Young Lady Lions Struggle at No. 11/11 Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. January 19, 2006 - Kam Gissendanner (Clairton, Pa.) scored 22 points but Penn State could not overcome a deep and experienced Purdue team, falling to the No. 11/11 Boilermakers, 70-56, Thursday night in Mackey Arena.
Amanda Brown (Kennett Square, Pa.) also reached double-digits in the game, scoring 14 points for Penn State. Brown, Gissendanner and Mashea Williams (Erie, Pa.) each pulled down a team-high six boards. Katie Gearlds led Purdue with 28 points on 12 for 15 shooting.
The loss moves Penn State's record to 7-10, 1-5 on the year. Purdue, meanwhile, held on to its spot atop the Big Ten standings, and is now 14-2, 6-0 this season.
Penn State finished the game with an impressive 39-22 rebounding edge, and shot 47 percent to the Boilers' mark of 50 percent. The difference, however, came in the turnover column as Penn State committed 28 in the game. The turnovers took away shots for Lady Lions, who could not match Purdue's offense on its tough home court.
Penn State opened the second half with Williams at point guard and the team responded by going on a 6-2 run, forcing Purdue head coach Kristy Curry to call a timeout in order to regroup her team. Purdue turned to Gearlds in order to stay on track, and the junior guard scored six of Purdue's next eight buckets to give her team a 56-35 lead with just under nine minutes to play. The Lady Lions hung evenly with Purdue the rest of the way, but could not chip into the decisive lead until the very end of the contest.
Penn State went into the halftime break down, 38-21. Despite the frustrating deficit, Gissendanner provided a bright spot for the Lady Lions. The 6-0 guard scored nine of the Lady Lions' 21 first-half points, continually elevating above her Purdue opponents to get off her jump shot.
Purdue's full-court press rattled the inexperienced Lady Lions, who turned the ball over six times in the first nine minutes and 12 times in the half. Looking for a spark, Portland inserted Williams into the lineup at point guard mid-way through the half, and the freshman shooting guard promptly sliced into the lane and dropped a perfect pass to Courtney Molinaro (Bethlehem, Pa.), who converted the open layup. Williams stayed in the game at the 2-guard when O'Rourke returned and continued to open things up for Penn State with her penetration.
The game was Penn State head coach Rene Portland's 799th as the Lady Lions' head coach. She will lead her team in contest No. 800 on Sunday, when Penn State visits Northwestern for a 3 p.m. ET matchup. That game will be available on the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com, where a link to the audio and GameTracker features will also be available. The Lady Lions return home on Thursday, Jan. 26 to face Iowa at 7 p.m.
Single games tickets for the Lady Lions are still available. Tickets can be purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center ticket windows weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fans can also get tickets by calling 800-863-3336 or 865-5555 locally or visit www.GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics. Tickets are also available by visiting the Downtown Ticket Center, Eisenhower Auditorium, and at the HUB ticket booth at the information desk. For groups of 10 or more, ticket discounts and preferred seating options are available by calling (814)863-6757.
Fans interested in buying all-session tickets for the NCAA First and Second Round Games at the Bryce Jordan Center on March 18 and 21 should contact the Penn State ticket office at 1-800-863-3336 or 814-865-5555. All-session tickets will gain the bearer entry to all three sessions. Adult all-session tickets for the six-game, two-day event are available for $42. Penn State students, youth under 18 and senior citizens (60 or above) can purchase tickets for only $18. Fans may also purchase tickets by downloading a ticket brochure and returning the adjoining application to the Penn State ticket office at the address provided. The brochure, and additional information on the NCAA Tournament Games at the Bryce Jordan Center are available online at http://www.gopsusports.com/BasketballW/NCAATourney/
Big Ten Tournament tickets are on sale now as well. To get tickets now, Penn State fans can go through the Penn State box office. Fans can also buy all-session tickets through Ticketmaster for $55 at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone numbers (570) 693-4100 in central Pennsylvania) or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
For group ticket information and a group order form, contact Justin Hirnisey of Indiana Sports Corporation at (317) 237-5026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.