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By: Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- From the moment she first put on a Penn State uniform just over a year ago, it was evident to anyone watching that Teniya Page had talent.  The sophomore guard put on another show Saturday afternoon, as a career-high tying 31 points helped to lead the Penn State Lady Lions past Marshall, 82-80 in the Bryce Jordan Center. 

For head coach Coquese Washington, this is nothing out of the ordinary compared to the Page she's seen the last two years.  And, while the talent is there, it may be her basketball IQ that puts her over the top. 

"Teniya is a really smart player. I think when you look at how she scored 31 points in 15 shots, she's a very efficient player. She does a great job of finding and picking her spots; not just being a volume shooter. I think that's why she was able to have a good night," Washington said.  "When you have the high basketball I.Q. that she has, only good things happen."

Page helped get the Lady Lions going early, as she dropped in five of Penn State's first nine, and eight total points in a first quarter that saw the Lady Lions trailing 23-17 at the break.  Despite the deficit, a 3-pointer by Page with one second left in the quarter, her second of the game, was a sign of things to come.  

The big bucket sparked a 9-0 run to begin the second for the Lady Lions, giving the home team it's first lead of the day at 24-23 and then 26-23 before Marshall responded.  

Following the big Penn State run, Marshall responded with a 10-2 run of it's own, before a back-and-forth finish to the quarter saw the Thundering Herd take a 37-35 lead into intermission. 

Despite the big first half swings, the second half would be a close battle throughout, and for the home team that meant it was Teniya Page time.  After dropping 12 points in the first half, the guard doubled her scoring in the third, dropping 12 in those 10 minutes alone, including two of her game-high five 3-pointers to pace the home team.  

Saturday marked the second time in Page's young career that she hit five triples in one game, and for defenses, that outside shot is a scary combination with her quick first step. 

"I think it stretches the floor, especially if I'm making the 3's then they have to guard me which opens me up for the pull-up or the drive," she said.  "Then when I drive I can kick it out to my teammates. I think it just gives me more options and spreads the floor." 

One of those five 3's gave the Lady Lions a 59-58 lead heading into the fourth, a quarter where neither team would pull ahead by more than one possession until the final minute.  While big 3-pointers by Page were key to end the first and third periods, it was a driving layup that sealed the Lady Lions' victory. 

Page's slashing bucket with 35 seconds to go gave Penn State a 78-77 lead, and was the final of 13 lead changes between the two teams on the afternoon, as Penn State hit free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.  

For Page, the success she saw on the day, including her clutch late layup, was a result of reading the defense and taking what was given.

"I think being ready to shoot when people were attacking the gaps and also attacking the gaps myself, which made me available to shoot the pull-up," she said on her success.  "That's pretty much it and knocking down free throws." 

While Page's 31 points highlighted the box score, it was a team effort to secure the victory for Penn State.  Three other Lady Lions chipped in with double-digit scoring, led by 19 points from Sierra Moore to bring home the victory for the home team.

For Washington, continuing to find that balance in the scoring column will be key to the Lady Lions' success as the season goes on. 

"I think we've got to continue to find balance on the offensive end," she said.  "Sierra has recently shown that she can do that for us and so we've got to keep working with a few more players to be consistent on the offensive end."

The Lady Lions will look to keep the winning ways going as they hit the road to take on Holy Cross next Wednesday at 7 p.m. 


By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sierra Moore has had her share of ups and downs in her collegiate career. In the previous four seasons, she's only played in two, but she's back on the court this year and ready to closeout her career on a high.

 

Her Penn State career started when she transferred from Duke after her freshman season in 2013. Due to NCAA transfer rules, she was required to sit out the following year.

 

When she was able to suit up for the blue and white for the first time in 2014-2015, she didn't disappoint. She was the only Lady Lion to start all 30 games, led the team in assists (116), free throws made (73), was a team tri-captain; and also earned honorable mention All-Big Ten.

 

But right before the start of her redshirt junior season in 2015, she suffered a torn ACL in practice, which would cause her to miss the entire year. But, despite missing two years so close to each other, Moore remains focused on the positives that came of it.

 

"Sitting out for two years has been really hard but also, if you think back to it, I really can take away from those two years," the now-redshirt senior said. "Just getting a different side of the game and more of a coaching perspective is really helpful for me because I can see some things that you would not necessarily see when you're on the court playing."

 

Moore has wasted no time getting back into her groove this season. She already has 30 rebounds on the year and is averaging five a game; she's also averaging 7.8 points. Head coach Coquese Washington is happy to have Moore back on both sides of the ball.

 

"She brings a lot of intensity, she brings a lot of speed to the court and she just plays so hard, so having her back in the rotation is really an added benefit," Washington said. "She's a big defender for us; she's able to guard the big guards and the small forwards. She has the experience and she plays with a lot of confidence and that confidence rubs off on her teammates so I'm really, really thrilled to have her back in uniform this year."

 

With a team that is stacked with guards, Moore has been coming off the bench in every game. But that hasn't slowed down her production or lessened her role on the team.

 

"Her being a spark for us off the bench is big," Washington said. "As a coach, it's a wonderful luxury when you can look down your bench and go 'okay, let me put this kid in because I know she's going to have an impact immediately' and that's what she's done for us so far this year. Once she takes the floor, the energy, the intensity, the speed of the game improves immediately."

 

Her teammates see that change, too. Senior Peyton Whitted knows that she and the rest of the team can count on Moore to come off the bench and change the pace and flow of the game.

 

"Sierra will automatically bring a lot of energy so that's something that she does when she comes on the floor," Whitted said. "She makes an impact in some sort of way, whether it's defensively, rebounding or just scoring out in transition, I think that she's a player that we can definitely count on off the bench to come in and make an immediate impact."

 

Moore wasn't the only Lady Lion nursing an ACL injury last season. Then-freshman Amari Carter also tore her ACL in the preseason, forcing her to miss her first year. The two formed a close bond on the sideline, with the veteran Moore helping Carter focus on recovering.

 

"We were each others cheerleaders last year, just trying to push through rehab and things like that," Carter said. "She has a lot of confidence in her game and in herself and that gave me more confidence in myself and my knee."

 

Confidence is certainly something that Moore doesn't lack, and it seems everyone has taken notice. Washington couldn't say it enough, and even with her injury, Moore's confidence hasn't wavered.

 

"What's interesting with Sierra is, sometimes when kids come off an ACL injury they're a little bit more tentative, but Sierra is Sierra. She still plays with the same ferocity that she [has always] played with," Washington said. "When I think about her game, she has a mean, aggressive game and she plays with that same aggressiveness, she plays with that same intensity and confidence that she did before she got hurt."

 

Moore and the Lady Lions will look to keep that confidence and her high level of play to finish her senior year strong.  

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By: Jeff Sattora, GoPSUsports.com Staff Writer 
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Penn State Lady Lions started off hot and didn't slow down, as an 11-4 early lead just was a sign of things to come in a 70-56 win over the 13th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols, Sunday night inside the Bryce Jordan Center.  

Penn State had three big runs throughout the game, each at key moments to help secure the victory.  

Sophomore guard Teniya Page got the Lady Lions off to a quick start, hitting five of her game-high 29 points on a layup and transition 3-pointer in the first three minutes of play.  Page's points were bookended by triples from Amari Carter and Kaliyah Mitchell to get Penn State off and running.  

While Tennessee bounced back to take a 16-15 lead early in the second quarter, a second Lady Lion charge changed the game once again.   A jump shot by Carter gave Penn State a 17-16 lead they would not return the rest of the night.  Five different Lady Lions scored over the final seven minutes to spark a 16-0 run and 18-4 stretch to end the half.  

"The game is a game of runs," Penn State head coach Coquese Washington said on her team's first half bursts.  "We took advantage of what was there during those times.  We were able to get to the free-throw line or get out in transition and hit some 3's." 

"I think the biggest thing for us was rebounding and then running in transition and then keep running regardless of what happens," Page said, echoing her coach on the transition effort leading to success.  "The thing that we talked about the most in almost every timeout felt like rebound the ball and run in transition on a make and a miss.  I think that was a key to making our runs."

Coming out of halftime with a 33-20 lead, the Lady Lions looked to keep the momentum going.  While Penn State had the lead, it was Tennessee that chipped away, cutting the deficit to 44-40 at the end of the third. 

For Washington, responding at the start of the fourth quarter to that Tennessee comeback was all about the defensive end.    

"I thought we got some stops.  I thought Kaliyah Mitchell came down with some big rebounds.  We were tougher inside in terms of contesting shots.  But I thought the rebounding during that stretch was big for us.  We were able to rebound and get going."

When the Lady Lions get going it is often Page leading the way, and the fourth quarter was no different. 

The sophomore, who heading into the fourth led the Lions with 16 points, was not ready to go home on the losing end.   The guard scored Penn State's first six points of the quarter to respond to that Lady Vol attack. 

"I would just read the defense to see what they would give me," Page said on what led to her success all night long.  "I just had to pay attention to how they were guarding me and my teammates.  A lot of times I had to create off the dribble, but I also created enough space to at least shoot my pull-up." 

As well as Page played, it was a team effort to close out this win.  The start of the fourth quarter provided Penn State's third and final big run of the game.  A 3-pointer by Carter capped off a 13-2 run in the first 4:17 of the fourth to push the lead once again to double-digits, 57-42, and help seal the victory. 

Carter's big late bucket wasn't the only key play by the rest of that Lady Lion group, as Page's high-scoring effort was complimented by three others in scoring in double-figures. Mitchell filled in with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Carter and Sierra Moore added 11 and 10 points respectively in the victory.  

Penn State will look to keep a three game win streak rolling this week, as they head south to Florida for the San Juan Shootout Thursday and Friday.  

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By Ryan Berti, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Picking up right where she left off last season, sophomore guard Teniya Page put up impressive numbers to help Penn State earn a hard-fought victory over the visiting Akron Zips, 84-71.

 

On the night, she would go for a stat line of a team-high 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including a clip of 5-for-9 from behind the arc, all the while also racking up six rebounds and seven assists in a full 40 minutes on the floor.

 

"She's important because of what she can do, but I also think she's important because it frees up and opens up opportunities for other people," head coach Coquese Washington said about the Page's impact. "[The rest of the team] is able to do what they can do because she's being aggressive."

 

Early in the contest, the Chicago-native made her presence felt by knocking down three of her treys on the night en route to 11 points and a Penn State lead of 26-19 in the game's first quarter.

 

The second leg of action Akron responding after a quick jumper by senior Peyton Whitted opened up the scoring in the quarter. After that, the Zips went on a 12-0 run to take the lead, 31-28.

 

Coach Washington called a timeout to talk things over with her team to make some necessary adjustments.

 

"We weren't being as aggressive against the zone as I wanted to be," Washington said.

 

Penn State then answered back with an impressive 17-5 run of their own fueled by the likes of Page and junior guard Lindsey Spann, who combined for all but three points of the team's output to close the remainder of the quarter and half. After the hot streak of play, the Lady Lions were able to head into the locker room with a steady 10-point lead.

 

The Zips would fire back almost immediately at the start of the second half, as Akron guard Hannah Plybon rifled off a 3-pointer to quickly put her squad on the board. The following possession, Plybon added two more to her point-total with layup to make it 46-41, officially cut the deficit from the start of the quarter in half.

 

Both squads would trade scoring runs throughout the quarter; Penn State earned the longest stretch of scoring with an 8-0 run over roughly two-and-a-half minutes, meanwhile, Akron was able to hit five total 3-pointers in the quarter from the hands of Plybon and Megan Sefick, who hit the last of which with three seconds left in the quarter to make it just a 65-61 Lions' lead through three.

 

The fourth quarter would keep it a five-point contest up to the final five minutes, but after the final quarter's halfway point it was all Blue and White. Penn State went on to close the game on a 10-2 run thanks to five Zips turnovers.

 

Turnovers would prove to be the biggest difference between the otherwise equally competitive squads. The Lions won the turnover battle by forcing twice as many turnovers as they committed (16-8) and turned those into 29 points on the other end. Akron only was able to score six points off of turnovers.

 

Team captain Kaliyah Mitchell said post-game that the team will take both the good and the bad from the game and use it to propel the team throughout the beginnings of the season.

 

"Right now we're just trying to keep the high energy and let each game push us forward. We learn from each game and we don't settle," she said.  "So we look forward to every single game but we also look back and see things that we can fix so that we can keep improving every night."

 

With the win, Penn State moves to 2-1 on the season. The Lions also stay perfect against the current lineup of MAC competition, moving to 7-0 against the conference all-time.

 

Next up for the Lady Lions is a home game against the No. 13 Tennessee Lady Vols this Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.

Lady Lions Ready for Akron

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By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the season in full swing, the Lady Lions are getting used to all that it comes with. And right now, that means playing multiple games in a row with a quick turnaround between each.

Penn State will be back in the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday to take on the Akron Zips for their third game in six days. With such a short rest period between games, head coach Coquese Washington was happy that her team was able to keep up their performance throughout the weekend, and she hopes that continues. 

"I liked the way we bounced back. With the quick turnaround, there's not a lot of time to get in the gym and really get after it from a physical standpoint," Washington said. "So really just focusing in and talking through some things and having more of a 'mental' practice and then just being able to make those adjustments without really going through a lot on the court, I was pleased [last weekend]." 

Despite the fast shift from game to game, the Lady Lions were able to follow up Friday's loss at Drexel with a 56-point pounding of Saint Peter's on Sunday. Now, with such a dominant win fresh in their minds, Washington keeps her team focused by continuing to work on their game plan. 

"We talk about the areas that we did well in but we also talk about some areas of growth that we have to have," Washington said. "So that's always our focus, it's 'how can we get better, what areas of the game do we need to smooth out and make sure we're paying attention to.' I think when we have that kind of focus, that it's not hard at all to get back in the gym and work on getting better for the next game." 

Redshirt freshman Amari Carter is on the same page as her coach and she and her teammates have already put the weekend games behind them as they turn their attention to the Zips.

"It's like every other game. That was a game on Sunday so now we have to focus on Wednesday," Carter said. "We can't keep dwelling on the past, just like we couldn't dwell on the loss from Friday on Sunday. So we just try to keep moving forward and work on progressing." 

After watching film from the weekend matchups, Washington saw a lot of positives from her team. But with it still being so early in the season, she knows that this team has so much potential that it's still trying to reach.

"There's certainly some room for growth. I'd like us to be a little bit more attuned to executing all the fine details defensively," Washington said. "I thought there were a couple possessions where there's a little bit of slippage from what we talked about doing and planned to do going into the game, so I'd like to see that be a little bit better." 

Guard Lindsey Spann is looking at perfecting the details of the team's defensive play going forward. And with Akron having success behind the arc so far this season, Spann is hoping the Lady Lions can improve their execution.

"We just definitely need to stay focused on defense the entire game, and not really take those mental lapses but just stay focused on defense and communicate and do the things we've been practicing," said the redshirt junior. 

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday and all the action can be heard on the Penn State Radio Network.

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By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Led by redshirt junior Lindsey Spann's career-high 31 points, Penn State won its home opener on Sunday, 106-50 over Saint Peter's in a game that saw five Lady Lions reach double-digits in scoring.

After dropping the first game of the season to Drexel on Friday, the Lady Lions (1-1) came out with renewed energy, dropping 39 points in the first quarter. Head coach Coquese Washington was happy with how her team performed early. 

"It's fun and a little less stressful when you know that you can come out and put points on the board. One of the things we want to be doing is being aggressive and attacking," Washington said. "I think that our depth, when you add some of the players to the team that we have this year in terms of bringing Sierra Moore back, having Amari Carter on the floor, adding Jaida Travascio-Green and adding Siyeh Frazier, it gives us a few more options that we are able to stay fresh, sub in and keep the tempo going the way we want it to go."

Prior to the season, Washington wanted her team to play at a faster pace, and that was evident against Saint Peter's. The Lady Lions were able to move the ball up and down the court quickly, often getting to the basket before the Peacocks could transition.

"I just think as a team we had a lot more energy and were really focused," Spann said. "We played with a lot of intensity. We fed off of that and didn't let our opponents effect what we were doing. We were able to control the tempo of the game."

Spann went off for her second career 30-point game after being held to just four points against Drexel. After taking time to regroup and refocus between games, she started out fast, scoring 20 of her points in the first half, and never looked back. Spann also led the team with six steals in the game. 

"I was just focusing on the things we talked about coming into this game. We wanted to play a fast, up-tempo game," Spann said. "I just got out there and transitioned and my teammates found me so I was able to score a lot off of the passes."

Moore, Kaliyah Mitchell, Teniya Page and Peyton Whitted also reached double figures in the game. The five combined to score more than half of Penn State's points, helping the Lady Lions to reach 100 points for the first time since 2013.

Penn State held the Peacocks (0-1) to just four made 3-pointers, which was a significant decrease from the 11 they allowed on Friday night. Washington said her team was able to make the adjustments it needed to after such a short turnaround between games. 

"We had a little bit more energy on the defensive end and we had a lot more communication on the defensive end. In our game against Drexel we just had some miscommunications that led to some wide-open 3-pointers and Drexel is a team that will make you pay [for that]," Washington said. "It was good to have a game like this with a quick turnaround. Yesterday we didn't have a physical practice, it was more of a mental practice and to see them be able to transfer what we talked about to game day, I was very pleased." 

The win marks the 900th in Lady Lion program history, making them just the 16th Division I program to reach that mark. Spann is appreciative to be part of such a "dominant program" and Washington agrees. 

"It is humbling to be part of such a tremendous legacy," Washington said, "When you think about all of the coaches that have come before me and what they have done for this program and for women's sports at both Penn State and nationally, I am just thrilled that I can do my part to add to that legacy."

The Lady Lions are back in action at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday when they host the Akron Zips. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

By Ryan Berti, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Practice: it's something that's not necessarily enjoyable, but in order for a team's performance on the court and its outcomes to be enjoyable, it's something that is necessary.

 

Allen Iverson might disagree on this topic, but it's something that is generally accepted to be essential and directly related to individuals and team-oriented success. Without any game plan or preparation, college basketball turns into nothing more than a glorified intramural game.

 

Lady Lions Head coach Coquese Washington understands practice's importance, but also knows it isn't on the top of everyone's list of favorite things.

 

"Let's face it, people get in sports for game day, they don't get into sports because of practice," Washington said.

 

But that's exactly why the women's basketball team heads into this weekend with a vibrant level of eagerness and elation; after months and months of practice and preparation, it's finally time for a real game.

 

On Friday night at 7:00 p.m., Penn State heads to Drexel to take on the Dragons for the first game of the 2016-2017 regular season. With a new season comes a new energy at its inception, as the team gets ready to get back out on the hardwood and play.  With that said, that energy does not just show up on game day, as it has been embodied by the players during this week's practices.

 

"There's a different level of enthusiasm and there's a different level of excitement when you start game week and are getting ready to play games," Washington said after quoting Muhammad Ali and how his mind prepared him for a big fight through training. "Practice Sunday was a lot more enthusiasm, a lot louder."

 

But the level of exuberance does not just stop there at the student-athletes, Washington says, it expands all the way to the coaches too.

 

"From the coaches' standpoint we get excited too. We like that challenge of game day, so it certainly has a different feeling in the gym this week in a good way," Washington said.

 

Senior guard Lindsey Spann has been one helping foster the team's uptick in positive attitude towards getting the team prepared to get the job done against the Drexel.

 

"A lot of people are amped up [and] excited," Spann said while maintaining the importance of staying focused. "Drexel, Drexel, Drexel; we're not really looking past Drexel. We're focused on the first game, that's the goal, that's the mindset, so we're energized and that's where we've been putting most of our focus to."

 

As an upperclassman and team leader, Spann recognizes the boost this type of mentality can have heading into the first week of the season for the underclassmen, especially the freshmen.

 

Washington agreed and said that the freshmen's nerves usually hit them on game day. However, she said if freshman Jaida Travascio-Green is able to just play through the nerves like she did in the exhibition last month against Bloomsburg then it should not be an issue. Fellow freshman Siyeh Frazier might also find playing time on Friday as she aims to return back from injury.

 

Coach Washington hopes heading into the matchup that her team is able to match their heightened spirits with a heightened tempo, which is something she has been speaking of the entire offseason. In her weekly press conference, Washington said that the tempo is not quite up to the desired speed yet, but she hopes it will be able to get back up to the appropriate level come Friday during the game.

 

 

Against a team like Drexel that can shoot from deep with efficiency, create solid ball movement and boast quality players like veteran point guard Meghan Creighton and All-CAA regular Sarah Curran, it's imperative Penn State finds a way to bring their energy and convert it into their defensive presence around the perimeter and keep up their desired up-tempo transition game.

 

With the team's energy reaching a high, the Nittany Lions aim to use it on the court against their competition as a way to execute their game plan and come out victorious. But in the end, the level of excitement really just is a product of what makes sports as great as they are: the love of playing the game.

 

"I'm just excited to play basketball again," Spann said.

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By Ryan Berti, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Many student-athletes dream of getting to the next level once their collegiate careers come to an end and while only about one percent of all NCAA women's basketball players end up being drafted into the WNBA, the Penn State coaching staff claims three members who have enjoyed professional basketball careers.

                                                                                      

Head coach Coquese Washington and assistant coaches Itoro Coleman and Tamika Jeter all boast WNBA service on their resumes, making the Lady Lions coaching staff one of the only two programs in the country with as many coaches with WNBA experience.

 

Between the three, they combined for 14 seasons in the Association and have tutored 10 student-athletes that followed their path into professional basketball. With the staff's rare combination of personally playing know-how and teaching student-athletes the skills needed, the staff has the personal knowledge of what it takes to continue one's basketball career beyond college.

 

Before Washington entered the coaching realm and eventually took the helm of Penn State's program in 2007, she was a law student at Notre Dame who simultaneously played in the ABL. After one season with the ABL's Portland Power, she joined the WNBA in 1998 with the New York Liberty.

 

After two team changes, six seasons and one WNBA title with the Houston Comets in 2000, Washington retired from playing and moved into coaching. Washington wasn't only a standout on the court, as she would use her law degree to become the founding President of the WNBA Players Association in 1999 as she helped lead the charge in the negotiation of the Association's first two collective bargaining agreements.

Looking back on her career, Washington was nothing but smiles as she mentioned a number of great coaches and players she was able to share the floor with.

 

"It was incredible. It was so much fun being able to play with some of the best players in the world and playing alongside hall of famers," Washington said.

 

Assistant Coach Itoro Coleman took the path less traveled to begin her professional career. Going undrafted as an All-American out of Clemson, Coleman found her way into training camps without a guaranteed spot on a regular season roster and often times had to grind it out and trust that things would fall in her favor.

 

She spent two seasons in the league, 2001 with Indiana and 2003 in Houston, and also saw a host of success in international competition with Team USA and the Nigerian national team.

 

When reflecting on her career, Coleman not only mentioned the elite talent she competed with each night on the court, but she also talked about how different the college game was from the professional level.

"The level of talent that is on the floor [in the WNBA] at the same time was very different from college," Coleman said. "In college you can strategize against different team's best players, but when you get to the pros, everybody is great. Just being able to play with a lot of really good athletes was pretty amazing."

 

The newest addition to the coaching staff, Tamika Jeter, had a solid professional career that started when she was selected No. 6 overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx following her time at the University of Connecticut which featured two national championships.

 

The former Tamika Williams would go on the rack up over 1,400 points, 1,100 rebounds, 220 assists and 180 steals during her seven seasons in the WNBA, earning the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award in her final season. Williams continues to hold the No. 1 spot for single season field goal percentage, posting a .668 field goal percentage in 2003.

 

Amongst overall exposure to the world at large and several traveling opportunities, she expresses that being able to play against the best of the best night in and night out was her favorite part.

 

"The best thing about the WNBA is playing against the best players in the world every night, so you know you're playing at the top level against the best players that you can ever play against for however many years you play," Jeter said.

 

Each coach was able to accomplish their dream of playing in the WNBA, but the sheer enjoyment of their achievements is not the only thing they are able to take away. All of them agreed there are valuable lessons come from being a professional athlete, and they carry those lessons into coaching.

 

"The knowledge that we gained and that we're able to bring back to our team and help them develop their games and prepare them to play at the next level is huge," Washington said. "We know from first-hand experience having been there ourselves, so I definitely think it's a tremendous benefit for our players."

 

Jeter says she pieced together more and more knowledge as her playing career went and she was able to use each one-on-one matchup as a learning experience.

 

"You get exposed to all these different players and [styles of play]," Jeter said, " and I used to love studying Tina Thompson and Lauren Jackson. I could just literally just watch and take notes on things that I would like that they would do. That really helped me to be successful."

 

Having gone down a different road than most to reach the WNBA, Coleman took her experience and uses it as a teaching point for her student-athletes who aspire to reach the same heights.

 

"I want my players to be the best possible players you can be and let the cards lay," Coleman said. "Sometimes you might not understand why a coach is making a decision, but that's not in your control. You control the things that you control and then you can be happy about the type of product you put out there."

 

With the vast amounts of playing time at the biggest stage of women's basketball, and with proof they can also get student-athletes there, the Lady Lions coaching staff is unique in the depth of knowledge they bring to the game night in and night out.

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By Ryan Berti, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After seven months of hard-work in the weight room and scores of hours of practice against each other, the Lady Lions finally had a chance to once again step out onto the hardwood and test their skills against another team, while also giving fans a taste of what's to come.

 

Penn State took down the Bloomsburg Huskies 85-41 Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center in the one-and-only exhibition for the Lions before the start of the regular season. In the victory, they were able to get valuable playing time against opposing players and showcase what they have been working on since last year.

 

Throughout the offseason, the Lady Lions have spoken about the team's newfound speed and preached its importance moving forward. The up-tempo style was executed often and early on in contest as Penn State started off the game going full-throttle.

 

The first five baskets of the game from the field by the Lions all came off of quick transitions from the team turning hard-pressing defense into an aggressive offensive attack. Those five scores were tallied in just 27 combined seconds, going from one end of the floor to the other, averaging just 5.4 seconds per possession.

 

The team's speed was shown in flashes throughout the game, ultimately fueling the Penn State offense to 22 fast break points, but coach Coquese Washington said after the game that the team has some work to do to get up to the optimal speed.

 

"I didn't think we played as fast as I'd like," Washington said. "I think we played faster than we have in the past, but I think in terms of looking at our ability to push the basketball, I think we can [play faster]."

 

During the game's early stages, the Penn State defense had their way with the Huskies. In the first four minutes of play, Penn State forced four steals and held Bloomsburg scoreless. A Ciara Forde layup with 5:58 remaining in the first gave the visitors their first points on the board, but Bloomsburg struggled to find much rhythm on the offensive end, ending the game shooting just 30 percent. 

One of the newest members of the Lady Lions, Jaida Travascio-Green, got to make her first appearance in the Blue and White, and she could not have gotten off to a better start. A few minutes into the second quarter, the freshman took her first shot as a Penn Stater and drilled a three-pointer. Then at the quarter's halfway mark, she hit another from behind the arc, this time stepping back and shooting it with a defender right in her face. Immediately after on the ensuing Bloomsburg possession, Travascio-Green added a steal to her stat sheet as she snatched an off-target inside pass and helped lead the offense the other way.

 

She finished the day with nine points after going 3-5 from deep while also contributing on the defensive end with a block and two steals.


"I'm excited by the way all of our underclassmen have been playing," Peyton Whitted said on the play of the squad's younger players. "If you saw Jaida playing, you didn't see that she's a freshman, she's not playing like one. They're doing a great job"

While the guard had herself a solid first time playing against college competition, the stars of the day came from the veterans in sophomore guard Teniya Page and senior forward Peyton Whitted.

The former put up a superb team-high 19 points on 57 percent shooting along with nine assists to fill up the box score, meanwhile the latter scored one point less but at an efficient 75 percent clip while also garnering eight total rebounds.

 

Whitted had an especially strong start to the second half by registering the first four baskets for the Lions in the first three minutes of the third quarter. She was a menace inside the paint and was the catalyst that allowed Penn State to outscore Bloomsburg in the paint 50-16.

 

Many positives came from the victory, but coach Washington knows there is no glory in being complacent and also saw many areas of the game; like pace, communication and offensive execution; that can be improved on in the coming weeks before the regular season's inception.

 

"There were a lot of positives and a lot of things that the kids can take away from [this game]," Washington said. "As coaches we often say you learn a lot from a loss, but I think there are a lot of things that we can learn positively in terms of areas of growth out of a win. We'll watch the film and point out some areas we can continue to get better at and we'll go from there."

 

The season sits now 12 days away for the Lady Lions as they open the year on the road at Drexel. That game takes place Friday, November 11 at 7 p.m.

 

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By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions will hit the court this weekend for the first time this season in an exhibition game against Bloomsburg. They return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip. 

After finishing last year with a 12-19 record, the Lady Lions are looking to improve upon on that, and head coach Coquese Washington is looking at the freshman to make an immediate impact. 

"I've been really impressed with our freshman so far. They picked up things really, really quickly," Washington said. "They've acclimated themselves very quickly and when I look at the two of them, including [transfer] De'Janae Boykin who hasn't played college basketball and [redshirt sophomore] Amari Carter who really hasn't either, I think our young guards will be a big impact on the floor." 

It's those same freshmen that have surprised Washington since practice started. Since their arrival on campus, they've worked to be as prepared as possible for their collegiate debut.

"Our freshman have really surprised me in the way that they have almost seamlessly fit into what we're doing and the way that they play off of the returning members and the kids who know what they're doing," Washington said. "They've done that so well that it's given us a little bit more depth at this point of the season, which I'm happy to see." 

With a successful offseason under their belt, Washington is ready to see the work put in at those practices translate over into on court success this weekend. 

"The exhibition game gives us a chance to see that in a game environment and live action, it gives us a chance to kind of start to look at substitution patterns and things of that nature, those are the things were looking at and what lineups go well together in a game atmosphere," Washington said. 

Senior Peyton Whitted is also looking for the team to show off its new speed after spending a good chunk of the offseason focusing on it.

"I've definitely seen a different pace on our team. We brought in a lot of guards this year so we're definitely up and down a lot more than we were last year," Whitted said. "Our post guards are running down quicker than we have in the past few years. And we're just scoring a lot of points and that's what's awesome about how fast we've been playing."

Preparation for an exhibition game is no different from a regular season game, but with tape available only from last season, it can be tricky. 

"We want to try to be as prepared as possible. The tough thing about an exhibition game is you don't have as much film to scout so you're going off of what they did last year, so there's always going to be some surprises," Washington said. "But that's actually a good thing because it prepares us for later in the season when teams have time to prepare and they put in new things, so from that standpoint, it's a great opportunity for us [practice how to] make the adjustments during the game as we go along."

Washington has yet to settle on a staring five for the season, but she has an idea of who she's going to start on Sunday.  But this exhibition game could change that lineup heading into the start of the season in a few weeks. 

"It's still a little early, I kind of have an idea, but we'll probably go with the kids who have played a lot of minutes for us," Washington said. "But this exhibition game will give us a chance to solidify things as we move to the start of the season."

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