Recently in Women's Basketball Category
PARK, Pa. - After two straight home games, the No. 17/16 Penn State women's basketball
team will travel to Michigan State on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. The
Lady Lions (12-4, 3-1) will travel to the Breslin Center to face the Spartans (12-5,
4-0) in their only meeting of the 2013-14 season.
GAME NOTES: at Michigan State
Penn State enters the contest sitting at 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference, which
is currently tied for third, but can move into a tie for first in the conference
with a win against Michigan State. Currently, the Spartans sit at 4-0 in
conference play, while Michigan enters Sunday with no game to play and a 4-1
mark in the Big Ten.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Reaching Milestones: Head
coach Coquese Washington claimed her 130th career head coaching win with a
victory over Ohio State on Thursday, but the sideline boss can help the Lady
Lions reach the programs 870th win if they can claim a win in East Lansing
Hitting the Boards: Penn State is
giving up 39.0 rebounds per game to its opponent, ranking eighth in the Big
Ten, but the Lady Lions are averaging 46.4 rebounds per game this season, which
leads the conference. Talia East (7.1 rpg) and Tori Waldner (6.1 rpg) are both
among the top-20 in the conference in rebounding. They will deal with Michigan
State's Aerial Powers (8.0 rpg) and Annalise Pickrel (7.1) and the third ranked
rebounding team in the Big Ten today.
Shutting Down the Buckeyes: The Lady
Lions held Ohio State to a season-low 42 points on Thursday at the Bryce Jordan
Center and did it with defense. Penn State forced 22 turnovers and held the
Buckeyes to just 29 percent shooting. They outscored the Buckeyes 34-18 in the
paint and held Ohio State scoreless for 8:25 in the first half to take a lead
To Watch For - Michigan State
The Last Unbeaten: Michigan
State enters today's contest as the only unbeaten team in conference play. The
Spartans have handed Michigan and Nebraska their only losses to open up Big Ten
play, while also taking down Iowa and Minnesota to improve to 4-0. Overall,
Michigan State is 12-5, with three of those losses coming against teams that
were ranked or receiving votes at the time of their meetings.
Shutting Down the Leader: The
Spartans have been effective against the opposition's leading scorer over the
last seven games. The seven team's leading scorers have combined to shoot 37.6%
(41-for-109), while averaging 12.5 points, almost four points below their
combined season averages (16.2). In conference play, MSU has faced the top-two
scorers in the Big Ten. Minnesota's Rachel Banham (21.2) was held to 13 points
on 6-for-19 shooting, while Nebraska's Jordan Hooper had 21 points, but only
went 9-for-22 from the ﬁeld.
She Powers the Spartans: Redshirt freshman
Aerial Powers had to sit out the 2012-13 season due to injury, but has returned
for the 2013-14 slate is leading the team with 14.0 points per game and has
reached double figures 12 times. She also has four double-doubles and leads the
team with 8.0 rebounds per game and 34 steals.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
PARK, Pa. - Coming off a double-digit loss to Purdue where Penn State (12-4,
3-1) allowed its most points all season, Coquese Washington stressed the
improvement of her defense in all facets against Ohio State (12-8, 2-2).
a dominating 66-42 win over the Buckeye's where the Lady Lions held Ohio State to
just five offensive rebounds and marked the lowest point total an opponent has
scored against Penn State, it's safe to say an improvement was made on Thursday
in the Bryce Jordan Center.
stout defensive effort started with rebounding for Penn State. The Lady Lions
out rebounded the Buckeyes 54-36, including 34 defensive rebounds. Ariel
Edwards led the way with 10 total rebounds while Talia East and Alex Harris
tallied nine and eight, respectively. The performance was satisfying for Penn
State after a week of practice focusing on limiting the opponent's second
talked about it in practice and emphasized how important it is for everyone to
get in there and rebound," Washington said. "When you have numerous people who
do a good job crashing the glass you can just assume somebody else is going to
get the rebound and when you're tall you can sometimes forget to use your fundamentals
in terms of boxing out, but we didn't do that tonight. We were really
aggressive going after the ball and that helped us."
with the strong rebounding performance from Penn State was forcing 22 Buckeye
turnovers that turned into 17 Lady Lion points. Turnover numbers and rebound
numbers were exactly where Penn State wanted to see them when developing the
game plan prior to Thursday's match up.
State went on two major scoring droughts in each half, mainly because of the
Lady Lion zone defense. In the first half Ohio State went over eight minutes
without scoring leading to a 9-0 Penn State scoring run. Penn State started
half number two without allowing the Buckeyes to score a point for the first
5:13 to open their lead to 17 points.
guard Dara Taylor credited Penn State's zone defense and their versatility as
to why they had such a strong defensive performance.
think we have a lot of different weapons on this team and I think with the
zone, we can come at you with a lot of height, a lot of length, a lot of speed
and athleticism," said Taylor. "That means we can get out to shooters and stop
dribble penetration. I think we are so versatile in it that it's pretty
difficult for teams to score."
promising sign was Penn State's ability to stop Ohio State's leading scorer
Ameryst Alston who entered the contest averaging 16.9 points per game and was
coming off a 29-point performance in her last outing against No. 22 Indiana.
Alston tallied just 12 points Thursday night, her lowest point total through
four conference games.
an abundance of great scorers in the Big Ten, Washington will use her team's
play against Alston as a teaching point moving forward.
Washington said when asked if she would look back to her team's play on Alston
in the future. "We have got to lock in on the best players in this conference
and we've got to make it tough for them to get good looks and we've got some
good players and they're going to make some tough plays."
State will be up to another tough task when they travel to East Lansing to face
Michigan State on Sunday, Jan. 19 on ESPN2 at 5 p.m.. The Spartans feature two
lethal scorers in Aerial Powers and Annalise Pickrel, who average 14.0 and 13.8
points per game respectively.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to live in-game
coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No. 17/16 Penn State women's basketball
contest against Ohio State on Thursday, Jan. 16 inside the Bryce Jordan Center
at 7 p.m.
BLOG: What to
Watch | BLOG: Whitted Born into Basketball | GAME NOTES: Ohio State
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PARK, Pa. - The No. 17/16 Penn State women's basketball team will host Ohio
State on Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Bryce Jordan Center in their second of four
Big Ten home game in the month. The Lady Lions (11-4, 2-1) will host the Buckeyes
(12-7, 2-1) in the first of two meetings this season, this time at 7 p.m. on
the Big Ten Network.
GAME NOTES: host Ohio State | Blog: Whitted Born into Basketball
Penn State dropped their first conference of the season game over the weekend,
falling 84-74 to Purdue at home, and are now 2-1 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes enter
with a 2-1 conference record, as well, after defeating No. 22 Indiana in
Bloomington on Sunday, 70-51.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Seaking No. 130: Head coach
Coquese Washington arrived in Happy Valley as one of the top recruiters in the
country, but had no head coaching experience. That lack of experience didn't stop
the Flint, Mich. native from quickly building the Lady Lions program into a
national contender. With one more victory, Washington can reach 130 career wins
in her seventh season at the helm of the program.
Swatting The Opposition: The Lady
Lions are among the top shot blocking teams in the NCAA this season, ranking
eighth with 6.0 blocks per game. Penn State has at least six blocks in 10 of
their 15 games and has recorded at least one block in all but one contest. They
tied a school record with 14 rejections on Sunday vs. Purdue and reached the
10-block plateau at South Dakota State, as well. The numbers aren't padded,
either, with PSU registering seven blocks vs. No. 5 Notre Dame and eight
against No. 1 UConn.
Hitting the Boards: Although head
coach Coquese Washington wants her team to be more assertive on the defensive
boards, the Lady Lions have seen five players pull down 10 rebounds in a game
this season. Talia East has four such games, while Alex Harris and Tori Waldner
have each grabbed 10-plus caroms on three occasions. Ariel Edwards and Peyton
Whitted each have one such game.
To Watch For - Ohio State
One and Alston: One player
does not make a team, but sophomore Ameryst Alston has been a heavy lifter for
Ohio State in 2013-14. She is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, leads
the Buckeyes and ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 16.9 points per game and has
led OSU in scoring 10 times this season. She also ranks second on the team with
2.5 assists on the season.
Holding Strong on D: The Buckeyes
offense has been held to 55 points or fewer seven times in 2013-14, but that doesn't
mean they've been getting blown off the court. The Buckeyes have limited the
opposition to 35.4 percent shooting and have held their foes to under 55 points
on five occasions, as well. Part of that success is that Ohio State is a
perfect 10-0 when out-rebounding their opponents.
Playing It Tough: Ohio State enters
today's contest with the nationally ranked Lady Lions with an RPI of 18, which
is impressive in its own right, but the Buckeyes also own the nations toughest
schedule, sitting No. 1 in strength of schedule according to RealTimeRPI.com. This
season the Buckeyes have wins over West Virginia, Marist, Purdue and Indiana.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - "I was hearing basketballs bouncing before I even came out [of my
mother's womb]," said freshman guard/forward Peyton Whitted.
versatile Lady Lion newcomer has basketball in her blood. Her love of the game
can be traced back to her father, Kevin, who played at Tennessee from 1993-95
and then professionally oversees in Spain and France.
According to Peyton, since playing her first game at the youthful age of seven,
her father has taught her everything thing she knows about the game, from
lacing up the shoes to the left-handed lay-up.
"He's taught me everything," said
Whitted. "He's taught me how to shoot, how to dribble and how to play multiple
More importantly, her father imbedded into his daughter's brain an even greater
reason why basketball is not just a way of life; it's a life lesson.
"He has taught me off the court that everything I learn in basketball is going
to help me with everyday life," said Whitted. "All the skills that I am
learning out here apply to everything that I'm doing."
is one of seven
newcomers on the Lady Lions squad this season, which includes six freshmen and
one sophomore transfer.
At this point in the season, Washington voiced that what has been most
impressive about her young, supplementary seven has been their noticeable growth.
"Sometimes when you make the adjustment
from high school to college...you can say 'I'll wait my turn. I'll wait until
next year. I'll wait until whenever,'" said Washington. "But that has not been
case with this group of freshmen. They continue to work. They continue to get
better in practice...their fight and their effort to improve has been really
impressive to me."
the fact that Washington has displayed excitement surrounding the maturation of
her entire freshmen class, it is clear that Whitted has exhibited the most
growth since her arrival in Happy Valley.
The reason for her blooming play at the collegiate level can be connected to
the augmentation of her own self-confidence.
"She just has developed a lot of
confidence," said Washington.
Like any newcomer the transition from high school to college play can be suffocating.
The situation held no exception for Whitted, either.
"In October she probably wasn't the
freshman who was having the best transition," said Washington. "The speed of
the game, the physicality of the game, the amount of information she had to
absorb, it was a challenge for her. But, since Thanksgiving she has developed
some confidence and she has gotten stronger, which has helped her confidence."
In 14 games played this season, Whitted is averaging 2.9 points per game and
2.9 rebounds per game in 10.6 minutes per game.
With that being said, since the start of Big Ten play Whitted's confidence has
clearly surged as of late. In Penn State's first three conference games,
Whitted is averaging 5.7 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game in 13.7
minutes per game.
"I think her confidence comes from
going into games and not tripping over her feet," said Washington jokingly.
"Actually getting a rebound, putting a basket in and making a free throw. That
is where her confidence is coming from. And as her confidence in her abilities
and in her skill set has grown, her performance has grown."
Yes, her confidence stems from practice, games, repetition and team comradery,
but going to a university like Penn State adds another explanation to Whitted's
escalating growth and confidence. That additional justification resides in the
people of Happy Valley.
"I love it [Penn State]," said Whitted.
"Everybody is nice here. I have yet to meet one unfriendly person when I walk
around campus. People really support women's basketball, and I really like that
about this school. I just love the atmosphere on campus."
tightknit community has made Whitted feel at home. For an athlete who sleeps
with her eyes open, it is safe to say that such comfort makes it easier for Whitted
to never take her eyes off the prize.
"Yes, I sleep with my eyes open," said
Whitted with a laugh. "You can ask Kaliyah [Mitchell]. It's like every night. I
fall asleep before her, and she always thinks I'm still awake. She tries to
talk to me, but I don't answer her."
just a freshman, it is no surprise as to why Whitted keeps her eyes open 24/7. She
dreams big. Her list includes being crowned Big Ten Champions, winning a
National Championship, and being drafted into the WNBA.
The 6-foot-3 frame of Whitted makes her one to watch when it comes to the
future of women's collegiate basketball. In the first half of her first
collegiate season she has created mismatches for opponents on both sides of the
ball. The Suwanee, Ga., native has the unique ability to be a physical force
down low and a triple threat around the perimeter.
When asked which WNBA players she likes to emulate on the hardwood, Whitted
said, "Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne."
Hailing from the state of Georgia, Whitted is used to enjoying juicy peach as a
healthy snack. With that being said, she surprisingly has yet to savor one here
at Penn State.
"I've had apples and bananas here, but
no peaches," said Whitted.
after tonight's home game at 7 p.m. against Big Ten foe Ohio State
(12-7, 2-1), Washington and her team can treat the Georgia native to the Penn
State way of consuming peaches--a cup of Peachy Paterno from the Creamery.
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Playing in the Big Ten is a hefty challenge year in and year out.
Yesterday No. 15/14 Penn State (11-4, 2-1) found out just that as they fell to
conference foe No. 20/21 Purdue (11-4, 1-2), 84-74, in front of the Bryce
Jordan Center faithful.
the 10-point loss to the sharp-shooting Boilermakers, Talia East was a force to
be reckon with down low on both ends of the floor.
6-foot-3 senior out of Philadelphia registered seven blocks, corralled 10
rebounds (four offensive) and tallied nine points on 4-of-10 shooting to lead
the Lady Lions frontcourt.
the seven rejections, East managed to tie her career high in blocks, which she originally
set back during her sophomore season. Moreover, she fell just one block short
of tying the Lady Lion record for rejections in a game.
"It's [shot blockers] a nice asset
to have, knowing that we have Talia [East] and Tori [Waldner] in there and
knowing that they can alter or block shots," said Washington.
to the patience displayed defensively by East, Waldner and a handful of others,
the Lady Lions as an entire unit tied a program record with 14 blocked shots. The
record was set in 1980 vs. Delaware and tied again in 1982 vs. Boston
"Their team was driving [to the basket]
a lot," said East. "We knew that if they kept trying to drive baseline that we
were going to be able to get blocked shots. I think that's what our strategy
was going into the game."
though Washington noted her comfort in
having East and Waldner down on the block to deter any opponent who tries to go
inside, she surprisingly focused on sacrificing those blocks for better
"The problem is that they're getting
a lot of their blocked shots on dribble penetration or second chance offensive
opportunities and offensive rebounds," said Washington. "I would trade them
getting less blocks if that means we're doing a better job containing the ball
of late the focus for Washington and her Lady Lions has circled around the idea
of starting and finishing games strong.
the Blue and White opened the game on a 7-0 run, and found success sporadically vs. Purdue, Washington stressed the importance of playing hard from
start to finish.
"We had a stretch in the second half
when we played pretty well," said Washington. "Outside those [stretches of
play] I don't think we played very well at all on either end of the floor. We just
need to put a 40-minute game together...That's an area of growth for us to look
at moving forward this year. We have to be able to put 40 minutes together."
Offensively, the Lady Lions scored
40 points in the paint and converted on 25-second chance points. The opportunities
were certainly there; it is just a matter of playing more consistency on both
ends of the floor.
"When we had our good stretch in the
second half, we were playing pretty well, we had good balance," said
Washington. "We were getting the ball in the paint with good paint touches and
getting the ball to our posts. We just weren't consistent with that throughout
The game yesterday marked only Penn
State's third Big Ten contest and Washington reminded everyone, the media and
her team, about that fact after the loss to a ranked Purdue squad.
"The thing about it is that it's
early in the Big Ten season," said Washington. "We just have to regroup and get
ready for Ohio State."
Penn State will look to rebound when
they return to action back at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7
p.m. against Ohio State.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Welcome to live in-game coverage on GoPSUsports.com for the No. 15/14 Penn
State women's basketball contest against No. 20/21 Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 12
inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
BLOG: What to Watch | BLOG:
Edwards a Versatile Threat for Lady Lions | GAME
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
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PARK, Pa. - The No. 15/14 Penn State women's basketball team will open the home
portion of their Big Ten schedule on Sunday, Jan. 12 when they welcome Purdue
to the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions (11-3, 2-0) will host the No. 20/21
Boilermakers (10-4, 0-2) in a 3 p.m. contest that will be televised on ESPN.
GAME NOTES: host
Penn State is coming off of an 82-76 victory at Illinois on Thursday after
opening Big Ten play with a 16-point victory at No. 23/20 Iowa. Purdue is
playing their third straight Big Ten road contest, losing the first two at Ohio
State, 89-78, and at Northwestern, 71-68.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Edwards Seeing Double: Senior
guard/forward Ariel Edwards had a night to remember at Illinois on Thursday,
pouring in 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to help the Lady Lions to a
victory. It was her second career double-double, also accomplishing the feat on
Jan. 22, 2012 vs. Iowa, and is the first Lady Lions with a 20/10 game since center
Nikki Greene had 23 points and 14 rebounds against Wisconsin on Jan. 17, 2013.
Whitted Hitting Stride: Freshman
forward Peyton Whitted has found her stride, turning in two straight
career-best performances to start Big Ten play. The rookie opened her Big Ten
career with a then-career-high eight points and six rebounds at Iowa, but at
Illinois, Whitted scored nine points and grabbed 10 boards to eclipse both
totals and nearly record the double-double.
Lucas on the Climb: Maggie Lucas continues
to move up the Penn State and Big Ten scoring charts, currently sitting 12th on
the Big Ten scoring charts with 2,142 points, just 18 points shy of Illinois'
Jenna Smith (2,160 pts; 2007-10). She is currently third on the Penn State
scoring charts behind Susan Robinson (2,253 pts), needing 111 points to equal
Robinson's totals from her career in the post.
To Watch For - Purdue
One-Two Punch at Guard: KK
Houser and Courtney Moses make up one of the most formidable backcourts in the
country, combining to average nearly 30 points per game. Houser (15.7 ppg) and
Moses (14.6 ppg) are both threats from beyond the arc, both can slash to the
hoop and will pick your pocket for a transition bucket, as well. Houser has 73
assists and 25 steals, while Moses has 17 assists and 12 steals on the year, as
KK Dishing It Out: During her time at
Purdue, KK Houser has been handing out assists like Jake Moon gave away free
corndogs in the movie Semi-Pro. The 5-foot-6 guard has a team-best 73 helpers
this season and has totaled 413 in her career. Those 413 assist rank her ninth
on the school's all-time charts, just five assists shy of Sharon Versyp, the
current Boilermaker head coach and former point guard from 1985-88.
Tale of the Turnover: You probably
thought that I was going to tell you that Purdue is undefeated when turning
over the ball less than their opponents, however, that is not the case. The
Boilermakers are 5-4 on the season when posting equal or less turnovers than
the opposition, while they're 5-0 when committing more turnovers than their
By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - Despite accumulating three fouls uncharacteristically quick in the
first half, Maggie Lucas delivered some timely shooting to help lead Penn State
back from an early 12 point disadvantage to an eventual six point victory,
82-76, at Illinois.
on the road in the Big Ten is not an easy task. That was made clear to Coquese
Washington, her coaching staff and her Lady Lions as they faced a 17-5 deficit
eight minutes into their bout against Big Ten foe Illinois at the State Farm
Center in Champaign, Ill. on Thursday.
you play on the road, it's always a difficult environment, and you have to be
mentally tough," said Penn State assistant coach Kia Damon. "I think we got
down in a hole pretty early in the game. We didn't have our normal scoring
opportunities, but the girls continued to attack."
it was 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year, Maggie Lucas, who overcame foul trouble
to lead the Lady Lions to victory. Lucas tallied 24 points, converting on four
three-pointers, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
is always clutch," said Damon. "She picked up three quick fouls, which is
unusual. I think there have only been a handful of games in her career where
she picked up that many fouls in the first half. But with her time on the
bench, and then at halftime, she was able to collect her thoughts, be more
poised, and have a laser-sharp focus on what she needed to do in the second
half to be more effective."
executed a simple flick of the wrist and a hand in the cookie jar to spark the
comeback. Down by seven with 7:22 remaining in the first half, the
sharp-shooting senior cashed in a three-pointer from well beyond the arc to cut
Illinois's lead to 23-19.
that point forward, Penn State was able to control the tempo, especially in
transition and the Lady Lions went on to end the first half on an 8-2 run to
head into the locker-room down only one, 32-31.
the second half, Lucas and the Lady Lions stayed hot, leading by 19 points at
one point, 77-58. Lucas was like a microwave, providing instant scoring for her
team. Her 17-second half points certainly helped the Blue and White get out to a
has compiled quite the statistical career at Penn State, so, to no surprise,
she found herself in even more Lady Lion record books after her performance
the third time this season, Lucas was perfect from the foul line when
attempting at least 10 shots. With her perfect 10-for-10 from the charity
stripe, Lucas became just the eighth player in Lady Lion history to attempt 500
free throws in a career, moving into seventh place on the all-time list with
by finishing 4-for-11 from downtown, Lucas moved into second place on the Big
Ten career three-point field goals attempt list with 768.
notable difference makers included senior Ariel Edwards and freshman Peyton
Whitted. Edwards notched her second-career double-double with 20 points and 11
rebounds, while Whitted set career-highs with 9 points and 10 boards.
that as it may, the Lady Lions lost their double-digit lead, and nearly the
game, when the Illini finished the game on a zestful 15-3 run. Such an ending
provided the Lady Lions with an important takeaway from the contest.
positive that we can take away are once we are able to maintain and hold onto the
lead we can be very dangerous," said Damon. "That is a great strength of our
team and that takes a lot of mental fortitude to do that. We just have to stay
true to the things in our game plan. So I think the main thing is that we have
to start the game strong and finish the game strong."
Lady Lions will look to start and finish strong when they travel back home and
take on No. 20/21 Purdue in their Big Ten home opener this Sunday at 3 p.m. at
the Bryce Jordan Center.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - During the preseason and the early non-conference season, it was
unknown who would team up with 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas to
lead the Lady Lion scoring, although all signs pointed toward it being Ariel
more. Now, it is simply factual. Ariel Edwards can be and will be a viable
scoring threat in her senior season at Penn State. Through 13 games, Edwards is
second on the team in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game and adds 4.5
rebounds per contest.
versatility on the floor has created a new dimension for the Lady Lions and
more importantly, according to her head coach, it has created stability.
that she [Ariel] is playing with is really helping to stabilize the team so far
this year," said head coach Coquese Washington. "She is playing more
decisively. When she is aggressive and assertive and decisive she is pretty
tough to stop."
6-foot-3 senior forward can play either guard position, defend at a high level,
score and get rebounds and has been able to do all of those things at almost
any given moment during the 2013-14 season.
helps me be more effective," Edwards said. "If we are playing a smaller team I
can play power forward. If we are playing a bigger team I can play my more
natural position, which is small forward."
true point guard in Dara Taylor and a lethal shooting guard in Maggie Lucas,
Edwards knows the importance of her being versatile on a consistent basis,
which is finally becoming a reality.
something that my team needs from me," Edwards said of her versatility and
has been able to step up in on multiple occasions for Penn State this season
cementing herself as a scoring leader for the back-to-back Big Ten regular
season champions. Take the Lady Lions' 66-58 win over then-No. 20/24 Texas
Aggies, along with anyone with knowledge of women's college basketball, knew
Maggie Lucas was going to get her fair share of points and she did. What may
have been the difference though was that Edwards backed up Lucas' 26-point
performance with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists.
days prior to the win over Texas A&M, Penn State was down, 55-35, at the
half on the road against South Dakota State. Edwards led the way in the second
half with 16 points, four rebounds and two assists as the Lady Lions nearly
erased the 20-point deficit before falling, 83-79.
has gone from a consistency question to a stable and able option. Position
coach Kia Damon believes Edwards has been able to turn the corner because of
her growth mentally as well as physically.
"Ariel has always been a very talented player,
but what you are seeing this year is that she is putting together the mental aspect
with her physical talents," said Damon. "That [the new mentality] has helped
her to remain calm in every situation on the court."
Washington agrees. The physical talent and
skill was always there, it was a matter of taking the mental approach and
making the two work hand-in-hand. That has been able to happen because of her
experiences in her first three seasons at Penn State.
"It's been a four-year progression for Ariel,"
Washington said. "She spends a tremendous amount of time in the gym before
practice and after practice working on ball handling, defense and shooting.
It's been a gradual growth for her and it's all coming together in terms of her
confidence and decision making."
and Penn State travel to Champaign, Ill. on Thursday, Jan. 9 to take on
Illinois at 9 p.m. before their Big Ten home opener on Sunday against Purdue at