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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com from Penn State's senior
day clash against Nebraska inside Beaver Stadium.
Check back here throughout gameday for the all-new interactive blog coverage
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Nittany Lion basketball team kicks off a stretch of four games in seven
days on Sunday against Longwood in the Bryce Jordan Center (1 p.m.).
Penn State's clash with Longwood begins the four-game Barclays Classic. The Lions host Monmouth on Tuesday (6 p.m.)
before traveling to Brooklyn on Friday for a matchup in the Barclays Center
against St. John's (7 p.m.) and then either Georgia Tech or Mississippi one day
Head coach Patrick Chambers said on Friday that the team is eager to kick off a
"We've got to keep sticking to what we are doing and improve each day,"
Chambers said. "We are tinkering with
some lineups to get Tim, D.J. and Ross some rest (this week)...We need our bench
to step up. I think they can do
more. They just have to be solid in what
Read some areas to watch as the Lions prepare to meet Longwood.
1. Jack Looking to Stay Hot
Sophomore forward Donovon Jack played the best game of his Nittany Lion
career on Tuesday night against La Salle.
Jack nailed his first two field goal attempts en route to an 18-point
night for the Nittany Lions. With Jack's
size and shooting ability, he creates a matchup problem for the post defenders
guarding him. When the Reading native
knocks down perimeter shots, it pulls post players from the opposing teams out
of the paint. In doing so, Jack's
shooting opens the lane for the dynamic backcourt duo of Tim Frazier and D.J.
Newbill, in addition to Ross Travis and Brandon Taylor.
"We want to open up the floor. I knew Donovon was very much capable of making
threes. And that's what makes us so tough to defend," Chambers said.
2. Taylor Fills the Stat Sheet
Head coach Patrick Chambers often talks about his guards being stat sheet
stuffers. File sophomore forward Brandon
Taylor as a stat sheet stuffer following his performance in Tuesday's win over
La Salle. Taylor played a complete
basketball game for the Nittany Lions.
He scored 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting from the field (2-for-4 from
three), pulled down eight rebounds and added four blocks. Additionally, Taylor committed just two
personal fouls and played 33 minutes for the Nittany Lions. When Taylor is active on both ends of the
floor, like he was against the Explorers, he brings an added dimension to the
Nittany Lions starting lineup.
3. Hot Shooting in First Half
The Nittany Lions have been a strong team out of the gate in their past
three outings. Starting fast on the
offensive end of the floor is huge for confidence, and it has paid dividends
for the Lions, who are averaging 84.0 points per game in the last three
contests. During the first half, Penn
State has shot better than 45 percent in each of the last three, including better
than 59 percent from the field in two of the three games. As a team, Penn State enters the fifth game
on the schedule shooting a combined 47 percent from the floor and 39 percent
from beyond the arc. Taylor is shooting
a team-best 59.4 percent from the field during the first four games
4. Scouting Longwood
Longwood Lancers enter their Friday night matchup against Brown with a 2-1
record. Following an 82-44 loss at South
Carolina to open the season, Longwood notched victories at TCU (82-79) and at
home against Mars Hill (88-70). Under
the direction of first-year head coach Jayson Gee, Longwood returned seven
lettermen and three starters for the 2013-'14 season. Senior guard Tristan Carey leads the team in
scoring at 20.0 points per game. Carey
has attempted 28 3-pointers in three games while shooting at a 39 percent
clip. Carey is one of four Longwood
players averaging double-figures.
Sophomore forward Karl Ziegler is the team's leading rebounder at 7.3 per
game. Longwood is a member of the Big
Gameday Central | Game Notes | Nebraska Scouting Report | Press
VIDEO: Player Q&As | VIDEO: Practice Interviews | Senior Day Notes
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (6-4, 3-3) will play their
final four quarters of football inside Beaver Stadium for 2013 when they
welcome Nebraska (7-3, 4-2) for a 3:30 p.m. (TV-BTN) kick on Senior Day.
Seventeen Nittany Lion seniors will be honored prior to kickoff on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by
3:10 p.m. for the Senior Day ceremony that will honor a special 2013 class.
On the field, Penn State and Nebraska are among the 12 Division I FBS programs
that have posted 725 wins or more in program history. The Cornhuskers, who have won the last three
meetings, own an 8-7 on-field edge against the Nittany Lions in the all-time
Last week, Allen Robinson's eight catches for 98 yards gave the junior wideout
a Penn State season record of 81 receptions.
The Biletnikoff Award semifinalist's 98-yard performance and a
season-high 289 rushing yards fueled the Lions to a 45-21 win over Purdue.
Nebraska enters the game having won two of its last three games. The Huskers had a two-game winning streak
snapped in Lincoln last week when they fell to No. 13 Michigan State by a score
of 41-28. Led by the Big Ten's top
rusher, Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten in rushing offense.
In addition to the Senior Day ceremony, there are several events planned around
Saturday's final game in Beaver Stadium for 2013. Penn State Athletics and the Central
Pennsylvania Food Bank have teamed up for their second annual food drive, which
continues through Nov. 24. Fans are encouraged to "Stuff a Blue Bus"
by dropping off canned goods at the following drop-off locations: Bryce Jordan
Center, Jeffrey Field, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park and the Central
Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau. The goal for "Stuff a Blue
Bus" is to collect 10,000 lbs. of food.
Former defensive end Dave Robinson will be honored at Saturday's game for his remarkable career and
recent Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. He is the sixth member of the Penn
State Football program to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Robinson was an All-American in 1962 and also has been enshrined in the College
Football Hall of Fame. He earned All-Pro honors with the Green Bay Packers.
Welcome to the Gameday Preview for Penn State's Senior Day matchup against
What to Watch For - Penn State
1. It's hard to imagine walking in the shoes of the 17 seniors who will
be honored prior to Saturday's game. The
group of hard-working student-athletes stuck with Penn State during difficult
times. Resilient is the best way to
describe a group of student-athletes who will be remembered for their
dedication to the football program.
Baublitz, Kevin Blanchard, Alex Butterworth, Glenn Carson, Bryan Davie, Brandon
Felder, Garry Gilliam, Adam Gress, Ty Howle, DaQuan Jones, Alex Kenney, Matt Lehman,
Stephen Obeng-Agyapong, Eric Shrive, John Urschel, Malcolm Willis and Pat Zerbe
stayed at Penn State because they felt like the people around them were too
special to walk away from. For that, fans
are encouraged to be in the stadium to recognize the commitment of the special
2. While it is a special day for the seniors,
Penn State's underclassmen have made it clear that they intend to leave everything
on the field for the seniors during the final two weeks of the regular
season. The 17 seniors are well
respected in the locker room by their peers and coaching staff. Coach O'Brien said earlier this week that the
team would do everything in its power to play with great passion in order to
send the seniors out in the proper manner.
3. According to Coach O'Brien, the team that turns the ball over the least will
likely be the winner on Saturday. Ball
security on offense is a point of emphasis every week, but it is paramount in a
game featuring two teams capable of putting points on the board. Penn State can ill afford to give the
Nebraska offense a short field or easy points because of turnovers. The Nittany Lions have forced 10 turnovers,
but lost 13 this season. Nebraska has
forced just five turnovers, but lost 17 turnovers and ranks No. 12 in the Big
Ten in turnover margin.
to Watch For - Nebraska
1. Junior running back Ameer Abdullah has emerged as one of the
nation's top backs in 2013. Abdullah,
who leads the Big Ten in rushing at 133.6 ypg, has nine 100-yard rushing games
this season, including 225 against Illinois.
The Doak Walker Award semifinalist also has 22 receptions for 191 yards
and two receiving touchdowns. The
dynamic Abdullah lines up in several spots across the offense. In conference games, the Alabama native is
averaging 145.2 yards per game.
2. The Cornhuskers field one of the top pass-rushing units in the nation. Nebraska ranks fourth in the NCAA with 32
sacks. Sophomore defensive end Randy
Gregory leads the Big Ten with 8.5 sacks, including eight in Big Ten play. Gregory has 15.0 tackles for loss this
season. In all, Nebraska has 12 players
with at least three tackles for a loss this season. Keep an eye on the battle in the trenches
when the Nittany Lions have the ball.
3. With senior Taylor Martinez sidelined with a foot injury, redshirt freshman
Tommy Armstrong Jr. has taken the bulk of the snaps at quarterback during Big
Ten play. Armstrong is 5-1 as a starter
and has led Nebraska to a touchdown on the opening drive in four of his six
starts. Armstrong has thrown for 802
yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Senior Ron Kellogg III has also played at
quarterback. Kellogg III has completed
67 percent of his passes and thrown for four touchdowns this season. Additionally, Nebraska's receiving corps is
among the best in the Big Ten. Senior
Quincy Enunwa has eight touchdown catches this season. Junior Kenny Bell, who is third on Nebraska's
career receiving yards list, has 39 catches and four touchdowns in 2013.
The Final Word:
It will be a battle between two traditional powers in the final home
game of the 2013 season. After Saturday,
Penn State will not play a regular season game in Beaver Stadium until Sept. 6,
2014. With that in mind, fans are
encouraged to be in the stadium early to cheer on the seniors before the final
four quarters of football in Happy Valley for 2013. Turnovers and the battle in the trenches will
likely decide the outcome of Saturday's game.
Penn State has won 20 of its last 23 Senior Day games on the field.
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the Penn State cross country and track and field
teams, what began as just an idea quickly became a reality this past Sunday. An
event called "Fit for Fritz" took place inside the Ashenfelter III Indoor Track
Facility in an effort to raise awareness and funds for assistant coach Fritz
This past July, Spence was diagnosed for the second time in five years with
acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare form of cancer that directly attacks the
blood and bone marrow.
Since his re-diagnosis in July, Spence has had to undergo several circuits
of chemotherapy, as well as cell-growth injections and a bone marrow biopsy. Currently,
Spence is in remission again. He is simply waiting to hear from his doctor
regarding yet another blood transplant.
To put into words what Spence has gone through during his fight with cancer
is difficult, but for those around him, the one word that has been constant
throughout is inspirational.
"We felt it was time to step up and do something to honor coach Spence and
his battle and all that he brings to the table," said cross country and track
and field head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. "And also just to help he and his
family in the world of this medical experience that he is going through, as
well as the costs and finances that he's facing."
The event was a culmination of the coaching staff, a committee of
student-athletes and the Penn State athletic department working as one team to put
on the Walk-A-Thon event. Those involved in organizing the function were amazed
at how a person's stroke of bad luck could bring the team and community
"It was really cool in a sense of a team effort, for us to all come
together and rally behind coach [Spence] like that," said senior jumper Jon
Hendershot. "Just seeing him in here with his little mask on to stay healthy as
he prepares for surgery is just inspiring. All we have to deal with is classes
and staying on schedule. What he is going through with his family is really
inspiring to see that he's so much invested in us that he's still coming in to
work with us."
Sunday alone, Penn State cross country and track and field managed to raise
$10,521 to help Spence financially support he and his family during his second clash
with cancer. Since then, however, a couple more donations have trickled in,
pushing the total above $11,000.
"It means so much," said Spence. "Just to see the kids take time out of
their busy schedules to organize the whole event and to sacrifice walking the
three hours shows how much they appreciate me, and for me, how much I
appreciate them, the coaching staff and the whole athletic department from the
With this being the inaugural "Fit for Fritz" fundraising event,
Alford-Sullivan had no idea how well the turnout would be for Spence. In the
end, the camaraderie and energy that was poured into the day made it one
"We pulled it off on Sunday," said Alford-Sullivan. "We hit it out of the
park. It was just a home run. It had all the elements to it, from the simple
aspect of fitness and 'Fit for Fritz' and all that we are about as a track and
field and cross country program to the emotional side of doing things for
someone who is giving so much back to us."
Even though the women's cross country team and Matt Fischer from the men's
cross country team could not participate due to the fact that the nine of them
will be competing at the NCAA Championships this upcoming Saturday in Terre
Haute, Ind., the remaining 100 cross country and track and field
student-athletes were split into teams of four, totaling 25 teams for the
The Walk-A-Thon incorporated three unique stages, with the team who
accumulated the most laps winning and being dawned as the most "Fit for Fritz."
The first step was for each team member to walk on the track a quarter-mile
at a time and then pass a baton to the next teammate for three continuous
During the 10 to 12 minute span when three out of the four team members
were not walking with the baton, the next course of action took place. A
fitness circuit that included jumping jacks, plyos, pushups and sit-ups was
created. If an entire fitness circuit was completed in the 10 to 12 minutes, an
extra two laps were added on to the team total.
The final and most fun aspect of the event was karaoke. To keep everyone
entertained, a karaoke guru was hired to play some great music. If a
participant in the event sang a karaoke song, his or her team earned another
However, there was a catch to the karaoke. Let's just say that teammates
and coaches learned quite a bit about some of the student-athletes who got
carried away with the mic.
"I don't think the DJ played a full song because everybody was singing the
whole time, back-to-back-to-back for three hours straight the entire team was
just doing different karaoke songs," said Hendershot. "It was funny because you
got to see some of the teammates characters really come out, people who you
wouldn't expect to do karaoke were just goofing around."
As the three hours of walking ticked down to zero, many people, including
Spence, noticed the success of the inaugural "Fit for Fritz" and could see this
becoming an annual fundraiser in the future for not just AML but for all types
"Life is life. Life is like track and field. You have your ups; you have
your downs. You have your good days; you have your bad days," said Spence. "I
always thought that I could beat this cancer. I have to continue to fight,
continue to push. Being around this atmosphere keeps me motivated, strong, and
gives me the energy to continue to push."
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When the six seniors first came to Penn State and went through preseason
their freshman year, they never thought they would make it through four years.
However, with senior night here - the four years went by fast as it's a
bittersweet time for the players who started playing
the sport at such a young age.
With only four
regular season matches left in their collegiate careers, these seniors want to
end their senior year the way that they started their freshman year - with a
"It's a full
progression and evolution for them," head coach Russ Rose said. "All of those
guys have had a major impact on the program. Despite the fact I'm hard on them
all the time - soon they'll be done. We're graduating three people who have
started for four years. We haven't had that many kids who have started for four
years in the 35 years I've been here."
Take a closer look
at each of the senior's journey through their
collegiate career as a Nittany Lion and their
thoughts as their time comes to a close.
8 Erica Denney
Coming out of high
school as a member of an undefeated team (31-0) and traveling to the 2009 World
Championships as a member of the youth national team, Erica Denny faced an
injury and took a redshirt her freshman year. In her second year with the
Nittany Lions, she made her collegiate debut against Rutgers where she
registered a kill. During both her sophomore and junior years, she earned Academic
All-Big Ten and continued her junior year appearing in six matches and nine
sets. The Colorado native recorded her first start against DePaul in 2012.
15 Maggie Harding
Maggie Harding came
to Penn State from just a few miles away. As an active member of the Student
Athlete Advisory Board and captain for the season, Harding has proven to be one
of the strongest leaders on the team. At the NCAA Semi-finals Championship last year, she earned the Elite 89 Award after having
the top GPA of all of the student-athletes at
because it's a big time of the year and we have a lot coming up, but it's
bittersweet. I've been watching Penn State volleyball since I was five, so
knowing it's coming to an end is pretty tough. But knowing I was a part of it
and contributing what I can to the program is pretty cool."
All-Big Ten honors during her sophomore and junior year, Maddie Martin has
proven to be another strong leader in the senior class for the underclassmen to
follow. Making an immediate impact her freshman year, she played in 20 matches
and 29 sets. The outside hitter reached a career high hitting percentage at
Indiana in 2010 at .600. Her first two kills were against Villanova and she took
that momentum into a strong sophomore season where she played in 33 matches -
starting in 24 of them. During her junior season, she registered 51 kills, 14
aces, 71 digs and eight blocks. With only a few matches left, the Tampa, Fla.,
native cannot believe how fast the four years have gone by.
"It's weird - you
think during your freshman year while you're going through preseason that it's
never going to end. Looking back on it now - it went so fast. (Playing under Russ
Rose) is cool; he's such an amazing person and such an amazing coach. Knowing
we've played for a legend is just a great feeling."
The outside hitter
from Louisville, Ky., did not waste any time getting
adjusted to the college volleyball scene as she was named the 2010 AVCA
Division I National Freshman of the Year and started in all 37 matches. She was
also the only freshman to earn a spot on the 2010 AVCA All-American team.
McClendon continued to develop into the player she is today through her
sophomore year adding 2011 AVCA First Team All-America to the list of honors
and was the Unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten. During her junior year, she kept
her competitive edge going as she set a career high hitting percentage of .800
against Binghamton. She also hit a career high of 29 digs at Michigan proving to
be a versatile player. The outside hitter has made 247 kills and 239 digs this
season giving her an impressive total of 1,500 kills and a career total of
1,052 digs with four matches left before championship season.
"It doesn't feel
real - it's a sad moment but at the same time it's a good time to look back on
everything we've accomplished and where we want to end the season. There were
points where we were really low and points where we were really high and to see
us where we are now it's just crazy that we did
finish this together. That's probably one of the most important parts for me -
that we've been through thick and thin together."
1 Ariel Scott
Known as A. Scott
to the team, the outside hitter has developed into one of the key players for
the Nittany Lions. During her freshman year, she played in 20 matches gaining
experience early in her collegiate career. She went into her sophomore year and
was named AVCA Third Team All-America and Unanimous First Team All-Big Ten. The
New Jersey native was second on the team with 418 kills for the 2011 season.
Scott added even more honors to the list making AVCA First Team All-American
and Big Ten Player of the Year with her strong performances during her junior
year. She set a career high of 85 attacks against Stanford during that season.
Registering 244 kills so far this season, Scott totals 1,274 kills for her
"It's really crazy
seeing how far we've come. It's bittersweet because we made it, but it's kind
of sad too since it's our last home game. Freshman year going from preseason
not knowing if we're going to make it, being the hardest thing we've ever done
and then winning that year. For me I went from not playing to being on the
court so it was definitely a big development year for me."
16 Katie Slay
four years as a Nittany Lion, she has proven to be one of the most consistent
and dependable players for the team. Her freshman year, she started in 11
matches and played in 23 where she totaled 54 kills and a hitting percentage of
.404. Her sophomore year, she did not hold anything back as she was named AVCA
Second Team All-America and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. She also hit
career highs with 16 kills against Wisconsin in 2011. During her junior year,
the Raleigh, N.C. native continued to put up impressive defensive performances.
She made a career high of 12 blocks against Michigan. This season, she has
added 19 solo blocks and 132 block assists to her career totals giving her 74
solo blocks and 497 block assists and a total of 571 blocks throughout her
"It's exciting - senior year I've just been trying to soak it all in.
Freshman year we just did whatever the upperclassmen did. I remember playing in
the national championship match and it didn't feel like a huge deal - I didn't
feel stressed out because the upperclassmen were dancing in the locker room and
doing whatever we usually did before any other match. As we've gotten older, we
had to set the bar for the team. We're the one's who have to put out a
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn
State head coach Bob Warming called the first round of the NCAA Tournament the
hardest match to play until the Elite Eight. Thursday night against St. Francis
Brooklyn (12-6-1), his No. 16 Nittany Lions (12-5-2) hurdled that tough task
and now are on their way to a second round battle with 10th-seeded UC Santa
In true Penn State fashion,
it was a hard fought defensive battle for the full 90 minutes that allowed them
to escape the gritty Terriers on their home turf of Jeffrey Field for the final
time in 2013.
There were two chances for
the Nittany Lions early in the match that were stopped by St. Francis. But the Lions struck in 37th
minute when midfielder Drew Klingenberg and Eli Dennis connected on a goal that
defined their contributions in the 2013 season for Penn State.
Klingenberg played a ball on
the outside and saw the streaking Dennis who finished the cross just as he did
three times in the regular season, except this tally had bigger implications.
"Any time I see Eli open I
know there's a good combination play ready to happen and if he's going to put
the work in I'm absolutely going to put the work in too," Klingenberg said
after the match. "I saw him streaking and before you know it, it was a goal. It
was an awesome play."
Warming called the sequence a
world-class goal and it was exactly that.
St. Francis was just a few
inches away from a world-class goal of their own in the 57th minute
when junior forward Kevin Correa took a free kick from deep outside the box and
nearly bent it past goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton before he hit the post.
Penn State was then able to
hold off a Terrier rally late in the second half and seal a trip to the second
round of the tournament and a Friday morning trip to California.
A lot is to be learned,
though, from this tough first round test for the Nittany Lions. First and
foremost, however, the most important thing in Dennis' mind is that they were
able to play an NCAA tournament game, something only two Penn State players
could say prior to Thursday's match.
"It's good to get a first
round win like this because other than Jordan (Tyler) and Grant (Warming)
nobody has been in a tournament game on our whole team," said Dennis. "It's
nice to have a first round game especially on that was as competitive as this
to set the stage for what's to come."
Coach Warming added a short
bit to Dennis' statement.
"We're veterans now," he
That's how he wants his team
to play moving forward. The biggest thing he, Dennis and Klingenberg stressed
post-game is game management, something all three thought could have been
improved late in the second half against St. Francis Brooklyn.
The Terriers had a few
opportunities late in the final 45 minutes and that will be the focus for Penn
State prior to playing Santa Barbara at historical Harder Stadium on Sunday.
"We need to slow the pace of
the game down sometimes and that means instead of flying forward and taking
guys into the box we have to put our foot on the ball and play it back," Dennis
said. "We have to pick and choose when we want to attack and sometimes
possession is better than taking a chance and potentially losing the ball."
Warming agreed, saying in a
situation with the ball and the lead his team has to be more aware of where
they have the ball and what they are going to do with it.
"If you're going to lose the
ball, it has to be on the edges," he said. "It's too easy to counter attack
when you lose the ball in the middle. We could have played around the edges a
lot more. It's just the little things."
Penn State will have two full
days to make those adjustments before facing off with Santa Barbara at 9 p.m.
on Sunday with a trip to the round of 16 on the line.
By Jackson Thibodeau, GoPSUsports.com
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the holiday season rolls in, so does the midway
point of the Penn State women's hockey 2013-14 campaign. The Nittany Lions
remain focused on their unique opportunity to develop the young program and
continue to work towards their goals.
With 14 regular season games behind
them and 20 remaining, head coach Josh Brandwene is pleased with the growth his
team has shown, but he would rather focus on what's ahead of them.
"The big things going forward that
we are looking for are continued consistency and continued individual
accountability," Brandwene said, "and it's those little details that will help
us get to the next level."
Brandwene has seen an improvement in
these departments, acknowledging that recent practices have had increased
intensity as the team has been battling for pucks along the boards and been
making plays along the blue line.
At 2-11-1, the Blue and White wish
that they had more tallies in the win column, but they can still draw plenty of
positives from the games they have completed to this point in the season.
They have improved in many statistical categories from the 2012-13 campaign,
including power play percentage (.129 in 2012-13, .157 this season) and faceoff
win percentage (.450 in 2012-13, .463 this season).
Fourteen games into last season the
Nittany Lions were 5-8-1 (1-4-1 CHA0, which included a 2-5-1 record at home, while
this year Brandwene's squad is 0-6-0 in the CHA and 1-7-0 at home in Pegula Ice
Arena. Rather than focus on the negatives associated with this kind of
adversity, the team has chosen to take a different approach.
"It's all about how you respond to
adversity and this presents a tremendous opportunity for us," said Brandwene.
"Teams that grow from this kind of adversity give themselves the opportunity to
do magical things later in the season. That's the way we are choosing to look
at it and they [the student-athletes] are rising to the occasion."
One way that the team has dealt with
adversity so far this season has been a focus on building chemistry and
relationships with one another beyond the confines of Pegula Ice Arena.
With the arrival of the holiday season and breaks from academics, the Nittany
Lions have an even greater opportunity to grow closer. The team will remain on
campus during the Thanksgiving holiday break because of their game on Nov. 30.
"I think it will be a good time for
our team to do stuff together outside of hockey and school and grow a little
more as a team and family," said junior forward Jess Desorcie. "Fortunately,
everyone who lives in the area or close to it has offered for teammates to come
over and celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. We just want to make sure everyone
has a place to go."
For a team that is already so
close-knit, this time that they will spend together in the coming weeks will
establish chemistry that can translate back onto the ice.
"They are tremendously supportive of
one another and that's a huge plus on the team chemistry side," Brandwene said.
"It benefits us on the bench, it benefits us on the ice and it benefits them in
their lives away from the rink."
Before Thanksgiving week, the team
will first travel to Wentzville, Mo., to square off against conference foe
Lindenwood for matchups on Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. The team
will take Thanksgiving Day off from practice before hosting Maine on Nov. 30 at
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Each one of the Nittany Lion football seniors who will be honored prior to
Saturday's Nebraska game (3:30 p.m.) had the opportunity to walk away from Penn
State at no cost.
But they didn't.
Kyle Baublitz, Kevin
Blanchard, Alex Butterworth, Glenn Carson, Bryan Davie, Brandon Felder, Garry
Gilliam, Adam Gress, Ty Howle, DaQuan Jones, Alex Kenney, Matt Lehman, Stephen
Obeng-Agyapong, Eric Shrive, John Urschel, Malcolm Willis and Pat Zerbe stayed
at Penn State because they felt like the people around them were too special to
walk away from.
For that, the 2013 senior class will forever be remembered for their commitment
to Penn State. And for that, fans are
encouraged to be in the stadium to recognize the commitment of the special
"We can't wait to come into Beaver Stadium
and hopefully it will be a great crowd," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "I
would imagine that the Penn State fans will turn out in force to show their
respect for this senior class that stuck with this university and stuck with
this football program. I'm looking forward to the game on
In addition to its success on the field, the 2013 senior class is a standout
group in the classroom. By the end of
the spring semester in 2014, the 17 seniors are projected to earn a combined 22
degrees. Additionally, the group is
projected to have graduated from eight different Penn State colleges. Of the 17 players being recognized, 10 of
them have a cumulative GPA higher than 3.0. Eight members of the senior group entered the
2013 with a Penn State degree already in hand.
"I think it's a special thing when you get introduced in front of the home
crowd. It's a special stadium; I think these kids deserve a great
All 17 seniors are
unique to one another, but they share the common bond of sticking together in
the most difficult of times. When the
NCAA sanctions were announced in July of 2012, this group of players had a
choice to make. Outsiders thought it was
a no-brainer and the members of the roster would walk out the door in favor of
a fresh start at a program without sanctions.
But that's not in the DNA of anyone who will take part in the senior
recognition ceremony. The 2013 seniors
viewed the situation as an opportunity to be a part of something special. They stuck together and nothing tore this
"Resilient is a perfect word to describe us,"
linebacker Glenn Carson said. "We have been through so much together. We
chose to be with each other over any school in the nation. Without a
doubt, we will always stick together."
Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff on
Saturday afternoon to be a part of a Senior Day ceremony that will honor a
special group of student-athletes. The
ceremony begins at 3:10 p.m.
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The one area that head coach Coquese Washington has repetitively
stressed as integral to the success of her team this season is the development
of her seven freshmen student-athletes.
more experience that they get playing, and start to feel comfortable and
confident, that is going to be good for us," said Washington.
State may have completed just its fourth game of the season, but thanks to the
dazzling play of two of Washington's freshmen, the Lady Lions had no problem
breezing past Bucknell, 92-49, in the friendly confines of the Bryce Jordan
Center Wednesday evening.
Kaliyah Mitchell and Alex Harris impacted the pace of the game substantially to
lead the Lady Lions in a lopsided home victory. The two first-year players
logged 20 minutes apiece; with each of them appearing more confident and more productive
as the game progressed.
more playing time they can get, and they can learn from their mistakes in
games, it's better for us overall, and it's going to be better for our growth
and development," said Washington. "Kaliyah and Alex have been getting better
and better as the season goes on. Their confidence is getting better. They're
naturally impact players and both of them have a knack for rebounding."
Harris, a 6-foot-3 forward out of Lorain, Ohio, her night ended with a near
double-double. She was a force to be reckoned with as she tallied eight points
by shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor, while also corralling a
career-best 11 rebounds and adding two blocked shots.
[Harris] has a knack for blocking shots," said Washington. "I don't even know
how she does it. She just taps it. It's barely a block, so I don't even know
what you call that. She just has a knack for being around the ball and making
The Lady Lions were able to contain the ball and contest shots consistently due
to the play of Harris, whose size was a clear advantage against the Bucknell
squad. Not only did Penn State out-rebound the Bison, 56-32, but Washington's
squad also managed to hold their opponent's field goal percentage to a season-low
that being said, the Lady Lions were not just strong on the defensive end. Because
of the energized play of 6-foot-2 freshman Kaliyah Mitchell, the Blue and White
were extremely active on the offensive end, swinging crisp passes along the
perimeter to create open shots and opportunities down on the low post.
The forward/guard from Stone Mountain, Ga. scored a career-best 14 points,
while managing to dish out eight assists, too.
"[Kaliyah] is a hustle player; a blue collar player," said Washington. "She
brings her lunch pail to work with her everyday, and she does all of the
non-glamorous stuff--diving on the floor and deflections. She just has a knack
for being around the ball. She contorts her body and makes tough baskets when
she drives. She does those things in practice, so I'm not surprised when she
does them in games."
After the game, Washington alluded to the fact that each game the freshmen
players are progressing and learning to play at the pace she would like to see.
With the focus of the team being to get better everyday, for the freshmen,
logging minutes and gaining game experience is critical to their development.
"Every game I see a little bit more progress," said Washington. "For us, the
focus is just getting better everyday, so that we are playing our best
basketball at the end of the year. If we can do that, I like the team that we
Penn State now does not play again until Nov. 29, when the team heads down to
the Bahamas during Thanksgiving break to take part in the Junkanoo Jam, both
Harris and Mitchell will have to find ways to maintain their confidence on the hardwood.
Luckily for them, Washington plans to scrimmage in practice all week to help keep
the freshmen confident and in sync with the system.
Though practice can't always simulate real game speed and a trip to the Bahamas
may seem like a vacation to some, Washington joked with the media following
Wednesday's contest and, in part, made her team aware of what she expected in the
week to come.
"They may think this will be a little bit of a vacation," said Washington, "but
they haven't seen the itinerary yet."