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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No. 10/9 Penn State women's basketball contest against Iowa on Thursday, Feb. 6 inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 6 p.m.
BLOG: What to Watch | BLOG: Defense a Focus vs. High Scoring Hawkeyes
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PARK, Pa. - After surviving a pair of tough road contests last weekend at
Purdue and Northwestern, Penn State (17-4, 8-1) returns home to face Iowa
(17-6, 5-4) in a showdown of the top two scoring offense in the Big Ten.
Defense a Focus vs. High Scoring Hawkeyes
The Lady Lions average 75.9 points per game and is almost five points shy of
the Hawkeyes fast-paced offense that pours in 80.0 points per game. The defense
also hold opponents under 70 points per game. Penn State allows just 64.6 points
a contest, while Iowa allows 69.2 points a game.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Going for the Sweep: As the
second half of the Big Ten schedule begins, Penn State will attempt to pick up
their first series sweep of the 2013-14 season. Penn State won, 87-71, on Jan.
5 at Iowa to open Big Ten play and will be looking to improve on their 14-5
record all-time against Iowa at home. A sweep would give Penn State the tie
breaker with the Hawkeyes, Illinois, Michigan State and Minnesota.
Bench Delivers: Penn State's bench
has been a major factor this season and was a difference maker in their 79-75
win at Northwestern on Sunday. The Wildcats bench gave them just 21 minutes of
action (with 200 player minutes in a game), but did not register a point, attempted
only one shot and grabbed two rebounds. The Lady Lions bench contributed 61 minutes,
21 points and 17 rebounds, led by 11 points and six rebounds from Peyton
Whitted. The PSU bench has outscored the oppositions reserves on five times in
Big Ten play.
At the Charity Stripe: Even after
hitting just 8-of-21 free throws at Purdue, Penn State still ranks 15th in the
NCAA with a 76.6 free throw percentage. Maggie Lucas currently sits atop the
NCAA rankings with a 96.9 success rate at the charity stripe, while Ariel
Edwards is also hitting over 81 percent of her freebies. Lucas ranks third
among players with at least 2.5 made free throws per game with 125 made shots,
trailing Eilise O'Connor (UMKC) and Amanda Hyde (IPFW), who has made 177 and
146 free throws, respectively.
To Watch For - Iowa
B1G Scorers: Iowa paces the
Big Ten in scoring at 80.0 point per game and has five players averaging at
least 10 points in 2013-14. The Hawkeyes can score in the post with Bethany Doolittle,
who leads the team with 15.4 points per game, but also can knock down the three
point shot. Melissa Dixon has hit 60 three pointers this season, while Samantha
Logic (20), Ally Disterhoft (23) and Theairra Taylor (24) have all knocked down
at least 20 shots from distance this season.
Chasing a Legend: Iowa head coach
Lisa Bluder is in her 30th season as collegiate head coach and is in her 14th
season at the helm of the Hawkeyes. One more win for the Yellow and Black this season
will move Bluder into a tie with C. Vivian Stringer for the most wins by a head
coach in school history with 269 victories. Stringer win 269 games from
1983-95. Bluder is also one of just 13 active NCAA Division I coaches with 600
or more career coaching wins, owning a record of 624-305.
Large Margin Games: Iowa likes to put
the ball in the basket, but they have also allowed the opposition to score at a
good pace, as well. The Hawkeyes are 17-6 on the season and only three of those
games have been within four points. Iowa is 1-2 in games decided by four or
less points, but are 16-4 in games decided by six or more points. When the
scoring margin is 20-plus, Iowa is a perfect 6-0 and the also haven't lost a
game that has been within 6-9 points this season.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions have won six contests in a row and currently sit
atop the Big Ten standings, but it is the Hawkeyes who have turned heads lately,
averaging a conference-best 80.0 points per game.
No. 10/9 Penn State (17-4, 8-1) will have another opportunity to shut down Iowa
(17-6, 5-4) this season when the two teams tip off at 6 p.m. at the Bryce
time around, the Lady Lions handled the Hawkeyes scoring barrage, winning, 87-71,
on the road in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. However, since losing its first two
conference contests, Iowa has used a high-powered and efficient offensive
attack to win its last five games.
[Iowa] are an outstanding scoring team, and they're capable of putting a lot of
points up on the scoreboard," said Penn State head coach Coquese Washington.
"We've been doing a pretty decent job the last few games of focusing on defense,
in particular, our transition defense."
topping Iowa by 16 points back on Jan. 5, the Hawkeyes currently have five
players who are averaging double figures. Preparation for such a balanced
offensive front is integral for Penn State.
[Iowa's top offense] means that everyone has to defend," said Washington.
"There's nobody that can fall asleep and rest on defense. If you fall asleep on
them, you're giving up layups or you're giving up three point shots. When
they've got five kids who can score, and score in double figures, everybody's
got to be aware."
big reason for Penn State's success this season, especially against Iowa, is their
height. Forwards Talia East and Tori Waldner have been the catalysts of Penn
State's interior game and they are a big reason why the Lady Lions lead the Big
Ten in rebounding, averaging 46.3 boards per game.
[Talia and Tori] are an extremely big part of our game plan," said Washington.
"The impact that they have on the game defensively and from a rebounding
perspective, along with scoring and using their size in the post is huge for us.
We're certainly not where we are at this point without those two."
time out against Iowa, East notched her first career double-double with 10
points and 10 rebounds and Waldner added 10 points and 8 rebounds.
though Washington's posts found success in the previous contest against Iowa,
East understands the competitiveness the conference embodies, as well as the importance
a completely new game," said East. "We know that we need to continue to be a
presence and we know we need to have great defense because they can shoot the
three really well. We know they play a smaller lineup, so our post players definitely
have to play our game and play it well. We can't get in foul trouble, so we can
continue and be on the court."
"our game" that East referred to is what Washington's frontcourt has focused on
for the majority of the season: force jump shots in the paint, avoid fouls and
spring back in transition defense.
their bout against Iowa tonight, the Lady Lions will have just six more games
left before the Big Ten Tournament. With that being said, Washington and her
team are taking each game one step at a time.
focusing on this game and this day, and executing the game plan, everything
else will take care of itself," Washington said.
echoed her coach's remark and even went a step further to explain as to why
Washington has had such a positive impact on her players.
has been so awesome in keeping us humble and keeping us focused on one game at
a time," said East. "I can barely tell you who I'm playing at the end of this
week or next week. Just focusing on the task at hand, and once you conquer
that, on to the next one."
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - No. 13/12 Penn State (17-4, 8-1) earned its sixth straight
conference win yesterday at Northwestern, but it wasn't easy as the Nittany
Lions played a pair of close games on their Big Ten road trip.
leading by 13 points at the half, the Lady Lions had to thwart a strong
comeback by Northwestern (14-8, 4-5) to win on the road in Evanston, Ill.,
79-75. This coming after a three-point victory at Iowa, 78-75, on Thursday
evening that helped keep their Big Ten road record unblemished.
Lady Lions nearly wasted a 20-point lead, but it was timely free throw shooting
that pushed the Blue and White to victory. Coquese Washington's squad finished
25-of-31 (80.6%) from the line against the Wildcats, after hitting just 8-of-21
from the line at Purdue.
[our players] very competitive, and we're a good free throw shooting team,"
said Penn State assistant coach Kia Damon. "Our kids go to the free throw line
thinking they can knock it down. They have a lot of confidence that they can."
Talia East came up big late in the contest. The senior forward hit two free
throws and then registered a three-point play down the stretch to give the Lady
Lions a 74-70 lead with just 1:15 left in regulation.
you saw today from Talia was an indicative of [our confidence from the free
throw line]," Damon said.
it wasn't just East who was a beast from the charity stripe. Maggie Lucas was a
perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line en route to a team high 19 points, and freshman
guard/forward Peyton Whitted notched a career-high 11 points while shooting
3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
you see from today's game is we executed offensively and defensively down to
the wire and we were able to get to the free throw line and knock some free
throws down," said Damon. "You can only gain confidence with that type of
was certainly a challenge for the Lady Lions. Coming into the contest yesterday
afternoon, the Wildcats had already tallied three wins over ranked opponents
[Northwestern] were able to get out there in transition and get some easy
buckets or either uncontested looks against our defense as we were in a
scramble," Damon said.
State's defensive scheme didn't really change from the first half to the
second, but the Lady Lions ability to convert free throws late proved why they
are the top team in the conference.
Ariel Edwards nearly accumulated a double-double with 15 points and nine
rebounds. She also managed to dish out three assists, grab two steals and
finished 5-of-6 from the stripe.
[Ariel] gives us a big lift," said Damon. "She's a very versatile player and we
know that she can impact us offensively and defensively from a number of categories.
She takes pride and ownership in doing a good job with that. When you see her
come out of games with those stat lines close to a double-double...that's just
what she does. It's what she brings to the table."
Next up for the Lady Lions is a home bout against Big
Ten foe Iowa (17-6, 5-4) this Thursday, Feb. 6. Tip off is set for 6 p.m., as
Penn State will look to move its winning streak to seven games.
that we're crossing over to the second half of Big Ten play we expect the games
to be close," said Damon. "The Big Ten is very competitive."
PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's basketball team will look to move their
winning streak to six games when they travel to Northwestern. The Lady Lions (16-4,
7-1) sit atop the Big Ten standings entering their 2 p.m. contest against the
Wildcats (14-7, 4-4).
GAME NOTES: at
Penn State grabbed a 75-72 victory at Purdue to improve their Big Ten record to
7-1, the only one-loss team in the conference, and are now 4-0 on the road in
conference play this season.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Lucas Moves to No. 2: With 23
points on 9-of-15 shooting, senior Maggie Lucas moved into second on the Penn
State career scoring list. The Narberth, Pa., native enters today's game with
2,259 points and trails only Kelly Mazzante's 2,919 career points, which also
leads the Big Ten. Lucas sits in ninth on the Big Ten scoring list, passing
Purdue's Shereka Wright (2,251 pts; 2001-04) and is just 26 point shy of
Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen (2,285 pts; 2001-04).
Four in Double Figures: This season,
Penn State has seen four players reach double figures in a game on six
occasions. The Blue and White are 6-0 in those games, including a 75-72 victory
at Purdue on Thursday night when Talia East, Ariel Edwards, Maggie Lucas and
Dara Taylor all scored 10-plus points. The Lady Lions have had four players
reach double-figures in wins over Bucknell, at Georgetown, vs. Indiana, at Iowa
and St. Francis, along with the victory over the Boilermakers earlier this
Dishing Out Dimes: Senior Dara Taylor
has handed out 18 assists in her last two games, including a 10-assist contest
vs. Minnesota. She is averaging 4.8 assists per game this season and has 10
games with at least five assists in 2013-14. She has topped the 200 assist
plateau for her Penn State career and is tied for 26th with 204 career helpers.
She also has 14 games with 10-plus points.
To Watch For - Northwestern
Playing the Rankings: Northwestern
has three wins over ranked opponents this season and now have eight wins over
ranked teams during the Joe McKeown era. The No. 12/13 Lady Lions will be the
highest ranked team the Wildcats' have faced so far this year. Northwestern has
defeated No. 25/25 DePaul, No. 21/20 Purdue and No. 21/18 Nebraska this season.
Coffey, Cohen Battling Inside: Northwestern
has blocked 155 shots this season, averaging 7.4 swats per game, which tops the
Big Ten. The duo of Nia Coffey and Alex Cohen have accounted for 92 of those
blocks, with both moving into the top 10 on the Wildcats single season list.
Cohen has swatted 48 shots and Coffey has added 44 blocks, with both playing in
all 21 games. Lauren Douglas has also added 29 blocks this season for NU.
Returning Roser: Junior Karly Roser
played in every game of her freshman and sophomore seasons, but the point guard
has missed the first 20 games of this season due to injury. She returned on
Thursday against Indiana and added five minutes on the bench with one rebound
and one turnover. Last season, she averaged a team-high 35.6 minutes per game
and led the team with 188 assists and 50 steals.
PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's basketball team has been on a defensive tare
over the past two weeks, thanks largely to their next opponent. The Lady Lions
(15-4, 6-1) have won four straight and are atop the Big Ten standings entering
their 6 p.m. contest at Purdue (15-5, 5-3).
Lady Lions Ready For Rematch Versus Purdue
Penn State is the lone one loss team in the Big Ten, with their only loss
coming at the hands of the Boilermakers on Jan. 12. Purdue scored an 84-74 win
at the Bryce Jordan Center that day. The 84 points are the most allowed by Penn
State all season and since then the Lady Lions have not allowed an opponent to
crack the 55-point mark.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Double the Fun: Dara Taylor
was surprised to hear that she had handed out 10 assists vs. Minnesota last
Sunday. The double figure assist game was her first of the season and just the third
of her career. Add her 15 points to the mix and she had her first double-double
as a Lady Lion and second of her career. Taylor handed out 11 assists twice
during her two seasons at Maryland, where she recorded her only other
double-double. She's now reached double figures in the scoring column 13 times
this season, after having only five such games last season.
Atoning a Loss: Over the last three
seasons, Penn State has lost the regular season series with just two opponents.
The Lady Lions fell twice to Michigan State in 2011-12 and were defeated in
both meetings against Purdue in 2010-11. The Lions will also look to pay back
the Boilermakers for handing them their first Big Ten home loss in two calendar
years. Pen State had won 14 straight home Big Ten games, which started with a
win over Michigan on Jan. 12, 2011 after losing to Michigan State on Jan. 7.
Large Margin Wins: Penn State has
posted five wins of 20 points or more in 2013-14, including Sunday's 30 point
victory over Minnesota. They have followed up each of their first four large
margin victories with a triumph in the next contest. On three occasions, the
Lady Lions have posted a double-digit win in their next contest after beating a
team by 20-plus points.
To Watch For - Purdue
All-Time Edge: There is only
one team in the Big Ten that holds the all-time series edge against the Lady Lions:
Purdue. The Boilermakers lead the all-time tally with a 27-17 record vs. the
Blue and White, including 11 straight wins from 2005-2011. Penn State has won
three of the last five meetings, including a 2012 victory at Purdue.
Winning on the Boards: The
Boilermakers have won four straight games and in those contests have outrebounded
each of their opponents. The edge on the boards is 11.5 per game over those
four games and Purdue is 10-1 this season when hauling in more rebounds than
Raining Threes: Purdue owns the
second best shooting percentage from three point range in the Big Ten and ranks
seventh nationally hitting nearly 40 percent of their attempts. The Boilermakers
also ranks second in the conference with 7.3 shots made from distance per game.
On the year, Purdue is 145-for-367 (.395) and seven of 12 players have hit at
least on three pointer.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Usually after a stinging loss, protocol says to look
forward to revenge in the next encounter.
However, that is not how No. 13/12 Penn State (15-4, 6-1) is approaching their
rematch against Big Ten opponent No. 16/19 Purdue (15-5, 5-3) on the road at
Mackey Arena tonight.
"Revenge isn't a factor," said Penn State head coach Coquese Washington. "We
are a forward-looking team. This game certainly has implications in the
conference [title] race, so the focus is on doing what we have to do to put
ourselves in position to win the Big Ten."
Last time around, the Lady Lions fell at home to the Boilermakers, 84-74.
Despite the loss, the team managed to tie a school record with 14 blocks thanks
to a career-high seven swats from Talia East.
"We certainly learned some lessons from it [loss to Purdue]," said
Washington. "We definitely learned and understood how much we have to focus on
being better defensively."
After the loss to Purdue, Washington said she would like to have sacrificed
some of those blocks if it meant her team was containing the ball better.
Purdue is a difficult matchup for Penn State, thus making them tough to contain,
and Washington acknowledged that.
"They're tough to contain," said Washington. "They have three guards who
are speedy, athletic and quick. We have to guard them sooner. We can't start guard
them after they're already in the paint. We have to do a better job of team
defense...and the first time we played them we didn't do that If our layers of defense are there, then we
don't necessarily get those blocks, we make them take tough shots."
It seems as if the loss to Purdue jumpstarted the Blue and White's extra
emphasis on defense. Since allowing a season-high 84 points on Jan. 12, scoring
against Penn State has been hard to come by for opponents.
Going into tonight's game the players focused for the most part on the
defensive mindset that they have been developing in practice all week.
"We need to make it difficult for them," said senior guard Dara Taylor. "No
open shots; no easy shots. Really contest and make them work for everything. If
they're going to beat us, they have to beat us with every shot contested;
really working hard for it."
One way in which the Lady Lions prepared for their rematch this evening is by
being able to make constant defensive adjustments.
"They're [Purdue] shooting the ball pretty well from behind the arc," said
Washington. "I don't know that you can sit in zone all game, but we'll see how it
looks, how we're moving, how active we are and how they're shooting. Every game
we play a little bit of man-to-man and we play a little bit of zone. Just
depending on what feel is working the best is kind of what we will stick with."
Even though Washington alluded to the fact that a number of defensive looks
could be used versus Purdue's offense, transition defense sticks out as vital
to victory tonight.
"I thought they got a lot of baskets in transition, but we didn't do a good
job with our transition defense," said Washington. "We just definitely have to
play better on the defensive end in all phases."
As it stands now, Washington is "happy" with how her team has grown and
feels as if the squad is on the "upswing." With a victory in a tough road
environment tonight, the Lady Lions can take one step closer to winning the
conference for a third straight year.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - At this point in the season, Penn State head coach Coquese
Washington has made it clear that the focal point for each and every subsequent
game involves team defense.
yet another dominating defensive performance yesterday in an 83-53 rout of Big
Ten opponent Minnesota (13-8, 2-5), No. 13/13 Penn State (15-4, 6-1) has proven
capable of consistently applying their coach's "bear down on defense" mindset
in game situations.
"We really stressed team defense,"
said Washington. "I thought our defensive intensity and our ball screen defense
was really good in the first half."
Through the first 35 minutes of
play, Penn State allowed just three Golden Gophers to score. Eventually five
Minnesota players managed to appear in the scoring column, with their three top
players tallying 49 of their 53 total points.
"They've always had fast guards and
been aggressive," said Minnesota head coach Pam Borton about Penn State's
defense. "I just think that they're bigger. They are just big and they protect
the rim, and they don't give you a lot of easy shots inside and negate a lot of
penetration to the basket."
into the game, the Lady Lions knew that they were facing an excellent shooting
team. Prior to yesterday's contest, the Golden Gophers were ranked second in
the nation with a .430 three-point field goal percentage.
the Lady Lions and their perimeter zone defense was too much for the Minnesota
shooters. Penn State held the Golden Gophers to just 2-of-10 from beyond the
arc, 0-of-5 in the first half.
"I thought Ariel [Edwards] and Dara
[Taylor] did a great job on [Rachel] Banham," said senior guard Maggie Lucas.
"I thought we contested a lot, contested every shot. We know how good of a
three point shooting team they are, and we know they're going to make some. So
our goal was to go in there and contest."
Washington echoed Lucas's evaluation
of their perimeter defense.
"Our focus coming into this game was
that we needed to guard them," said Washington. "They are a great three-point
shooting team and you can't give great shooters easy open looks, so our focus
was just to be there when they caught the ball and not give them great looks. I
thought we did a great job forcing them off of the three-point line and not
giving them open looks."
only did the Blue and White keep Minnesota in check from downtown, but they
also won the battle in the paint and in transition.
Lady Lions out-rebounded the Golden Gophers, 42-31, thanks to six boards from
6-foot-6 sophomore Candice Agee.
Penn State came out in front in the turnover battle, forcing 21 and committing
just eight. Senior guard Dara Taylor notched four steals to help the Lady Lions
outscore Minnesota 25-7 in transition.
Lady Lions have been so strong defensively that the team has not allowed more
than 55 points in their past four contests. This is the first time since the
1999-00 season that a Big Ten team has held its opponents to under 55 points in
four straight games.
up for the Lady Lions is a tough Big Ten road test against No. 22/20 Purdue
(14-5, 4-3) Thursday at 6 p.m.
the last meeting, the Boilermakers stormed through Happy Valley to knock off
the Lady Lions at home, 84-74. Moving forward, the stress point for Washington
and her squad will remains on suffocating defense.
"Certainly the focus has to be on
the defensive end of the floor," said Washington. "Purdue came in here a couple
of weeks ago and scored 84 points, the most points we have given up in
conference play. We haven't started to talk about the specific game plan yet,
but whatever it is, I know it is going to be a heavy concentration in guarding
them and trying to keep them from scoring 90 points."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Dara Taylor didn't know she had 10 assists to complete her second
career double-double Sunday after Penn State's (15-4, 6-1) 83-53 win over
Minnesota (13-8, 2-5). Head Coach Coquese Washington didn't know either.
know, however, how much better of a team they are when Taylor is dishing and
multiple Penn State Lady Lions are swishing. They did just that on Sunday.
Taylor's 15 points and 10 assists and 49 combined points from Maggie Lucas
(25), Ariel Edwards (16) and Talia East (8), Penn State was nearly unstoppable
offensively against the Golden Gophers.
more names involved in the scoring column, the better the Lady Lions are.
much better," Washington said. "It opens up the floor for everybody, especially
Maggie (Lucas), when everyone else is scoring and I think it gives everybody on
our team confidence. We have a lot of confidence as a team right now."
was certainly on display in Penn State's fourth consecutive victory as they
shot 44 percent both from the field and from three-point range. Nineteen bench
points completed what was one of their better scoring performances of the
conference season against an upset minded Minnesota.
The Gophers struggled where Penn State thrived. For over the first 30 minutes
of the game, only three Minnesota players were in the scoring column and they
finished with only three players scoring more than two points. Penn State
totaled eight players in the scoring column, all of which scored four or more.
back to the assist-minded Taylor and her ball distribution.
thought Dara was really in control of the tempo of the game and really had a
good handle of our team offensively, so I am not surprised she got 10 assists,"
Washington said. "Her control of the game was the best we have seen this year.
She is growing in that area and really managing the game and managing the team
and making sure that things are flowing on the offensive end."
managed the game well and her team converted on the plays she set up. Take
Taylor's creating ability and pair it with the shooting of Maggie Lucas and
Penn State was rolling quickly against Minnesota.
Lucas' shots were falling, more Minnesota defenders came to her area thus
allowing Taylor to further penetrate the defense and get more players involved.
All of the sudden, Minnesota had more than one or two players to pay attention
to. Taylor credits the mindset of her teammates prior to the game as to why
they were able to have such a diverse scoring attack.
everybody came in really focused and very confident," Taylor said. "We executed
our game plan. Our game plan was to exploit the defense where we could.
Everybody came to play and everybody hit shots."
confidence, according to Washington, is what Penn State needs to be an elite
team in a tough Big Ten Conference.
when we get contributions from everyone and everyone is starting to feel
confidence in their roles, it is a really good place for us to be," she said.
confidence has picked up since an 84-74 loss at home to Purdue (14-5. 4-3) on
Jan. 12 and the Lady Lions now are mentally prepared for a rematch against the
Boilermakers Thursday in West Lafayette at 6 p.m.
PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No.
13/13 Penn State women's basketball contest against Minnesota on Sunday, Jan. 26
inside the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Today's game will be televised on CBS.
What to Watch | BLOG:
Efficient Edwards Leads Lady Lions to Victory
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