Recently in All-Sports Blog Category

Nittany Lions Win Fourth Straight, Continue Dominance At Home

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

9855067.jpeg
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's lacrosse team made the most of its first ever meeting against Michigan, handily beating the Wolverines, 20-7, on Saturday at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.

The win marked the team's fourth-straight victory, and the dominance displayed on the field was a building block for Missy Doherty's squad.

On a chilly, windy day, from the first whistle to the last, the Nittany Lions looked unstoppable. The crisp passes, tenacious defense, and an incredible desire to win led to the Nittany Lions jumping out early and never taking their foot off the gas. Penn State had four stretches of scoring three more or goals in a row.

All in all, 12 different Penn State players registered a point, while three of them recorder career-firsts in the game.

Carly Bitzer, a senior defender playing attack, scored her first goal with 2:36 left in the game. The crowd erupted for the Doylestown Pa., native and teammates swarmed her in celebration. Along with Bitzer, Dani Lazo, a fellow defender, got her first goal of the season and attacker Shannon Lechner registered her first career two-goal game.

Four Nittany Lions had hat tricks, and the team finished the day with a combined 31 points. On the score sheet Penn State dominated every category. They registered more shots, grabbed more groundballs and draw controls, while committing fewer turnovers and fouls.

"It was nice that everybody got a chance to score today," attacker Maggie McCormick said after a five-point performance. "It was really a team effort.

"I think [our team] really stepped it up in the second half. They came out with focus and a whole new aggression toward their play and that really paid off. They were able to get a bunch of turnovers and give the offense a chance to score some more."

Madison Cyr continued her hot-streak, adding three more goals and an assist to bring her point total to 16 over the last four games. Cyr's fellow midfielder, Kelly Lechner, also had a goal and an assist to bring her career-point total to 100.

It wasn't all offense, however, for Penn State. Defensively, they had arguably their best outing of the season. They generated 15 caused turnovers, and held the Wolverines to just 14 shots in the game, allowing only five in the second half. It was a complete effort from the entire roster, and showcased the depth this team has.

"I think that we know that are are in the ALC conference now and we need to just go hard for every game because we are really looking forward to winning our conference," junior midfielder Tatum Coffey said after the game. "Michigan is a new team, but we weren't going to take them lightly.

"[The ALC is] getting more competitive. Northwestern hasn't lost in in a long time and they lost to Ohio State. Now it's more motivation for us to beat Ohio State, to beat Florida. Even though we won it last year, it was still a three-way tie, so we want our own championship."

Senior defender Lauren Purvis continued her superb performance on the defensive side of the field causing three turnovers. Purvis leads the conference with 1.50 caused turnovers per game. 11 Nittany Lions finished the game with at least one caused turnover, tying a season-high.

The win brings Missy Doherty's record at home to an outstanding 23-7, something she credits to the support of the Penn State faithful.

"I think there is definitely a great atmosphere here at Penn State for all the sports," Doherty said. "We have awesome facilities and great support from our fans, so there's a little bit of extra energy when we play at home."

It was an excellent day for the girls in blue and white. The win puts them at 2-0 against conference foes and provides momentum for their next game on Wednesday against Drexel. With conference play just getting started, and top-ranked opponents on the horizon, wins like this are crucial to the success of the team heading forward.

"We want to make sure that we are ready for ALCs," Doherty said. "It's one of the toughest conferences in the country and we have been playing hard but we just want to keep getting better and today I think we did get better."

Lions Travel to Siena for CBI Quarterfinals

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

9853737.jpeg
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team (16-17, 6-12 Big Ten) travels to Siena (16-17, 11-9) on Monday for a showdown in the CBI quarterfinals (7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network).

Penn State moved past Hampton in the opening round last week.  Now, the Nittany Lions and Saints will battle for a spot in the tournament semifinals inside the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.  Siena has never played host to a Big Ten school, setting up an opportunity for the Lions to play in a raucous environment for a postseason game.

"It's going to be nuts, it's going to be crazy," head coach Patrick Chambers said.  "That's what I envision. We're a Big Ten team going in there. Jimmy is going to have them ready to go. It's going to be a great challenge. If we can keep the score to where we're containing the pace, I think that's going to be better for us."

Penn State traveled to Albany on Sunday in preparation for Monday's game.  The Lions stopped at West Point for practice inside Army's facility.  Get primed for the CBI quarterfinal matchup between Penn State and Siena.


PreviewGraphic_vs Siena_CBI.jpg
Eager for the Opportunity
The Nittany Lions are reaping the benefits of extra practice to build for the future.  Last week's first round game against Hampton provided invaluable game experience for the young players on Penn State's roster.  Freshman Geno Thorpe and sophomore Brandon Taylor played instrumental roles in helping lead the Lions past the Hampton Pirates.  That being said, there was never a doubt in Coach Chambers's mind about the positives the Nittany Lions could reap from postseason experience in the CBI.  He saw it firsthand during the 2010 season when he led Boston University to the CBI semifinals against VCU.  One year later, Boston earned a spot in the NCAA field, and VCU punched a ticket to the Final Four.  The extra practice time and game experience is huge for the program's building process, and Monday's game provides another opportunity to grow.

"I know Siena has a young team, we have a young team, Hampton had a young team," Chambers said.  "I think that's why you want to do it to give them that practice and preparation to prepare them for a tournament run. Our guys did want to play in it, and if our guys didn't I would think maybe I didn't recruit the right guys. When you take pride in putting that jersey on, you want to put it on as much as you can. Four years is not a long time, as Tim Frazier realizes. He can't believe it's over."

Taylor Active in CBI Opener
In 31 minutes of action, sophomore Brandon Taylor did a little bit of everything for the Nittany Lions in their 69-65 win over Hampton in the first round.  Taylor scored 14 points, which marked his 14th game in double-figures this season.  Taylor also pulled down nine rebounds for the Nittany Lions.  With growing confidence, Taylor is becoming a much more balanced player on the offensive end of the floor.  He is a threat from the perimeter and is developing a post game.  The skilled sophomore is on the cusp of a breakout performance for the Nittany Lions.

Scouting Siena
The Siena Saints enter Monday's game having won five of their last six contests, with the only setback coming to Canisius in the MAAC Tournament quarterfinals.  Siena erased a three-point halftime deficit to down Stony Brook, 66-55, in the first round of the CBI.  The Saints have never hosted a Big Ten opponent prior to Monday's clash with the Nittany Lions inside the Times Union Center.

Junior guard Rob Poole tallied 20 points in Siena's victory over Stony Brook.  Poole leads the team in scoring at 14.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.  Sophomore forward Brett Bisping is Siena's second double-figure scorer (10.8 ppg).  Bisping also leads the Saints in rebound at 6.3 per contest.  He has tallied nine double-figure games in his last 11 contests.  Freshman guard Marquis Wright became the first freshman to lead the MAAC in assists in the last 20 years.

Siena is averaging 69.8 points per contests, while giving up 71.1 points.  The Saints have shot 42 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc.

The Nittany Lions have played Siena once before.  The Lions defeated the Saints, 105-103, in the NIT on March 20, 2000.

Bracket Analysis
Should the Nittany Lions advance on Monday, they would move on to the CBI semifinals, which take place on Wednesday.  The pairings for the semifinals will not be announced until the conclusion of tonight's quarterfinal games.  In addition to Penn State-Siena, Princeton plays at Fresno State, Radford plays at Old Dominion and Texas A&M plays at Illinois State.  The best-of-three championship series begins on March 31, with games two and three slated for April 2 and April 4.

cbi_Bracket_siena.jpg
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

Dunn-Tim.jpeg

By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Rob Cooper has one belief when it comes to the Penn State baseball team; giving effort on the baseball diamond. If you're not exhausted at the end of the day, you're doing something wrong.

"We're challenging our guys in the dugout. We ask them, 'at the end of the day, are you wiped out?'" Cooper said. "It's really easy to have energy when everything is going great but can you have energy when there is adversity?"

Playing back-to-back double headers against Bucknell, the Nittany Lions didn't seem to leave much in their tanks, wining the series 3-1 after taking consecutive contests at home on Saturday by scores of 7-2 and 4-3, respectively, and splitting with the Bison on Sunday, losing 1-0 before winning 6-2.

The three victories gave the Nittany Lions a 5-1 record on the week, defeating NYIT twice during the midweek.

"All I want to see is that the guys are playing hard and taking advantage of the moment," Cooper said. "I thought they did a great job of that all week."

Powering the Nittany Lions through the weekend was their pitching staff, as the Lions gave up just four earned runs the entire weekend.

Starting the first game on Saturday, T.J. Jann ran into trouble in the second inning when he gave up two hits that led to two unearned runs, but he refused to let the Bison take advantage, buckling down to go five innings and give up just four hits while striking out six to earn his first win of the season and improve his ERA to 2.35. 

From there, Ian Parvin entered and was masterful; finishing the final four innings scoreless and whiffing the final seven batters of the game to set a career high for strikeouts.

"T.J. [Jann] absolutely competed and fought all day to find the [strike] zone," Cooper said, "and Ian [Parvin] was unbelievable with those punchouts to end the game."

With the second game lasting just seven innings, Tim Dunn made his first start of the season and looked perfectly comfortable opening the game, giving the Lions five innings and only allowing one run in the first inning. Jack Anderson then made his 10th appearance on the season and notched his second save with two innings of relief.

By using only four pitchers on Saturday, the Nittany Lions were able to travel to Bucknell on Sunday with a plethora of fresh arms.

"We're going to do whatever we have to do to get through a game and win," Cooper said. "Guys were pounding the strike zone and we kept the bullpen intact the entire weekend."

Starting the first game on Sunday, Greg Welsh continued to ease the tension on Penn State's bullpen, going six innings to complete the seven-inning contest, though his lineup could only muster four hits to see their four game winning streak end with a 1-0 lose.

Despite being unable to score off Bucknell's Andrew Andreychik, the Blue and White rebounded in game two, recording 11 hits and looking more like the lineup that tallied a combined 23 hits on Saturday.

Once again, the pitchers did their part, as Nick Hedge blanked the Bison for four innings while giving up just three hits, before allowing Dakota Forsyth and Ryan Harper carried the win home.


"We had a great offensive approach and scored some [runs] and executed some things in the short game in the finale," head coach Rob Cooper said. "I've said this from day one, I don't want a great hitting team, I want a great offensive team that can find a way to score a run even when they're not hitting."

Luckily for Cooper, the Nittany Lions bats were on for the majority of the weekend, as 10 different Lions recorded hits over the four game series.

Some of the standouts for the Lions were first baseman Greg Guers, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI in Saturday's first game. Shortstop Jim Haley went 3-for-4 in Sunday's second game, and utility infielder Tyler Kendall recorded three hits in three at-bats on Saturday before going 1-for-4 with two RBI in Sunday's second game.

"Everyone's approach went well and we weren't swinging at bad pitches," Guers said. "We weren't trying to do too much and we hit with runners in scoring position."

With their record now at 10-13, the Nittany Lions will kick off the Big Ten schedule against Northwestern with a three game series at home this weekend.

Having started off 4-0 for the first time since 1997, Cooper and his crew can't wait to get back to Medlar Field once again.

"I thought the student [section] was awesome and I think it can be a great environment and add a atmosphere to our home games," Cooper said. "If the students can continue to take ownership of making it fun then it's going to be a neat deal."

First pitch on Friday night is slated for 5:30 p.m.

 

--NITTANY LIONS--

Florida's Strong Second Half Seals Win Over Dayton

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
download.jpg

By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the second game of the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Bryce Jordan Center, No. 6 seed Dayton (23-8) fell to No. 11 seed Florida (20-12). The Gators used a strong second half to win the game, 83-69.

Florida guard Cassie Peoples led the Gators with 21 points and five assists going 6-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Peoples scored 16 of her 21 points in the second stanza, which was a common theme for the rest of the Gator squad.

Neither team could pull away in the first half as the largest lead for either squad was a slim 12-7 edge for Dayton that came just five minutes into the half. The Flyers and Gators traded buckets for the remainder of the half leading to a 32-29 Dayton advantage at the break.

Florida head coach Amanda Butler says she and her team weren't pleased with their first half performance and they addressed that at halftime.

"We weren't pleased with the way that we played [in the first half] because it just wasn't who we were and I think Dayton was a big reason for that," Butler said. "We needed an adjustment to our energy level. We needed an adjustment to our expectations on possessions.

"We just weren't going into every possession to win it no matter what, I wouldn't say we were accepting bad shots, but they weren't the shots that we wanted."

Whether they were the shots Florida wanted or not, they kept them close heading to the locker room after 20 minutes. Those shots were falling for the Gators after halftime, as well, and Dayton couldn't do much about it as they're shots were doing the opposite.

Florida's shooting improved from 40.7 percent to 51.4 percent from the field in the second half and the Gators made all 13 of their free throw attempts. Dayton dipped from 51.9 percent to 40 percent and scored just 37 points after the break compared to Florida's 54.

This change didn't take full effect until the 8:52 mark when Florida erased a 51-43 Dayton lead and didn't look back. The Gators led 57-56 and closed the game on a 26-13 run.

"They played a heck of a game and I'm very disappointed about that five-to-six minute span in the second half that defined the end of our season," said Dayton head coach Jim Jabir. "We've had trouble all year playing consistently tough in stretches and it did us really hard today at a real inopportune time."

Dayton was led by Andrea Hoover, who scored a game-high 22 points. Three other Flyers were in double figures on the afternoon, but couldn't match up with all five Florida starters who had 11 or more points.

Florida advances to the second round of the tournament to face No. 3 seed Penn State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.

 

--LADY LIONS--

Florida's Strong Second Half Seals Win Over Dayton

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
download.jpg

By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the second game of the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Bryce Jordan Center, No. 6 seed Dayton (23-8) fell to No. 11 seed Florida (20-12). The Gators used a strong second half to win the game, 83-69.

Florida guard Cassie Peoples led the Gators with 21 points and five assists going 6-for-10 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Peoples scored 16 of her 21 points in the second stanza, which was a common theme for the rest of the Gator squad.

Neither team could pull away in the first half as the largest lead for either squad was a slim 12-7 edge for Dayton that came just five minutes into the half. The Flyers and Gators traded buckets for the remainder of the half leading to a 32-29 Dayton advantage at the break.

Florida head coach Amanda Butler says she and her team weren't pleased with their first half performance and they addressed that at halftime.

"We weren't pleased with the way that we played [in the first half] because it just wasn't who we were and I think Dayton was a big reason for that," Butler said. "We needed an adjustment to our energy level. We needed an adjustment to our expectations on possessions.

"We just weren't going into every possession to win it no matter what, I wouldn't say we were accepting bad shots, but they weren't the shots that we wanted."

Whether they were the shots Florida wanted or not, they kept them close heading to the locker room after 20 minutes. Those shots were falling for the Gators after halftime, as well, and Dayton couldn't do much about it as they're shots were doing the opposite.

Florida's shooting improved from 40.7 percent to 51.4 percent from the field in the second half and the Gators made all 13 of their free throw attempts. Dayton dipped from 51.9 percent to 40 percent and scored just 37 points after the break compared to Florida's 54.

This change didn't take full effect until the 8:52 mark when Florida erased a 51-43 Dayton lead and didn't look back. The Gators led 57-56 and closed the game on a 26-13 run.

"They played a heck of a game and I'm very disappointed about that five-to-six minute span in the second half that defined the end of our season," said Dayton head coach Jim Jabir. "We've had trouble all year playing consistently tough in stretches and it did us really hard today at a real inopportune time."

Dayton was led by Andrea Hoover, who scored a game-high 22 points. Three other Flyers were in double figures on the afternoon, but couldn't match up with all five Florida starters who had 11 or more points.

Florida advances to the second round of the tournament to face No. 3 seed Penn State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.

 

--LADY LIONS--

Women's Gymnastics Big Ten Roundup - We Are... Us

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

9857926.jpeg
By Samantha DelRosso, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was an electric atmosphere in Rec Hall on Saturday, as it housed the 2014 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships. Fans from many of the Big Ten schools filled the gymnasium, cheering for their teams and sporting their team's colors, in hopes of a Big Ten Championship title.

The seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines were declared the 2014 Big Ten Champions, scoring a 197.550. The Nittany Lions finished fifth with a score of 196.475.

Hosting the championship event at home provided an advantage for the Nittany Lions, having their fans behind them. But the Lions also fed off of the energy of the opposing teams' fans.

"At every championship meet, it's crazy loud," senior Kassidy Stauder said. "It's really great to feel that energy coming off of our fans, but also the energy coming off of all of the other teams. Even though they might be routing for Michigan or Nebraska, they are all routing for gymnastics."

The gymnasts themselves were just as energetic from start to finish. No. 15 Penn State began on the floor exercise and the team's energy busted through the navy blue barriers that the teams stood behind for each event. 

The floor exercise was the Nittany Lions' highest score of the day, recording a team total of 49.425. Head coach Jeff Thompson expressed how impressed he was with each gymnast's performance.

"We got off to a great start. Emma [Sibson]'s floor routine was outstanding. She had very difficult tumbling and she nailed all of it. Krystal's tumbling was very difficult, she nailed all of it," Thompson said. "They got on a roll and they built off of each other."

Stauder prepared for her floor routine with a pep talk from assistant coach Rachelle Thompson.

"Rachelle always runs us through our entire routine from the dance, to the first tumbling pass, to what we're going to do; just a little reminder before you do your routine. And she knows all of our routines so well," Stauder said.

Stauder scored a 9.875 on the floor exercise on Saturday, 0.125 points higher than her previous routine in the meet at Michigan on March 15.

"At the Michigan quad meet, I went a tad bit crooked on my last pass, so I was definitely working on that this week, so I didn't get the deduction on being right in the corner," Stauder said. "I just felt more confident on my floor routine this week. I was really working on that in gym, fixing little things so that I could feel that confidence today."

Stauder earned All-Conference Team honors and tied for both second place on the uneven bars and fifth place overall with a score of 39.425.  

"It's more about the team for me and I've always gone out there for the team, but it's cool my senior year, letting all my hard work show off to our fans," Stauder said.

In preparation for the Big Ten championship meet, Jeff Thompson focused on telling the gymnasts that what they do is good enough.

"We don't have to try to be better than what we are. That's when mistakes happen; when you're trying to do something you don't normally do," Thompson said. "[On Friday night] we talked about [the term] 'We Are...' and I wrote, 'Us'. That's who we are."

The Nittany Lions placed second on the uneven bars, scoring a 49.300. The team recorded a 49.250 on vault, which was the fourth-highest team vault score of the day. Penn State finished on the balance beam, scoring a 48.500, coming in fifth place. 

In order to improve and build from this meet, Stauder said the team needs to work on confidence and knowing that "their best is good enough."

"We just need to go out there and do what we do everyday at the White Building," Stauder said.

Penn State will not host the Big Ten Championships for another 10 years, as it rotates from school to school each year.

"We told the girls, you will bring your children back the next time Penn State hosts," Thompson said.

Next up for the Nittany Lions is the NCAA Regional Championships, in their home gym again. The team's goal is to finish first or second to advance to the 2014 NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. 

Stauder said the team will be preparing for the NCAA Regional Championships by working hard on beam, gaining confidence on beam and working on the small details to improve everyone's scores.

Penn State is expected to be the No. 3 seed in the Regional Championships meet. The Nittany Lions will start on vault and end on floor, which is the team's typical rotation at home meets.

"It's going to be the same set up, all of the equipment is in the same places, all the same mats, it's all of our stuff, we know exactly what to expect," Thompson said. "We will get to go vault, BYE, bars, beam, BYE and then come out and rock floor at the end, and we'll know exactly what [score] we need [on floor] to win."

Defense Adjustments Key Lady Lions Comeback

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Taylor-Dara (11).jpeg

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Down five points at the half, the Penn State Lady Lions (23-7) used a 17-0 run to start the second half to comeback and defeat Wichita State (26-7), 62-56, in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday.

After allowing 30 first-half points to the Shockers on 10-of-27 shooting from the field, the Lady Lions turned up the intensity on defense in the second half to thwart Wichita State's upset bid.

The Lady Lions struggled to find their defensive identity against Wichita State in the first half, allowing the Shockers to go on a 14-0 run to take a 16-7 lead at the 9:50 mark.

"In the first half we were not aggressive enough defensively," said Penn State head coach Coquese Washington.

But, it was what Washington said in the locker room after 20 minutes of play that changed the complexity of the contest in the second half.

"She [Washington] kept telling us to be the aggressors, to be more aggressive," said Penn State senior guard/forward Ariel Edwards. "That's what we tried to do coming out in the second half is dictate the pace of the game and dictate the way the game would be played."

Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas was clutch down the stretch, finishing with a game-high 22 points. Lucas echoed Edward's words about the conversation at the half.

"We talked a lot about our defense," said Lucas. "Once we are able to get defensive pressure we were able to get out in transition and that's our strength."

Transition play was an area that the Shocker's owned in the first half, scoring nine points off of nine Penn State turnovers.

That wasn't the case in the second half, however, as the Lady Lions committed just six turnovers and outscored Wichita State 11-4 in fast break points.

"I didn't think we set our defense well when they were in transition," said Wichita State head coach Jody Adams. "They were transitioning the ball on us and that's when they're their best. They are a very tough team to guard with that speed and that skill set coming down the floor."

Penn State started the second half looking like a completely different team. The Blue and White stormed out to a 42-30 advantage thanks to a 17-0 run over the first six minutes of play in the final stanza.

"We knew that if we played defense that we would put ourselves in a good position and I felt like that's what we did," said Edwards.

The Lady Lions got back to basics defensively in the second half and used their height to their advantage. The focus was on denial and rebounding, allowing Penn State to finish the contest with 46 rebounds, compared to just 29 boards from the Shockers.

"I think we had really good ear-to-chest denials to start the second half," said Lucas. "When we get out and deny hard, we can get some deflections and get out in transition. Our help-side defense was strong and we were able to get some rebounds and push it up the floor. That was a big focus for us. "

Despite the second half defensive adjustments, the Shockers continued to claw back, cutting the Penn State lead to 56-54 with 1:53 left on the ticker thanks to a Michaela Dapprich three-pointer.

Dapprich, the 5-foot-10 guard/forward, led Wichita State in scoring with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

However, two late layups from Penn State senior Talia East was enough to clinch the win for the Lady Lions. East finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds, with 11 of those points and seven of those rebounds coming in the second half.

"I think it [our second half performance] has a lot to do with defense," said East. "We had good help-side defense and that altered some shots and created more rebounds. That definitely helped towards the end to score points."

With the win, Penn State advances to the second round of the tournament for the 16th time in program history and will face Florida (20-12), who defeated Dayton on Sunday evening, at the Bryce Jordan Center on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

 

--LADY LIONS--

What to Watch: Dayton vs. Florida - NCAA First Round

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

What To Watch: Florida vs. Dayton - NCAA First Round

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The first round games at the University Park sub-regional will conclude first round play with a matchup between No. No. 6 seed Dayton and No. 11 seed Florida. These two teams have never met in the NCAA Tournament, but played each other in the 2000 NIT, a game that the Gators won, 97-93 in the opening round of the event.

14-03-23-WBB-Dayton-Florida.jpg
Pregame Reading
What To Watch - Dayton

Fifth Straight for Flyers: Dayton is making their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and are making their second trip to University Park for the first round. The Flyers made the tournament in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014. They lost to Penn State in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, falling 75-66, but have won an opening round game in two of their four appearances. They defeated St. Johns in double overtime in 2013 and won over TCU in 2010.

Dayton Duo: The Flyers were the only team in the Atlantic 10 with two players on the Atlantic 10 first team all-conference squad. Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott were both selected to the five person first team. The duo leads the team in scoring with Hoover averaging 17.2 points a game and Malott chipping in 14.5 points. To make it even more impressive, they were also named to the five member Academic All-Conference Team

Midwest with an International Flavor: Dayton has made a living recruiting in the Midwest, with the roster featuring five players from Ohio, two from Michigan and one each from Indiana and Pennsylvania. They have also branched out and feature three international student-athletes. Andrijana Cvitkovic from Croatia, Jodie Cornelie-Sigundova from France and Saicha Grant-Allen from Canada all don the red and blue of the Flyers.

What To Watch - Florida

NCAA Tourney Newbies: Florida last made the NCAA Tournament in 2012 when they entered the Big Dance as a No. 9 seed, but only two players on the roster have experience in the national tournament. Jaterra Bonds and Lily Svete are the two NCAA Tournament vets, with each playing in both of the Gators 2013 games. Bonds started both games for Florida at guard and have 11 points in their win over Ohio State in the opening round.

Beating the Buckeye State: With today's contest vs. Dayton, Florida will have faced a team from the state of Ohio in three of their 14 opening round NCAA Tournament games. Florida's first ever trip to the tournament started with Bowling Green, a 69-67 win for the Gators, and their last appearance started with a 70-65 win over Ohio State.

Bond, Jaterra Bond: She's not a part of the SIS and her game is no secret to the coaches around the nation. Jaterra Bond has played in all 31 of Florida's games and is the only Gator to average over 30 minutes a game. She leads the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game and is atop the Gators charts in free throw percentage, free throws made and assists.

--LADY LIONS--

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No. 14/15 Penn State women's basketball NCAA first round contest against Wichita State on Sunday, March 23 inside the Bryce Jordan Center.

BLOG: What to Watch  |  BLOG: A Homecoming for Dana Eikenberg

Be sure to interact with today's blog coverage with questions or comments at the bottom of our widget. Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and use #PennState or #LadyLions and your photos may be chosen for use on our in-game coverage.


 

What To Watch: Penn State vs. Wichita State

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The NCAA Tournament begins this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. for the No. 15/14 Penn State Lady Lions (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) as they tip-off against the Wichita State Shockers (26-6, 14-4 Missouri Valley).

BLOG: A Homecoming for Dana Eikenberg

Both teams are in the Stanford Region, but for the 15th time, Penn State is the host of the opening two rounds of play, meaning Sunday's game between the Big Ten regular season champion and the Missouri Valley regular season and tournament champion will take place at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Not only are the Lady Lions coming off of their fourth-straight NCAA tournament appearance, but this also marks the 25th time Penn State has appeared in the big dance. The Lady Lions are 1-1 all-time against current Missouri Valley Conference teams, but Sunday's game will be the first-ever matchup between the two programs.

14-03-23-WBB-Wichita State.jpg
Pregame Reading
What To Watch For - Penn State

Home Court Advantage: There is no question that playing in the friendly confines of the Bryce Jordan Center will only help Penn State in their first round bout against Wichita State. On the season the Lady Lions are 12-4 at home. The last time Penn State played at home game to start the NCAA Tournament was back in 2010-11 when the Lady Lions topped Dayton in the first round, but then fell to DePaul in the second round. Penn State has won three straight games at home and has not lost at the Bryce Jordan Center since February 6.

Motivated Maggie: Four years. Four NCAA Tournament appearances. Two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas is as experienced as it comes when talking about postseason play. With that being said, Lucas and her Lady Lions have nothing to show for it. Lucas has one last chance to make the postseason count. Despite being double-teamed during most offensive sets, the 5-foot-10 guard is averaging 21.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game this season. If the game is close, expect to see Lucas at the free-throw line. The senior guard has missed just nine free throws and is shooting an incredible 95.1 percent from the charity stripe this season.

Senior Leadership: There are four seniors on Coquese Washington's squad this season. Talia East, Ariel Edwards, Maggie Lucas and Dara Taylor each have at least one more chance to play in front of their loyal home fans. In order to give Penn State the best chance to win against the Shockers, East must make her presence felt down on the block, Edwards must score and defend, Lucas must be efficient from the field by finding open space to shoot, and Taylor must orchestrate the offense and be quick on defense. It has been a winning formula, so far, in 2013-14.

What To Watch For - Wichita State

Red Hot Shockers: Despite losing four out of its six final regular season games, Wichita State still managed to tally the best record in school history and win the Missouri Valley regular season title. However, that's old news for the Shockers, as Jody Adams's squad won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in convincing fashion. The Shockers reeled off three straight wins in the tournament by an average margin of 20.3 points. Wichita State finished at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference rankings in scoring at 71.6 points per game and held opponents to a conference low 57.2 points per game.

All Eyes on Harden: A 5-foot-11 junior, Alex Harden is a dual-threat that has caused problems for opponents all season. The versatile guard/forward is towards the top of the Missouri Valley Conference rankings with 17.1 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game and 5.0 assists per game. She leads her team and is second in the conference in free throw shooting at 85.5 percent. Harden is a two-time All-MVC First Team selection, two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year, and was named the MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive year in 2013-14.

Second Time Dancing: Last year was Wichita State's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. The first time dancing is always an adjustment. For the Shockers, they faced a talented Texas A&M squad in the first round and fell, 71-45. Even though the program is new to the tournament, head coach Jody Adams is not. Not only will this be Adams third dance as a head coach, she also took Murray State to the tournament in her only season as head coach there in 2007-08. As a player, she won a National Championship as a point guard at Tennessee in 1991.

 

--LADY LIONS--