Lady Lions Face Tough Test at Purdue Thursday
Jan. 19, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (15-4, 4-1) are off to their best start in conference play since the 2004-05 campaign and sit in a tie for first place in the Big Ten standings heading into a road game at Purdue (12-6, 3-3) Thursday at 7 p.m. The Lady Lions, who have won three straight games and five of their last six, will face a Purdue squad that is 9-2 in home games. The game will be available as a live webcast on www.bigtennetwork.com.
WEBCAST/TELEVISION: The game will be available as a live webcast on www.bigtennetwork.com. The game will also be shown on the Big Ten Network as a "Student U" broadcast on Sat., Jan. 22 at 10 a.m.
RADIO/GAMETRACKER: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and on ESPN 1450 locally with Jerry Fisher calling the action. The audio feed and GameTracker link are available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
SCOUTING PURDUE: The Boilermakers are 12-6 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play after a 54-43 win over Northwestern at Mackey Arena Sunday. Brittany Rayburn leads Purdue with a 14.4 scoring average to go along with 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Freshman guard Courtney Moses has been solid, averaging 12.8 points and 3.0 assists per game after taking over the starting point guard spot after an injury to K.K. Houser. Drey Mingo also accounts for double figures at a 10.5 per game clip.
ALL-TIME VS. THE BOILERMAKERS: The Lady Lions are just 14-23 all-time against Purdue, including a 4-13 record in West Lafayette. The Boilers have won nine consecutive games over Penn State, dating back to the 2004-05 campaign. The Lady Lions have not won in West Lafayette since Jan. 2, 2004 (47-42). The Boilermakers swept the season series last year with an 80-76 overtime win at the Bryce Jordan Center and a 63-59 win at Mackey Arena.
LAST TIME VS. PURDUE: The Lady Lions led by four points with just under eight minutes left, but only managed to score five points in the final 7:51 on the way to a 63-59 loss at Purdue on Feb. 14, 2010. The Boilermakers scored nearly half of their points (29) from the free throw line, while the Lady Lions only made 14 shots from the charity stripe. Alex Bentley registered her third career 20-point effort with 20 tallies on 8-of-14 shooting. She also added four assists and three steals. Tyra Grant accounted for 18 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block.
LAST TIME OUT: Freshman Maggie Lucas etched her name into the Penn State record books as the Lady Lions cruised to an 83-62 win over Illinois Sunday at the BJC. Lucas nailed six three-pointers on the day to up her season total to 66, which breaks Kelly Mazzante's freshman season three-pointers record of 65 triples. As a team, the Lady Lions connected on 60% (12-20) of their shots from deep against the Illini. With the win, Penn State moves into a tie for first place in the Big Ten standings with Michigan State. Lucas was 8-for-13 from the field, including 6-for-8 from three-point range en route to a game-high 22 points. She also tied her career high with eight rebounds to go with an assist. Junior guard Zhaque Gray was also stellar from deep going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points. She also had three assists and two rebounds.
HIGH SCHOOL TEAMMATES CLASH: Sophomore guard Alex Bentley and Purdue freshman Dee Dee Williams will square off for the first time on opposite sides of the court Thursday. The pair were high school teammates at Ben Davis and led the Giants to an Indiana State Championship in 2008-09 and the #1 ranking in the final USA Today Super 25 poll.
BEST BIG TEN START: With an 83-62 win over Illinois Sunday, the Lady Lions improved to 4-1 in Big Ten play on the year. It is the best start in conference play for a Penn State team since the 2004-05 squad started the Big Ten schedule a perfect 7-0 on the way to a third place finish.
80-POINT GAMES: The Lady Lions posted their 10th game with 80 or more in an 83-62 win over Illinois on Jan. 16. The 10 80-point games are the most by a Penn State team since the 2002-03 squad surpassed the 80-point plateau 16 times.
LUCAS CLAIMS ANOTHER FRESHMAN AWARD: Guard Maggie Lucas collected her sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award on Jan. 17 after averaging 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in two wins for the Lady Lions. With the honor, Lucas adds to her Big Ten record for Freshman of the Week accolades in a season. Lucas had a stellar week from the field, connecting on 11-of-18 shots (61.1%) on the way to a pair of 20-point games. She opened the week with 20 points via a 5-for-10 effort from long range in the win over Minnesota Thursday. The Narbeth, Pa. native added three rebounds, three steals, a block and an assist against the Gophers. In Sunday's win over Illinois, Lucas was 6-for-8 from three-point range on the way to a game-best 22 points. Her six three-pointers pushed her past Kelly Mazzante for first place on Penn State's freshman season three-pointers list with 66 triples in 19 games. Lucas also tied her career high with eight rebounds against the Illini.
LUCAS REACHES 300: Freshman guard Maggie Lucas surpassed the 300-point mark for her career with 22 tallies against Illinois on Jan. 16. Lucas reaches the milestone just 19 games into her collegiate career. By comparison, freshman season scoring leader Kelly Mazzante (529) reached 300 points in her 17th game.
TRIPLE THREAT: The Lady Lions have drained 144 three-pointers in 19 games this season, which is the most three-pointers by a Penn State team since the 2003-04 squad nailed 189 shots from beyond the arc. The Lady Lions are currently on pace break the single-season three-pointers record of 228 set by the 2002-03 squad.
LUCAS BREAKS FRESHMAN THREE-POINT RECORD: With six treys against Illinois on Jan. 16, Maggie Lucas broke Kelly Mazzante's freshman season three-pointers record just 19 games into the year. Lucas now has 66 triples in her rookie campaign.
The Lady Lions are back at home to host Indiana on Sunday, Jan. 23. It's Kids Day at the Bryce Jordan Center, as well as another Subway Full Court 4-Pack game where fans can get four tickets, four sodas and a voucher for four 6" Subway subs for $40. 2010-11 Lady Lion Basketball Single-game tickets are available by calling 814-863-1000 or 800-NITTANY. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, including one for the Coaches vs. Cancer game and one for the Pink Zone game, that can be redeemed for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets in any combination.
The 2011 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon as the Lady Lions take on Northwestern in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network. Last year, the Lady Lions donated more than $80,000 for 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 and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone. The WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pinkzoneatpennstate.
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.