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VIDEO: Shootaround Preview with Brian Daly
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014-'15 men's basketball season. Tonight, the Nittany Lions travel to the Breslin Center to take on Michigan State.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - GoPSUsports.com previews Wednesday's 7 p.m. tip at Michigan State with associate head coach Brian Daly. Break down the game here.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- GoPSUsports.com catches up with junior Morgan McIntosh (197 pounds) leading
up to Penn State's match against Minnesota (Sunday at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall).
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
Pa. - With just a little less than a month left until the first game of the
2015 season, the Penn State softball team is entering the final stages of
preseason prep before traveling to Boca Raton, Fla. for its first tournament of
With a mix of new
and returning players training since the fall, the Lions are determined to
improve and are entering the season with high intensity throughout every
Returning for her
second year as head coach, Amanda Lehotak is ready to hit the ground running.
She is preparing the team for the new season and new chance to make a splash in
the Big Ten.
"I'm always eager
to start a new season," said head coach Amanda Lehotak. "We were really
impressed with the team's work ethic this fall and I can already start to see
some major improvements in some of our weaker areas last year."
Last year the Lions
went 14-35 overall, but instead of dwelling on the wins and losses the team is
using them to its advantage and learning from past mistakes to grow.
"I think this group
is capable of doing great things," Lehotak said. "We have a good batch of fresh
talent being guided by our returning players. Already they've shown a constant
willingness to work hard and improve during the preseason and I'm looking
forward to see that intensity continue."
This year, the
Lions will be welcoming six new players, five freshmen as well as a junior
transfer. Mia Monopoli is expected to compete for playing time behind the plate
and is looking forward to opening day.
"I'm more excited than anything to start the season," said Monopoli. "I mean
there are obviously some nerves but I can't wait for the games to start. We've been preparing
since the beginning of the school year so it's crazy thinking the season is
this close to officially starting."
While some of the players are entering their first season as Nittany Lions,
others are returning to Beard Field ready for another slate of games.
Among the group of returning players ready to grow from last season is senior
pitcher Marissa Diescher.
"I think this year is
going to be a big year for the program," said Diescher. "We have a lot of
talent this year and I'm excited to see how everything meshes together once we
start the season. I'm looking forward to proving ourselves this year since last
year didn't end exactly the way we were hoping it would."
will be starting the season on the road in California, Florida, Mississippi and
Texas. The team won't be playing at Beard Field until March 18.
"We intend on giving it our all this season and really proving ourselves," said
Diescher. "Whether it's in a
tournament or individual game we want to always play our best."
Although the season doesn't officially start until Feb. 6, the players have
been getting both physically and mentally ready for months.
"The thing about being an athlete is you always want to get better both
personally and as a team so we never really stop training," said Diescher. "My
goal this season is to improve my individual game and help my team win as much
as I can."
As the start of the season approaches, both the coaching staff and the players
are staying focused and keeping intensity levels up during training and using
last year's upset for motivation.
"As a coach, our biggest thing is to put the team in the best position to
succeed," said Lehotak. "We see great potential these players and want to make
sure we're providing them with the proper training and confidence to play at
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- Having been on the brink of its first Big Ten win for the past two weeks, the
Nittany Lion basketball team (12-6, 0-5 Big Ten) team heads on the road for a
Wednesday night (7 p.m. on BTN) tilt against Michigan State (12-6, 3-2 Big
After a heartbreaking loss to Purdue on Sunday in overtime, the Nittany Lions
can't help but think about how close they are to getting over the hump in Big
Ten play. The Lions have played in four-straight games that were one-possession
contests in the final three minutes of play. Despite coming up short in all
four, the mindset and confidence level for head coach Patrick Chambers does not
change because he knows how competitive the team has been.
"I believe in what we are doing," Chambers said. "I have great faith in what we
are doing. Our record, it doesn't indicate how good we are playing. We are
playing well in the Big Ten. We are still 12-6, but in the Big Ten it doesn't
indicate some of the good things we are doing. I believe in this process, and I
know it's a process. It's going to take time to get it where I want it to be."
Penn State's record isn't indicative of how close the team is to a much
different start to conference play. However, the Lions know that it's time to
pick themselves up off the mat and find a way to win. Chambers often talks
about earning the right to make the winning plays. Simply put the Lions just
need a ball or two to bounce their way to get the results they have been so
close to achieving.
"The other teams in the league are going to go through these rough patches
(like us)," Chambers said. "The Big Ten is a gauntlet. It challenges you
mentally and physically on a nightly basis. And we know, right now that we are
going to be in one-possession games every night. The strong mentally survive,
and they get through the rough patches."
The key to Penn State's success from here hinges on the defensive end of the
floor. Chambers wants to see more consistent high-level effort on the defensive
end of the floor for 40 minutes. It's imperative to compete on defense and on
the glass possession by possession in conference play, and the players know
what type of effort it takes to win.
"We shouldn't have to turn on and turn off our effort," Taylor said. "It's just
something that we should be used to doing. We need to (play with that effort
and attitude) no matter if it's the first half, second half or overtime...We are
not changing anything. We are going to continue to do the things that we have
been doing, but focus on defense a little more and our rotations. We are
focused on Michigan State and getting ready for a battle against a great Big
The Spartans enter the game with a 3-2 record in Big Ten play and a 12-6 mark
overall. Michigan State suffered a 75-59 setback at Maryland over the weekend.
The Maryland loss snapped a three-game winning streak for MSU, which included
triumphs over Northwestern (84-77), Iowa (75-61) and Indiana (70-50). The
Spartans lead the Big Ten in 3-point percentage at 40.1. Additionally, MSU
enters the game as the conference's top rebounding team (+7.3 per game) and
assists leader (18.0 per game).
Junior guard Denzel Valentine leads three Michigan State players in
double-figures. Valentine, who is averaging 13.9 ppg while shooting 45 percent
from the floor and 44 percent from the foul line, has led Michigan State in
scoring on seven different occasions this season. Senior guard Travis Trice is
averaging 13.8 tallies per game. Trice also leads the team in assists with 6.1
per game. Senior forward Branden Dawson is averaging 11.5 points and a Big
Ten-leading 9.5 rebounds per game.
The Nittany Lions will only play Michigan State once this year. Wednesday's
game marks Penn State's 18th game in East Lansing. The Lions are 4-13 all-time
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior goaltender Celine Whitlinger stopped 53 shots
over the course of two games to help lead Penn State (12-9-3, 7-4-1 CHA) to a
series sweep of conference foe RIT (8-14-3, 2-9-1 CHA) this past weekend at
Pegula Ice Arena.
In Saturday's matinee, Whitlinger kicked away 27 bullets to push the
Nittany Lions to victory, 2-1. Then, in Sunday afternoon's contest, Whitlinger
posted 26 saves to preserve the win, 3-1.
"Celine was so efficient, so poised, so square all weekend long," said head
coach Josh Brandwene. "I'm tremendously proud of her. It's all about her effort
and it's all about the great job she's doing."
Freshman defenseman Bella Sutton, who had two goals and an assist on the weekend,
echoed the words of her head coach.
"Having Celine back there is a huge weight off my shoulders just knowing we
have great goalies behind us, so I'm just doing whatever I can to help her out
and make sure I can block any shots that she can't see," said Sutton.
In game one, both teams skated out to strong starts. Despite a scoreless
first period, the Nittany Lions outshot the Tigers, 12-8, and were on the
doorstep of finding the back of the net.
After a misdirected shot by RIT's Jess Paton trickled past the left pad of
Whitlinger 2:22 into the second period, Shannon Yoxheimer's power play goal tied
things up at the 8:04 mark. Yoxheimer beautifully redirected Sutton's shot from
the point to bury the biscuit.
"I love the work and the growth that both of our power play units continue
to put in," said Brandwene. "I thought we had great looks on even the power
plays that we had before. We broke through and scored, so we had great puck
movement, great communication. And again, you got a good low shot from Bella
and Shannon perfectly placed in front of the net."
Just over two minutes had ticked off the clock following Yoxheimer's goal
when a wrist shot from Sutton atop the right wing circle provided the Nittany
Lions with the game-winning goal.
"I got the puck at the point, and really I was just trying to throw it on
net," said Sutton. "My teammates did a good job of screening and getting me
that puck, so I just threw it on net and hoped for the best."
The Blue and White carried momentum into game two, as Laura Bowman netted
her second shorthanded goal of the season at the 8:49 mark in the second
"Honestly, I was trying to go for a pad pass, but it ended up hitting the
inside of [Binnington's] pad," said Bowman who has 12 goals on the season. "She
does have a pretty open five-hole."
Sutton continued her "offensively-minded defenseman" mentality into the
second game. The Shoreview, Minn., native gave Penn State a 2-0 lead when, on
the power play, she fired a shot from the point through traffic past RIT's net
minder, Ali Binnington.
"There was traffic in front...so I just got a nice shot through, hoping to
get one on the net for my teammates to tip in or rebound in," said Sutton.
RIT cut the lead in half at the 12:31 mark in the third period when Cassie
Clayton scored her second goal of the season. However, junior forward Hannah
Hoenshell put the fans at ease just over a minute later when she found the back
of the net for her fourth tally of the year to give the Blue and White a
"Just from this weekend we know that when we stick to our game plan and
everyone is doing their job that we will get the results we want as long as
we're working 110 percent every shift," said Sutton.
The key for Penn State over the weekend was special teams play. The Tigers
finished 0-for-9 on the power play, while the Nittany Lions managed to score
two power play and one short-handed goal.
"Our team really prides ourselves on our special teams," said Bowman. "We have
one of the best percentages in the league. Sometimes we actually get excited
for the power play and penalty kill."
With the two triumphs, Penn State notched its second home
series sweep of the season
"It feels great," said Sutton when asked about the series sweep. "It's really
cool that our hard work is paying off, but we have to look forward to the next
weekend. Enjoy this, but be ready to work hard this week to prepare for next
The Nittany Lions will look to extend their two-game winning streak next
weekend, Jan. 23-24, as they travel to New Hampshire for their final two
non-conference games of the season.
Darrell Hill, GoPSUsports.com Student-Athlete Writer
PARK, Pa. - The rust is off and just like that we're off to our second track
meet of the season. Coming off of last weeks Penn State Relays I felt like our
team had a strong showing and showed a lot more confidence than this point last
year. This weeks practice was a lot more upbeat and the team really seemed to
be very dialed in spite of starting our first week of spring semester classes.
Pre-meet preparation was capped off by a wonderful team dinner prepared by
Rotelli's. It was great to sit down and eat with the team and coaches and take
our mind off the meet for a while and really enjoy each other's company.
atmosphere on meet day here at Penn State is always great. We've practiced
against each other for so long that anytime we can get a couple teams in here
to compete with the intensity is always high and leads to great performances.
We had a number of huge performances this past weekend but our triple jumpers
Steve Waithe and Brian Leap really led the way. As I was warming up for the
shot put I happened to look over and see Steve jump 52ft on his first jump, and
at that point I knew exactly what type of day this was going to be.
off will be great for training and to get some people healthy, but I cannot
wait for Penn State National for another opportunity to wear the Blue &
White! Go State.
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Scoring five of Penn State's seven goals this
weekend, Casey Bailey, Taylor Holstrom and David Goodwin have proven themselves
as a force to reckon with for the Nittany Lions. The three have been dominant
all year, and they are determined to keep the ball rolling.
Their weekend success led the team to a 2-2 tie and a 5-2 victory against
Michigan State, securing the Lions a first place spot in the Big Ten standings.
On Friday, Goodwin produced a third period, tying goal with the help of Bailey
and Holstrom to force overtime and later a shootout. Although the Lions
(11-7-3, 5-2-1-0 B1G) ultimately fell to the Spartans (7-11-2, 1-3-2-2 B1G) in
the shootout, the team rallied back in the second matchup, erasing any doubts
about its hunger to win.
The three forwards notched four goals on Saturday with two from Bailey, one
from Goodwin and one from Holstrom.
"I thought they could have had a few more," head coach Guy Gadowsky said of the
line following Saturday's win. "What'd they have, four I think? Boy, I thought
they could have had a few more. They just seem to be clicking. I thought they
all worked very hard tonight."
The three have consistently been playing their best hockey. They know what to
expect from each other, but most of all they love putting the puck on net. The
results are merely a product of their constant efforts.
Bailey is currently tied for second in the nation with 16 goals scored, which
has given him much recognition. Nevertheless, he believes his success is a
product of the chemistry he has with his linemates. His achievements are
directly related to the work he, Holstrom and Goodwin put in on a daily basis.
"It's definitely not me doing all the work," Bailey said. "I think if you look
at a lot of my goals, kind of like the empty netter right there, without these
two guys battling, without the whole team, the defense are involved as well. So
it's definitely a team credit."
Also a major factor in Saturday's victory was goaltender Matthew Skoff, who
came up with 28 saves. His play sparked the team's confidence, and his
performance marked a big bounce back after his previous two starts.
The junior's comfort in the net only grew as he watched the team's top line steal
"These guys have clicked since the beginning of last year," said Skoff. "It's
fun to watch, and I know when they're on the ice it's something where I can
enjoy watching what they do in the other end. Obviously, they've been scoring
so it helps whoever is in the net out."
Bailey, Holstrom and Goodwin are looking to continue their success, especially
in Big Ten play. They are ready to face whatever challenges opposing teams
throw their way.
"Certainly they're on a roll right now," Gadowsky said of the forwards. "All
three of them seem to have synergy with each other. All three of them are
working very, very hard away from the puck, and I think that's sort of started
by Taylor Holstrom right from day one of training camp. He set a real high
standard, real high bar in terms of work ethic, and I think those two have
matched his work ethic. I think you're seeing really good things happen."
With their success, including the line's impressive showing against Michigan
State, comes some jokes and friendly competition, which only makes playing
together more fun for the three.
"Goodwin was telling me I stole it from him," said Bailey when discussing his
second goal on Saturday. "But I just think I'm a little hungrier than him."
"I'm just doing what I can," Goodwin joked back, "to not let Casey Bailey
outscore me at this homestand."
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The past four seasons, the back half of the Penn
State wrestling team's lineup has always been considered a murderer's row of
While there are
some new faces in those spots this year, the production level hasn't dropped
off much. Against Purdue on Sunday, that became apparent quickly.
Going into halftime
down 9-6 to the Boilermakers, the Nittany Lions got a huge boost their upper
weight wrestlers, who won five-straight matches to clinch a 26-9 victory.
comeback were two wrestlers with very different experience levels, freshman
Garett Hammond and senior and two-time All-American Matt Brown.
needed a little more fire," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "So these guys
[Brown and Hammond] came out and got things turned around a little bit for us.
Again, Purdue wrestled hard."
After no wrestler
managed to score 10 or more points in the first five bouts of the afternoon,
Hammond changed the tempo with a high-scoring 16-11 win over Pat Robinson and Brown
followed it up with a pin over Chad Welch, which turned the three-point deficit
into a 15-9 lead.
In the 165-pound
match, Hammond held off Robinson in an exciting bout that featured a combined
six takedowns, three reversals and a near fall.
behind 2-0 in the opening minute of the first period, the freshman battled back
with a quick escape and takedown, then added a reversal and near fall for an
8-4 lead at the end of one. He would later score another takedown and reversal
in what was the highest scoring bout of the afternoon.
The win capped an
impressive weekend for the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, native, who earned a
13-4 major decision on Friday against Nick Visicaro of Rutgers.
"I wanted to
wrestle well, and there's 10 guys so just trying to do my part and wrestle
hard," Hammond said. "We wrestled a lot, we had two matches last weekend and
two matches this weekend so I was a little sore and a little tired but there's
a lot of guys and lot of fans that support you so you just want to go out there
and I just wanted to wrestle hard and score as many times as I could."
Now 18-7 on the
year and 4-4 in dual meets, Hammond has made steady improvements during his
first year in the starting lineup.
knows there is plenty of work for him to do. While his shot taking and
offensive moves were on point Sunday, he is determined to improve his defense so
he can limit the number of takedowns against him.
"There was a lot of
points scored [today] and I wanted to keep wrestling, but there's a lot of
things I need to work on, Hammond said. "I feel like effort-wise I was doing
okay, but just cleaning up and making a little more focus on top. It's good
when I'm getting reversals, but when I'm getting reversed it's not good."
Brown on the other
hand, wasted little time securing his victory. The Penn State captain brought
Welch to the mat for a quick 2-0 lead and immediately went to work securing the
fall, which he completed just 1:21 into the first period.
It was the seventh
pin of the season for Brown, who has now scored 40 dual points for the Nittany
Lions this season while giving up just three.
Brown, who will be
looking to secure his third All-American honor and first individual national
title in March, knows his responsibility as the team's most seasoned veteran.
With the score tied 9-9 when he took the mat, the 174-pounder gave his team the
boost of energy it needed.
"Yeah I definitely
would say there is a little bit of urgency," Brown said. "Not pressure, but
urgency. I was trying to ride hard on top, trying to score near fall, and then
[the pin] kind of fell into my lap. I was riding him tough and I was able to
From that point,
Matt McCutcheon, Morgan McIntosh and Jimmy Lawson took care of their matches at
184, 197 and 285, respectively. In a match that was tightly contested through
five bouts, it was a much-welcomed finish.
"I thought [Brown's
win] was big, you heard the crowd, it was huge," Sanderson said. "You gotta
love Rec Hall, it's an amazing place to compete and you don't have to do much
to get people fired up. You know, you really just have to score some points, go
get a pin. Really, it's a competitor's dream, it doesn't get any better than
that and Matt took advantage of that."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion
wrestling team (8-1, 4-1 Big Ten) won all five matches following intermission
to pull away from Purdue for a 26-9 victory over Purdue in Rec Hall on Sunday.
Matt Brown's pin at 174 pounds and Morgan McIntosh's technical fall victory
headlined Penn State's surge after halftime. Check out some highlights from
Sunday's match and hear from head coach Cael Sanderson, Brown and Garett
Hammond after the match.