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Jan. 7, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #17/15 Penn State Lady Lions (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten) continue their two-game road swing to open up Big Ten play at Illinois (7-7, 0-1) on Thursday at 9 p.m. (ET). The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Cory Provus and LaChina Robinson describing play.
TV: The game will air live on the Big Ten Network with Cory Provus and LaChina Robinson describing play.
RADIO: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and WRSC 1390 locally with Jerry Fisher and Julia Trogele calling the action. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions landed five players in double figures as they won a hard-fought 87-71 win over #23/22 Iowa Sunday. Senior guard Maggie Lucas paced the scoring effort with 27 points, scoring 11 points in the first six minutes of the game and scoring the other 16 points in the final seven minutes of the contest. Talia East notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Senior Dara Taylor added 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals, while Ariel Edwards added 11 points, three rebounds and two helpers despite battling foul trouble in the second half. Junior Tori Waldner was 5-for-7 from the field en route to 10 points. Freshman Peyton Whitted had a career game with personal bests of eight points and six rebounds.
SCOUTING ILLINOIS: The Illini are 7-7 on the season and are coming off of a tough overtime loss against Wisconsin on Jan. 3. Amber Moore spearheads the offensive effort for the Illini, averaging a team-best 17.9 points per game to go along with a team-high 6.3 rebounds per outing. Ivory Crawford chips in 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, while Sarah Hartwell adds 9.8 points and a team-high 3.4 assists per contest. Freshman Jacqui Grant has been solid in the post for Illinois, accounting for 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
ALL-TIME VERSUS THE ILLINI: The Lady Lions are 29-14 all-time against Illinois. PSU is just 9-10 in games played in Champaign, but has won the last two games at the State Farm Center. Penn State has won the last six contests against the Illini and eight of the last 10. The Lady Lions won the only game between the teams last season, a 95-62 decision in Happy Valley.
LAST TIME VERSUS ILLINOIS: The Lady Lions used a 61.1% shooting effort, their first time better than 60% in a game since 1996, in a 95-62 victory over Illinois on Feb. 20, 2013. Maggie Lucas just missed out on her second career double-double with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. Alex Bentley filled the stat sheet with 20 points, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals. Mia Nickson was very effective in the post, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds, while Ariel Edwards rounded out the double-digit scorers with 11 points.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATES MEET: Freshman guard Keke Sevillian will see a familiar face across the court in Champaign when she faces off against Goodrich High School teammate Taylor Gleason, a freshman for the Illini. The pair were both members of the Goodrich Martians' back-to-back state championships in 2012 and 2013. Sevillian accounts for 2.5 points per game for the Lady Lions, while Gleason is averaging 3.3 points per game for Illinois.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEBIES: Whether it is a effect of the new rules in college basketball or a change in style for the Lady Lions, Penn State has shot 39 more free throws in 13 games (256-322) this season than it did in the first 13 games last year (212-283). The Lions have also improved on their stroke from the charity stripe, knocking down 79.5% of their shots, which leads the Big Ten and is second in the country. One of the main reasons for PSU's success at the free throw line is senior Maggie Lucas, who is second in NCAA Division I in free throw percentage at a 96.5% clip (83-86). Through 13 games this season, Lucas has attempted 23 more shots from the line and made 29 more freebies as compared to last season. In 2013-14, Lucas is 83-86 from the free throw line, while in 2012-13, Lucas was 54-63 from the charity stripe through 13 games.
LUCAS RISES ON BIG TEN SCORING LIST: Maggie Lucas became the 18th player in Big Ten history to reach 2,000 points at Georgetown on Dec. 8. With 27 tallies at Iowa on Jan. 5, Lucas moved into 12th place on the Big Ten's career scoring list with 2,118 points. Lucas passed Minnesota's Carol Ann Shudlick (2,097; 1991-94) for the 12th slot in conference history. Lucas needs 42 points to tie Illinois' Jenna Smith (2,160; 2007-10) for 11th place.
WHITTED WHIPS UP GREAT B1G DEBUT: Freshman guard/forward Peyton Whitted turned in a career performance to open Big Ten play at Iowa on Jan. 5. Whitted was 4-for-6 from the field en route to a personal-best eight points, besting her previous career mark of six against Alcorn State on Dec. 22. She also pulled in a career-high six rebounds, surpassing her previous personal mark of four, which she accomplished three times this season.
TALIA DOUBLES DOWN: Senior center Talia East posted her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds at Iowa on Jan. 5. East, who was 4-for-6 from the field, scored all 10 of her points in the second half and snagged nine of her 10 boards after the break. The performance was East's third double-digit scoring output and third game with 10 or more rebounds on the season. East's 10 points are the most for her in a Big Ten game, besting her previous best of nine points which she scored twice before in her career (Purdue, 2/4/13 and Indiana, 2/2/12). This was the first double-double performance for a Lady Lion this season.
The Lady Lions open the home portion of their Big Ten slate Sunday against Purdue at 3 p.m. on ESPN. The game is Military Appreciation Day and military members that show their ID will receive four (4) free tickets and the opportunity to buy additional tickets for $5. Sunday is also the Dara Taylor mini-bobblehead giveaway while supplies last, it's the third in a series of six giveaways. Additionally, YMCA members that show their card will receive a $5 ticket offer. The Lady Lions will continue their homestand against Ohio State on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Lady Lion Basketball single-game and season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Single-game tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2013-14. New this year, the Lady Lions have introduced a Family Season Ticket package. For $200, fans will get two adult tickets and two youth tickets for the 2013-14 campaign. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Pink Zone game.
The 2014 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 as the Lady Lions take on Wisconsin in the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $260,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstateladylions.