Recently in Women's Basketball Category
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - In the four seasons that senior forward Talia East has been a part
of the Penn State women's basketball program, the Lady Lions have registered 98
wins, a mere 29 losses and won two Big Ten regular season titles.
"This class is accustomed to winning," said assistant coach Kia Damon. "What
these ladies [the seniors] have been able to do in their four years here has
been pretty remarkable."
big reason for Penn State's success over the past four seasons can be linked to
the development of East into a leader and dominant inside presence.
has represented our edge and our toughness, especially in the post," said
Damon. "That's always a key component you want to have, especially as you build
a team to be really, really successful. She takes pride in being our enforcer. She's
from Philly and we tell her that we need the 'Philly' in her to come out every game.
She does a great job of being the stabilizing force inside for us, both
offensively and defensively."
her senior season, East is posting the best numbers of her career. She has
played in all 27 games, starting in 24 of those, while averaging 7.6 points per
game by shooting 52 percent from the field, grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game and swatting
1.3 shots per game.
the humble East, her on-the-court performance this year has come as a little
bit of a surprise.
knew?" said East. "I think just learning and focusing on getting better each game
was key for me. Just putting in the time and effort has definitely paid off.
I'm just so proud of what I've accomplished and how much more there is to
accomplish. The season is not even close to being over."
asked to describe her time as a Lady Lion in one word, East responded with
being "blessed" to be a part of a great team each of her four seasons.
being the selfless person that East is, she made sure that her teammates,
especially the players in her senior class, received the credit that they
deserve for East's growth as a player.
[Lucas] has definitely helped me," said East. "We've put in work before
practice and after practice. Maggie's been there cheering me on since high
school. Same with Ariel; we came in as freshman, and we were really there for
each other with the mental game. I've been so grateful to her for that. And
Dara, to have a point guard who knows what she's talking about and really knows
the game definitely makes it easy to play the game."
her teammates, the feeling is mutual.
has been an awesome teammate," said senior guard Maggie Lucas. "She's very
competitive and fiery on the court. She really gets after it and It's been
awesome to play with her."
the court East is anything but an enforcer. Rather, she is the jokester of the
team, the clown just without the round red nose, big red shoes and colorful
helps keep things in perspective," said Damon. "She has a great sense of when
to be serious and when there is a light or fun moment. I think that keeps
everyone on balance."
East's four-year career one aspect of being a Lady Lion has been a staple, her
[Washington] is like a second mom to me," said East. "I couldn't ask for a better
coach, and I honestly mean that. She's so caring, but she's hard on you when
you need it. She's really just been there for me in my ups and in my downs. I
definitely would not be where I am without her."
It certainly has been a memorable four years
for East. Her personality has created an environment that is comfortable for
her teammates to play in, especially the freshman.
But, as the season winds down and the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments can be seen
over the horizon, East goes back to her senior teammates, the best friends that
have been with her along the way.
"I love them," said East. "Those are the people who I started this journey with.
Before there was hype around our team, before anybody thought we'd win the Big
Ten; that was the three that we had. It has just been an amazing journey, and
I'm just looking forward to ending it the right way."
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Maintaining a perfect road record in the Big Ten is no easy feat.
Penn State found out just how hard it is last night inside a raucous Pinnacle
Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
No. 11/8 Penn State Lady Lions (21-6, 12-3 Big Ten) registered its first
conference road loss, 94-74, against the No. 17/16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (21-5,
11-3) and now sit in a three-way tie atop the Big Ten standings.
Edwards led Penn State by tying a career-high with 24 points on 10-of-13
shooting. She also tied a career-high by converting four three-pointers.
the half the Lady Lions found themselves trailing, 52-30, but head coach
Coquese Washington remained determined when she talked to her team inside the
halftime message was to play better," said Washington. "We needed to do a
better job of contesting shots. I thought in the first half they got way to
many open looks and uncontested shots. We had a few miscues defensively, and if
we can sure those up it would have been a little bit of a different story."
Penn State's efforts, the Cornhuskers were just too hot from the field,
especially from beyond the arc. Led by Tear'a Laudermill, who scored 27 points
on 7-of-10 shooting from three-point range, Nebraska as a team combined to shot
72.7 percent (16-for-22) from behind the 3-point line.
think [this game] is one you have to flush out," said Washington. "It's easily
our worst defensive performance of the year. I thought Nebraska played
extremely well. I thought they capitalized on opportunities that they had and when
they had open shots they made them. They were just clicking on all cylinders
Lucas was held scoreless in the first half, but she connected on three
three-pointers in the second half to finish with 17 points and move within two made
three-point shots of Kelly Mazzante's Big Ten and Penn State's career
was just too quick in transition and too strong shooting from the floor for
Penn State to mount a comeback on the road. Even the energy inside Pinnacle
Bank Arena made it easy for the Cornhuskers to score and difficult for Penn
State to get anything going offensively.
the game Washington was asked if this is a loss that her team can overcome.
said Washington. "I just think it's one of those things where you go on the
road and you play in a tough environment. We have some really good venues in
the Big Ten where people come out to support their teams. Nebraska is one of
"We've been on the road and we've competed and we've handled our own business on
the road. Tonight was a night where Nebraska played an outstanding game. As a
coach, when you're on the other side, you're feeling pretty good about all your
kids coming through and being focused and executing. You know, it's fun to be
on that side."
the loss the Lady Lions fall into a three-way tie for first place in the Big
Ten standings, but with a win in their final home game against Michigan on
Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the BJC, the Blue and White can earn a share of their
third straight Big Ten regular season championship.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
Neb. - In the only matchup of the season, No. 11/8 Penn State and No. 17/16 Nebraska
will clash Monday night in Lincoln with Big Ten regular season title
implications on the line.
The Lady Lions currently sit atop the conference standings at 12-2 in
conference with the Huskers right behind them at 10-3. Both teams are coming
off wins their last time out; Penn State topped Northwestern on Feb. 20, 82-73,
and Nebraska dispatched Ohio State in Columbus, 67-59, on Feb. 20.
Watch For - Penn State
Success Vs. Huskers: Penn State has won
its last three contests against Nebraska and is 5-1 all-time against the
Huskers. The Lady Lions are also 2-0 in games played in Lincoln. Senior guard
Maggie Lucas has followed team success with personal success, averaging 23.8
points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.8 steals in four career matchups with
B1G Road Success: Penn State has won a
school best eight straight conference road games dating back to Mar. 3, 2013.
Its last Big Ten road loss was at Minnesota on Feb. 28, 2013. The
eight-straight road winning streak broke a record of seven that dated back to
Jan. 31, 1999 - Jan. 16 2000.
Paint Job: On the stat sheet the Lady Lions most
glaring advantage over the Huskers comes in the offensive rebound category.
Penn State has 376 offensive rebounds this season, averaging over 14 per game.
Nebraska's numbers are much lower at 263 on the season and 10.5 per game.
Additionally, Penn State has seen consistent contributions from Talia East and
Tori Waldner. Against Northwestern on Feb. 20 Waldner notched a career high 14
points in the win.
Watch For - Nebraska
Hooper Can Hoop: Husker senior forward
Jordan Hooper will counter Maggie Lucas' scoring prowess on Monday night.
Hooper comes into the contest averaging 20.2 points per game on 43.3 percent
shooting from the field. Hooper has 13 20-plus point games this season and two
30-plus point games. In her last three outings she has tallied 23, 31 and 24
points and hasn't been lower than 10 points in a game since Jan. 19 vs. Purdue.
Hot Streak: Behind the strong
play of Hooper, Nebraska has won its last seven games dating back to Jan. 29.
Four of those sevens wins have come in double-digit fashion. In the month of
February, the Huskers are on an overall 14-game winning streak. Nebraska has
two more February games remaining both at home against Penn State and Illinois.
Recent Home Success: Put Penn State's road
success with Nebraska's recent home success and we could be in for a good one
Monday night. The Huskers have won their last three home contests by an average
of 22.7 points per game and are 14-2 on the season at the new Pinnacle Bank
Arena. Their only two home losses came by a combined six points against Purdue
and Washington State.
By Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 11/9 Penn State Lady Lions worked together
as one team to walk away with another victory as they defeated Northwestern, 82-73, with a high level of production from all each players
that stepped on the court.
It came as no surprise that senior guard
Maggie Lucas continued to make huge contributions for the team as she broke the
Penn State career free throw record, completing her 517th successful
The senior's performance also marked the
third consecutive game where she scored 25 or more points, ending the night
with 26 points - including seven free throws - to go along with four rebounds,
three assists and four steals.
Lucas was able to rely on her teammates to put her in the position to be able
to make key shots and add points to the scoreboard.
"I was able to find some holes in their zone [defense] and Dara [Taylor] set me
up nicely a couple times," said Lucas. "Tori [Waldner] made a real nice pass to
me on that four-point play. My teammates set me up with a lot of catch-and-shoot
opportunities, which is something I don't get too often anymore, and I was able
to take advantage of that. A couple times I used the shot-fake to get in the
lane and then tied to get my teammates some looks, too."
Although Lucas was the leading scorer for the Lady Lions, she wasn't the only
one making big plays. Everyone on the court stepped up adding depth and contribution
amongst the players.
"We have been getting a lot more production from a lot more people in the last
few games," head coach Coquese Washington said. "Tori [Waldner] stepped up and
has been more of a factor and Kaliyah [Mitchell] stepped up and has made some
big plays for us, so I think just that we are starting to get a little more
depth and contribution is helping us fight through this grind of conference
Tori Waldner came into the night with a career-best of 11 points, but through
aggressive play and accurate shooting, the
junior was able to come out with a new career high of 14 points as she went
6-for-11 from the field.
For Waldner, thinking about her timing, slowing down the game, and making sure
that she was open instead of shooting as soon as she got the ball contributed
to her success on the court.
"We wanted her [Tori] to be more of a threat and I think she's starting to put
together some things mentally on the court," Washington said. "She is starting
to figure out how she can be more effective and I think she is slowing the game
down and not rushing through things. She's not playing too fast, but playing at
a pace that allows her to see the game and see what her opportunities are and
being impactful that way."
Another player adding to the depth of the team is Ariel Edwards. The senior
guard/forward contributed 15 points after making back-to-back three point plays
late in the second half to help her gain momentum. She also added six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
It became obvious that Edwards is a versatile player for the Lady Lions as she knocked
down shots from the perimeter, attacked the basket, rebounded well, and brought
the ball up against the press.
"She might be one of the most underrated players in the conference because she
impacts the game in so many ways," Washington said. "She did a little bit of
everything for us tonight and we are not in this position without what she's
done this season. I tip my hat to her because she has been an impact player for
us all season long."
With 12 minutes left in the second half, Northwestern slowly closed the gap to six
points before Kaliyah Mitchell scored a layup to help the Lady Lions extend
their lead. As the clock continued to wind down, Mitchell faced some tense free
throws, but made six consecutive from the line with under one minute left.
"The great thing was Kaliyah shot seven-for-seven from the line and we know
teams are going to try and not let Maggie get the ball when its situations like
that so we need other people to be able to step up and make free throws and
Kaliyah did that tonight."
After four consecutive conference wins, the Lady Lions will look for continued production
from every player on the court. They travel to Lincoln, Neb. with some momentum
and will be looking to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular season
title with a victory over the Cornhuskers on Monday, Feb. 24.
PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No.
11/11 Penn State women's basketball contest against Northwestern on Thursday,
Feb. 20 inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 7 p.m.
BLOG: What to Watch | BLOG:
Taylor Becoming a Scorer in Final Stretch of Senior Season
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By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
PARK, Pa. - Two years ago when Dara Taylor stepped on the Penn State campus
after transferring from the University of Maryland as a pass-first point guard.
this season she was still a pass-first point guard. Her coaches had to
constantly get on her to be more of a shooter and more aggressive. Even to the
point where Taylor had to do push-ups and spend time on an exercise bike as
she passes up shots, I get on her about passing up shots," head coach Coquese
Washington said. "If you make them or miss them it doesn't matter. You have to
take them. She's a good enough shooter.
used to yell at her for passing up shots and if she passed up enough of them I
would make her ride the bike or do some push ups or something and said 'if you
don't want to shoot then we'll wear out your arms another way.' She'd rather
shoot than ride the bike."
has made that clear over the second half of Big Ten play as she has scored 10
or more points in her last seven games dating back to Jan. 26. Washington
credits Taylor's recent aggressiveness and consistency to her understanding of
what the team needs.
senior guard took that to heart and has since been much improved offensively
and has seen the team be better off for it as well. A unique bond between
Washington and her point guard has allowed Taylor to excel over the past
bond is that they both are point guards and have the mindset of point guard,
which Taylor says is the bulk of the reason why her mentality has changed and
her play has improved.
[Coquese] was a point guard herself so from stepping on campus to now the
growth I've had rests a lot on her shoulders," Taylor said. "She's constantly
telling me what to look for and the reads to make and I think I've grown in
that department based off of her."
able to interact with her head coach and ask for advice and criticisms has made
Taylor more open to shooting because she now believes is it what her team
the stretch with the games remaining if Coquese needs me to shoot more, score
more and be aggressive that's what I have to do for the team," she said. "With
coach and my teammates putting that confidence in me I really don't mind taking
those shots if that's what the team needs me to do. I'm fine with that."
has commended Taylor's ability to make that change and embrace the role. With
three regular season games and postseason play remaining in her Lady Lion
career, Taylor has blossomed into the guard Washington wanted her to be when
she first arrived on campus.
key to that, in Washington's eyes, is that she is her own type of point guard.
Not a mirror image of previous Lady Lion point guard Alex Bentley, but her own
brand with her own type of contributions to the team.
really grown into understanding how to be a point guard here at Penn State and
what we want her to do is just play and lead the team," Washington said. "She's
done it in a way that is authentic and comfortable for her.
still wanted to be an up tempo team and expect the point guard to be the leader
of the team and the voice of the team and she has embraced all of those and
done a fantastic job of being a leader on the court."
will have another chance to avoid push-ups or the exercise bike as Penn State
faces Northwestern Thursday at 7 p.m. where her coach will be looking for her
to, as always, shoot the ball.
PARK, Pa. - On of the toughest tests for No. 11/9 Penn State so far in Big Ten
play came on Feb. 2 at Northwester, a 79-75 victory. In that game, the Wildcats
(14-11, 4-8) led by four points with three minutes to go, but the Lady Lions
(20-5, 11-2) closed the game on a 13-5 run to claim a big road victory.
The Lady Lions will be looking to improve their home court record to 5-2 on the
year and continue their success against Wildcats in Happy Valley. Penn State is
32-7 all-time vs. Northwestern - winning eight straight games - and own an 17-1
record at home in the series.
To Watch For - Penn State
Limiting Turnovers: Penn State has
taken care of the basketball at home this season, averaging just 12.6 turnovers
per game, including just seven in their victory over Wisconsin on Sunday. On
the road, however, Penn State is giving the ball away nearly 19 times per game.
That was a huge reason why their first meeting with Northwestern was decided by
just four points. Penn State turned the ball over 21 times and the Wildcats
scored 19 points on those missteps.
First in Freebies: Penn State has
attempted more free throws than any other Big Ten team, leading to more made
freebies than their conference colleagues. Penn State's 606 attempts from the
charity stripe are over 30 more their Iowa's 570 and their 468 makes are over
30 more than Purdue's 430. Penn State is shooting .772 from the free throw
line, which ranks third in the Big Ten and 12th nationally.
Just One Left: If you haven't been
to the Bryce Jordan Center for a regular season game yet this season, you are
running out of time. Though Penn State will host the first and second rounds of
the NCAA Tournament, they have just one "true" home game left - Senior Day on
March 4. There are few senior classes that have left an imprint like this
quartet. Talia East, Ariel Edwards, Maggie Lucas and Dara Taylor bleed blue and
white, so get your tickets now and, who know, you might even get to see another
Big Ten title clinched on the court.
To Watch For - Northwestern
Phenom: There are a handful of impact freshman in the Big
Ten this season and Northwestern's Nia Coffey is one of them. She ranks among
the top-15 in the conference in scoring (15.8), rebounds (7.8), steals (1.8)
and blocked shots (2.0). She is among the top eight in points, rebounds and
blocks, but missed the first meeting between the two teams due to injury.
B1G Blocks: As mentioned in the "What to Watch" in our previous meeting with
Northwestern, the Wildcats can block shots. Northwestern swatted seven Penn State
shots in their Feb. 2 meeting and continue to lead the conference with 7.2
blocks per game. That average is nearly 2.5 blocks per game better than the No.
2 team in the conference (Iowa, 4.9) and helps the Wildcats limit opponents to
the 3rd lowest field goal percentage (.372).
Taking Care of the Rock: When you have a stout inside presence, you can make teams play out on
the perimeter and that can lead to steals. That is something Northwestern does
very well. On top of leading the conference in blocks per game, they rank second
in the Big Ten with 8.9 steals per game. That helps them force 17.9 turnovers
per game - they forced 21 Penn State turnovers in the first meeting - which contributes
to their plus-2.36 turnover margin.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward."
were the words said by the late, great Kay Yow, former North Carolina State
University head women's basketball coach who passed away in 2009 of stage four
her honor, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund was created in 2007 and the WBCA Pink Zone
was formed. Now, her fund is one of six beneficiaries of the Pennsylvania Pink
though No. 11/11 Penn State (20-5, 11-2) defeated conference foe Wisconsin
(10-15, 3-10), 78-68, on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Bryce Jordan Center, it was
more than just a game of basketball.
ask one of the 698 breast cancer survivors in attendance for the Eight Annual
Pink Zone at Penn State.
"It is just so neat to have people acknowledge what
we've been through," said 18-year breast cancer survivor and State College
resident Linda McKean. "Everyone is so supportive of this cause. It's just
amazing what they do."
was part of 3,499 years and six months worth of breast cancer survivorship
present at the game yesterday, to not only cheer on the Lady Lions, but also to
also raise awareness for the disease that gave her the battle of her life 18
entire arena, packed with 12,585 fans, was covered from head to toe in pink. From
the 12,000 pink shakers, to the 10,000 pink light up bands, to the pink shirts,
to the cheerleaders and dancers' pink pompoms.
There were also pink hats, the Penn State pink-trimmed jerseys with pink shoes,
all the way to Penn State head coach Coquese Washington's pink skirt.
entire Bryce Jordan Center lit up in pink was an extraordinary site for an
"It is a phenomenal day for us," said Washington. "There are
so many people partner with our program from the community and from within
Intercollegiate Athletics for this cause. They give their time and efforts to
make this day a special celebration for the survivors.
"Every year we have this opportunity to celebrate people who are battling
breast cancer and the courage, the fight and the determination that it takes to
do that day-in and day-out. This is our way of honoring them and giving back to
them. It means a lot to me."
One in every eight women will be
diagnosed with breast cancer. At yesterday's game it was announced that after
eight years in existence the Pennsylvania Pink Zone had surpassed the $1-million
mark in funds raised.
simply is amazing what a group of determined people can accomplish when they
all have a common goal: to find a cure.
"The fight against breast cancer
transcends the game," said Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey. "The game is a
way to show them that we really are fighting with them as far as raising money.
Penn State does a great job and we try to do our part as well to raise money
for breast cancer research. My aunt had breast cancer and she survived. Hopefully,
one day there will be a cure and we won't have to play these games."
It was clear that the players understood
the meaning of yesterday's contest, too. The game was about more than just
winning and losing.
"We love Pink Zone," said Penn State
senior forward Talia East. "It is a game where we go out and give our all. Coquese
[Washington] talked to us about playing outside of ourselves and playing for
all of the survivors and people who are going through treatment that were in
the arena. We were just so happy and blessed to be able to play for them."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
PARK, Pa. - It was like a switch went off. After No. 11/11 Penn State (20-5,
11-2) allowed Wisconsin (10-15, 3-10) creep back into the game with 4:31 remaining
and after seeing the Badgers take a one point lead, the Lady Lions finally had
next 90 seconds, Penn State went from down one to up eight points and Maggie
Lucas was pumping up the crowd of 12,585 at the 8th Annual Pink Zone game as
time wound down and the Lady Lions clinched their fourth consecutive 20-win
just crunch time at the end," Lucas said after her 25-point afternoon. "We had
to get string together a few [defensive] stops and just try to extend our lead.
We know that any team in the Big Ten is capable of beating anybody, so we knew that
we had to get a few stops and I thought we played great team defense at the
end, which led to that."
Penn State's 20-9 run to close the game was the statistical
difference in a game with a handful of momentum swings. Tactically, Coquese
Washington's squad simply outplayed Wisconsin when it mattered most.
The Lady Lions were 6-for-7 from the field and 8-for-10 from the field over the
final 4:31 while allowing just nine Wisconsin points in that same time period.
Offensively, the final 20 points came from five different
players as Lucas, Talia East, Ariel Edwards, Talia Mitchell and Dara Taylor all
contributed. It was an encouraging sequence for Penn State as it gives them
confidence that any one can be a part of clinching a victory.
Mitchell's bucket with 46 seconds to go put Penn State up seven and
was noted after the game by her teammates. Shots like that are what Edwards
believes makes the Lady Lions more of a complete team.
"It is just great having so many players out there that can
score and we can count on them in any situation and they can be successful,"
Edwards said. "That was a great shot by Kaliyah [Mitchell] that put us in a
good position in the game.
"Moving forward the games are not going to get any easier. The
Big Ten is tough and then [postseason] play will be even tougher, so knowing
that we have our freshmen that can step up and contribute is going to be great
Multiple scorers didn't only occur in the latter part of the
game, though. Penn State finished with four players in double figures and six
with seven or more points causing Wisconsin to have to worry about much more
than Lucas, Penn State's leading scorer.
However, Washington said postgame that the offensive outburst in
the final five minutes doesn't occur with out their improved defensive play.
Washington made a switch to go into a zone defensive scheme in the second half
because of foul trouble on multiple players, but it was that switch that
allowed Penn State to play more aggressive defense and force Wisconsin to make
Penn State took advantage of missed shots and turnovers and in
turn went on the game-clinching scoring run.
"Our rhythm defensively really helped us," Washington said. "We
got some big stops down the stretch and that provided us the confidence that we
needed and we transfer that to the other end of the floor."
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday
when they host Northwestern at 7 p.m. The Lady Lions are in control of the Big
Ten race, just one and one-half games up on No. 21/19 Nebraska and No. 25/NR
Michigan State with three games to play.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No. 11/11 Penn State women's basketball contest against Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 16 inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Today is the 8th Annual Pink Zone game.
BLOG: What to Watch | BLOG: Record Setting Night for Lucas in Win
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.