Recently in Women's Basketball Category
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.
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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
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By Tyler Feldman, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - The No. 11/11 Penn State women's basketball team (19-5, 10-2)
returns home Sunday afternoon to tip off at the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. versus
conference foe Wisconsin (10-14, 3-9). The Lady Lions have compiled a home
record of 9-4 this season, including a 3-2 home record in Big Ten play.
The 3-2 mark at home is not what the Lady Lions want, but they have exhibited dominance
away from home this Big Ten this season. The Lady Lions are a perfect 7-0 on
the road in conference play, including two road wins at Ohio State and Indiana this
is the first and only meeting between Penn State and Wisconsin. Last season these
two teams faced each other twice, with each team winning on their respective home
courts. Penn State holds an all-time record of 28-11 over Wisconsin,
with the Lady Lions winning the last two meetings played at the Bryce Jordan
make sure to wear the color pink to support the Pennsylvania Pink Zone and
their fight against breast cancer.
To Watch For - Penn State
Offensive Attack: Penn State has won
eight of its last 10 matchups due to a continued stress on the defensive side
of the ball. However, it is the Blue and White's offensive output that has
pushed them to victory as of late. The Lady Lions have scored at least 70
points in each of their past six games, winning five of those contests. Penn
State ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 75.3 points per game. Coquese
Washington's squad will look to continue its offensive fire against Wisconsin,
who ranks last in scoring offense in the conference, averaging just 65.4 points
Legendary Lucas: After corralling
two rebounds in the first half against Indiana on Thursday, Maggie Lucas
reached the 500 rebound milestone, becoming the first player in program history
and sixth in Big Ten history to register 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250
assists and 200 steals. Following her 32-point performance versus the Hoosiers,
Lucas eclipsed the 500-point mark for the season, becoming just the third
player in Penn State history to score at least 500 points in each of her four
Crashing The Boards: All season long, opponents
have fought hard to get position in the paint, but Penn State continues to
assert its rebounding dominance within the conference. The Lady Lions rank
number one in the Big Ten in rebounding on both sides of the ball, averaging
14.6 offensive boards and 31.1 defensive boards per game. Senior forward Talia
East leads the team with 8.3 rebounds per conference game. As a team, Penn
State is outrebounding the opposition by an average of 7.8 rebounds per
To Watch For - Wisconsin
Johnson: The Badgers may be second-to-last in the Big Ten,
but junior Michala Johnson has provided Wisconsin with consistent offensive play
this season. Johnson is averaging 16.4 points and seven rebounds per game this
season to pace the Badgers. Her 16.4 points per game is good enough for sixth in
the Big Ten for individual scoring.
Competitive Mindset: Despite this being the first and only matchup between these two teams
this season, Wisconsin faced the Lady Lions twice last season. After a lopsided
84-40 loss at the Bryce Jordan Center last year, the Badgers adjusted
accordingly to upset the Lady Lions 63-61 in their second matchup. Head coach
Bobbie Kelsey has experience regarding what it takes to beat a team as talented
as Penn State. Coming into Happy Valley with a competitive mindset will
certainly help the Badgers in their attempt to upset the Lady Lions.
From Way Downtown: The Badgers are averaging 6.3 three-pointers per game. Compare that to
Penn State, which is averaging just 3.5 three-pointers per game, and Wisconsin
has the clear advantage. Jacki Gulczynski is converting on 45.9 percent (17-for-37)
of her shots from downtown to lead the Badgers.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - It was essentially another day at the office for
reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas Thursday night in Penn State's
(19-5, 10-2) 71-63 win on the road against Indiana (17-7, 4-7).
Her line: 32 points, six rebounds and two assists and two steals in 34 minutes.
Those two rebounds vaulted Lucas into elite company and a spot of her own
in the Penn State history books. Lucas became the 29th member of Penn State's
500-rebound club and the only player in school history to notch 2,000 points,
500 boards, 250 assists and 200 steals.
Assistant coach Fred Chmiel said postgame that the accomplishment comes as
no surprise, given Lucas' unmatched work ethic and desire.
"Maggie is a special player and a special person," Chmiel said. "She's a
tireless worker with a phenomenal work ethic and wants to be the best at
everything she does. If she plays checkers, she wants to beat you and if she
doesn't she will be disappointed. That's the kind of person she is."
Those characteristics showed Thursday as she went 10-for-16 from the field
and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Her 32 points marked the seventh career
30-plus point game of her career.
It was clear early in the game Lucas would have the hot hand as she started
4-for-4 from the field. Chmiel said from the outset Lucas was primed for a big
night because of her approach.
"She played a very cerebral game," Chmiel said of Lucas. "She controlled
her speeds well, found openings and exploited them, made extra passes, took
advantage of many opportunities and played high minutes and that is what you
expect out of Maggie."
Lucas' play was contagious against the Hoosiers as three other Lady Lions
scored nine or more points, led by Dara Taylor's 12 points and eight assists.
Ariel Edwards added 10 points and nine rebound and Talia East had nine points
and two blocks.
Penn State shot 50 percent from the field as a team, 53 percent from
downtown and went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe in their school record
seventh Big Ten road win of the season.
Chmiel credits Lucas' ability to get her teammates involved while having a
large personal offensive output as to why Penn State was able to fend off the
"Maggie gets double teamed all the time and it is a difficult night out
every evening," said Chmiel. "The way she distributed the ball tonight and the
way her teammates found her and how she reciprocated made it an easy game to
have good offensive flow and efficiency."
The Lady Lions are back on a two game winning streak and return home to the
Bryce Jordan Center Sunday for the 8th Annual Pink Zone game. As they have
learned on a few occasions this season, any Big Ten team can beat any opponent,
regardless of the venue.
That's why Chmiel says they must continue to take it one game at a time if
they want to close out the season in a favorable fashion.
"We are trying to conquer every battle," Chmiel said. "We have to take it
one game at a time because the bulls eye is on our back and we know we will get
every team's best effort. Wisconsin will come in trying to upset us and we
expect their best effort and must take care of business."
The Badgers and Lady Lions clash at 1 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2.
PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's basketball team got back on track with an
impressive 21 point win at Ohio State on Sunday as they head into a road test
at Indiana. The Lady Lions (18-5, 9-2) enter the matchup ranked No. 11 in both
polls, while the Hoosiers (17-6, 4-6) are off to their best start in 20 years.
Penn State owns a 30-9 record in the overall series vs. Indiana, including a
current five game winning streak. The Blue and White are 10-6 in Bloomington,
however, which includes two straight wins. The last Indiana victory came in
2010 at Assembly Hall, 77-68.
What To Watch For - Penn State
Going for the Sweep: The
second half of the Big Ten schedule in in full swing and Penn State will
attempt to pick up their second series sweep of the 2013-14 season and remain
atop the Big Ten standings. Penn State beat the Hoosiers, 65-52, on Jan. 22 at
home. Peen State has defeated Ohio State twice this season and a win over IU would
add them to the list of opponents Penn State owns the tie breaker with. The
currently have the tie breaker with Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota and
Lucas Continues Climb: After becoming
just the fifth player in school history and 18th player in Big Ten history to
eclipse the 2,000-point mark on Dec. 8 at Georgetown, senior Maggie Lucas
continues to move her way up both lists. Now sitting at 2,322 points, she sits
in second on the Penn State list and fifth on the Big Ten charts. She is 83
points shy of Purdue's MaChelle Joseph on the conference standings and trails
only Kelly Mazzante, who is tops the Penn State and Big Ten lists at 2,919
On the Offensive: Extra chances on
the offensive side of the ball are always a positive and Penn State has been
the best in the Big Ten at grabbing offensive caroms in 2013-14. The Lady Lions
lead the Big Ten with 14.9 offensive rebounds per game and average nearly 14 second chance points per game .IU is third in the Big Ten with 13.2
To Watch For - Indiana
Hitting From Distance: Indiana
continue to lead the Big Ten in three point field goals made. The Hoosiers are
averaging 7.5 three pointers made per game, which ranks among the top-50 in the
NCAA. They have registered eight games with 10-plus threes this season,
including 12 treys on three occasions, including at Illinois on Feb. 2 and vs.
Minnesota on Jan. 19 in overtime.
Hoosiers Assemble: One of the most
iconic venues in college basketball, Assembly Hall has been graet for the
Hoosiers this season. At home, Indiana owns a 10-2 record and are piling up the
points. They have logged 70-plus points in all 10 victories, including 80
points eight times. In their two losses, IU has been held to 52 and 51 points
against Northwestern and Ohio State, respectively.
Freshman Duo: Rookies Taylor Agler
and Larryn Brooks are the only two players to start every game this season for
Indiana. They are the top two scorers on the team in Big Ten play at 14.9 and
9.8 ppg, respectively and are both averaging more than 36 minutes a game. Agler
is shooting a solid .447 from the field and connects at .449 from three point
range in Big Ten games. Along with leading the team in scoring, Brooks leads
the team with 57 assists and nine steals in conference games.