all, 10 different Lions played 11 or more minutes in Sunday's game.

"Well, we did get to play a lot of our young kids, get them some experience that they sorely needed," Washington said.  "They sorely needed to be out there and play and get a sense of what it feels like on game day.  I think that contributed to the ebbs and flows of the game...The experience our young kids got is going to be valuable."

The Lady Lions head into the holiday week with an 8-3 mark.  Washington said she is pleased with the progress the Lions have made, but understands there is a lot of room for improvement.  Nonetheless, optimism is high as the Big Ten season looms.

"Moving forward, I think there are a lot of things we can get better at," said Washington.  "We're making steps but we have a lot of steps yet to make and we have to develop a level of consistency, a level of individual consistency and team consistency that has to improve as we move into conference play."

Penn State will get three days off around the Christmas holiday before getting back to work on Thursday in preparation for the final non-conference game of the season against Hartford on Dec. 29.  Big Ten play begins on Jan. 5 at Iowa.

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