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Jan. 28, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #13/12 Penn State Lady Lions (15-4, 6-1 Big Ten) will take to the road for three of their next four contests beginning with nationally-ranked showdown at #16/19 Purdue (15-5, 5-3) on Thursday at 6 p.m. The game will air on BTN with Eric Collins and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. This will be the 25th times that the teams have meet as ranked foes.
TV: The game will air on BTN with Eric Collins and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. The game is also available on BTN2GO.
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: Senior guard Dara Taylor posted her second career double-double with 15 points and 10 assists to lead the Lady Lions to a runaway 30-point win over Minnesota, 83-53, Sunday. She orchestrated the high-powered attack by scoring 15 points and dishing out a Penn State career-high 10 assists while only committing one turnover for her second career double-double and first in the Blue & White. Fellow senior Maggie Lucas added a game-high 25 points on her mini-bobblehead giveaway day. Lucas got off to a great start, scoring 15 of her 25 points in the first half. Ariel Edwards also reached double figures on the afternoon as the senior poured in 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting and chipped in five rebounds and two assists. Freshman forward Alex Harris showed some pop off of the bench with five points and five rebounds, while fellow rookies Peyton Whitted and Jenny DeGraaf added four points each. The Lady Lions' defensive unit was also a major factor in the outcome. Through 35 minutes of play, Penn State allowed only three Golden Gophers to make a mark in the scoring column.
SCOUTING PURDUE: The Boilermakers, who are 15-5 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play, are ranked 19th in this week's AP poll and 16th in the USA Today Coaches' Poll. Senior Courtney Moses leads a balanced attack for Purdue, averaging 15.7 points per game with a stellar 46.6% shooting effort from three-point range. Fellow senior K.K. Houser accounts for 15.3 point and a team-best 5.5 assists, which is fifth in the Big Ten. On the interior, Whitney Bays averages 11.0 points and leads the team in rebounding (6.6). The Boilers are tough at home with a 7-1 record in Mackey Arena this season with the lone loss coming to Michigan.
ALL-TIME VERSUS THE BOILERMAKERS: The Lady Lions are 17-27 all-time against Purdue, including wins in three of the last five meetings. PSU is 5-14 all-time in games played in West Lafayette, but Penn State did earn a 74-63 win last visit to Mackey Arena in 2012. The squads have met 24 times with both teams ranked in the Top 25 with the Lady Lions holding a 14-10 edge in those contests.
LAST TIME VERSUS PURDUE: The Lady Lions tied the school record with 14 blocks on the day, but it was not enough as the Lions dropped an 84-74 decision to #20/21 Purdue on Jan. 12. Maggie Lucas scored her 17 points to go along with seven rebounds, an assist and a steal. Fellow senior Dara Taylor totaled 13 points and led the squad with six assists, while Ariel Edwards tallied 12 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Senior Talia East turned in one of the most impressive stat lines of the game for Penn State, totaling 10 rebounds, nine points and a career-high seven blocks.
LUCAS NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior guard Maggie Lucas was selected as the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week for the week-ending Jan. 27 after averaging 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in two Lady Lion wins over Indiana and Minnesota. She shared the honor with Purdue's Liza Clemons. It is the fifth career Big Ten Player of the Week honor for Lucas. Lucas opened the week with 18 points and eight rebounds in the 65-52 win over Indiana. Lucas followed up that performance with 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting in a 30-point win over Minnesota. The senior also accounted for three rebounds, three assists and two steals to complete the effort.
DARA'S DOUBLE VISION: Senior guard Dara Taylor turned in arguably one of the best performances of her collegiate career against Minnesota on Jan. 26 as she posted her second career double-double and the first of her Penn State career with 15 points and 10 assists. In addition to her double-double, Taylor only turned the ball over one time in 37 minutes of action. The 10 helpers are the most for Taylor in a Penn State uniform, surpassing her previous Penn State high of eight, which has happened twice for her in the Blue & White. Taylor's first career double-double was at Maryland against the Virginia with 10 points and 11 assists on Jan. 11, 2010. The point-assist double-double is the first for a Lady Lion player since Alex Bentley had 15 points and 15 assists against North Carolina on Nov. 30, 2011. The North Carolina game was also the last time that a Penn State player reached double figures in the assist column.
KEEP IT UNDER 55: Penn State has not allowed an opponent to score more than 55 points in its last four games (Ohio State, 66-42; Michigan State, 66-54; Indiana, 65-52; Minnesota, 83-53). This marks the first time that the Lady Lions have accomplished that feat in Big Ten regular-season play for the Lions since 1999-00 (Indiana, 74-36; Northwestern, 66-34; Minnesota, 99-43; Ohio State, 56-50). The last time overall that Penn State has held four consecutive opponents to less than 55 points is in non-conference play during the 2011-12 season (Virginia Tech, 66-28; UMES, 76-51; Wagner, 103-42; Bucknell, 78-54).
LUCAS HELPS OUT: With three assists against Minnesota on Jan. 26, senior guard Maggie Lucas surpassed the 250 assist mark for her career. Lucas is the 17th player in program history to reach the 250-assist plateau. She ranks 17th in Penn State history with 251 career helpers after passing Sue Martin (247; 1976-80) for the position with a pair of dimes against Indiana on Jan. 22. Lucas needs 12 assists to move into a tie for 16th place with Lisa Shepherd (263; 1998-01) on the career chart.
The Lady Lions continue their road trip at Northwestern on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). Penn State is back in the BJC to host Iowa on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. The game is a Dollar Dog Night and the Hat Drive. Fans that donate a new hat to benefit THON receive a $5 ticket.
Lady Lion Basketball single-game 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). 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.
For the 15th time, Penn State will host the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds on March 23 and 25, 2014. All-session tickets are $30 for adults and $17 for youth and students. There is also an all-session group rate for groups of 20 or more of any age at $20 per package. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or visiting the Penn State athletics ticket office between the hours of 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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.