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Feb. 22, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #11/9 Penn State Lady Lions (21-5, 12-2 Big Ten) head to #17/17 Nebraska (20-5, 10-3) for a Big Monday game to close out the road portion of their conference schedule on ESPN2 on Monday at 7 p.m. Beth Mowins and Stephanie White will be on the call for ESPN2. The game is also available via stream on espn3.com. Monday's game has Big Ten title implications as the Lady Lions can clinch at least a share of their third consecutive Big Ten regular-season championship with a win over the Huskers.
TV: The game will air on ESPN2 as part of ESPN's Big Monday with Beth Mowins and Stephanie White on the call. The game is also available via stream on espn3.com.
RADIO: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network and on WRSC 1390 locally with Jerry Fisher calling the action. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: Senior guard Maggie Lucas connected on five three-pointers en route to 26 points to lead the Lady Lions to an 82-73 win over Northwestern Thursday. It was a banner day for Lucas, who moved into a tie for fourth place on the Big Ten's career scoring list with Purdue's MaChelle Joseph (2,505). In addition to her 26 points, Lucas had four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Junior Tori Waldner had one of the best outings of her collegiate career with a personal-best 14 points. Waldner also pulled in nine rebounds and tied her personal best with five blocked shots. Senior Ariel Edwards was quiet early, but had back-to-back three-point plays to spark her to 15 points with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Fellow senior Dara Taylor rounded out the list of Lions in double figures with 11 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
SCOUTING NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers are ranked 17th in both the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Coaches' poll with a 20-5 overall record and 10-3 mark in conference play. Nebraska is the hottest team in the Big Ten, having won its last seven games, dating back to Jan. 29. All-Conference honoree Jordan Hooper leads the Huskers with a 20.2 scoring average to go along with 9.2 rebounds and a 35.7% mark from three-point range. Rachel Theriot guides the Nebraska offense with a 13.6 scoring average and dishes out a team-high 6.5 assists per game, which ranks third in the Big Ten. Emily Cady is Nebraska's most efficient shooter at a 51.2% clip while averaging 13.2 points and a squad-high 9.5 rebounds per game. Tear'a Laudermill also accounts for double figures at 10.6 per outing.
ALL-TIME VERSUS THE HUSKERS: The Lady Lions are 5-1 all-time against Nebraska, including wins in the last three contests. PSU is 2-0 in games played in Lincoln. Penn State swept the series last year with an 80-58 win in the BJC and an 82-67 win at the Devaney Center to clinch the Big Ten regular-season title outright.
LAST TIME VERSUS NEB: Maggie Lucas ended the regular-season in style with a career-best eight three-pointers en route to 34 points as the Lady Lions claimed the Big Ten regular-season title outright with an 82-67 win over Nebraska on March 3, 2013. Penn State shot 69.2% from the field in the second half and connected on 66.7% of their three-pointers in the closing frame. Lucas also added nine rebounds and three steals against the Huskers. Alex Bentley was solid as she contributed 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Mia Nickson chipped in 12 tallies and six rebounds. Nikki Greene also reached double figures for the Lady Lions with 10 points to go along with six rebounds and a block.
HOOPER & CO REUNITE: Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington and Nebraska senior Jordan Hooper will be reunited on Monday night. Washington was an assistant coach on USA Basketball's World University Games team in Kazan, Russia this past summer and Hooper was a member of the squad.
WALDNER'S WAY: Junior post Tori Waldner was 6-for-11 from the field en route to a career-high 14 points against Northwestern on Feb. 20. Waldner's previous personal best was 11, set twice this year against Indiana and UConn. She also pulled in nine rebounds, just narrowly missing out on her first career double-double. She also tied her career high with five blocks, a feat which she also accomplished against Minnesota on Jan. 24, 2013.
33'S 25s: Maggie Lucas reached the 25-point plateau for three consecutive games with 32 tallies at Indiana (2/13/14), 25 markers versus Wisconsin (2/16/14) and 26 points against Northwestern (2/20/14). She is the first player since Kelly Mazzante in Dec. 2003 to accomplish the feat. Mazzante had 31 points in back-to-back games against Baylor (12/9/03) and Pittsburgh (12/14/03) and had 29 tallies versus Louisiana Tech (12/21/03). Lucas has scored 20 points or more in her last five games, marking the second time in her career that she has done so (junior year).
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 26 tallies against Northwestern on Feb. 20, Lucas moved into a tie for fourth place on the Big Ten's career scoring list with 2,405 points. Lucas is tied with Purdue's MaChelle Joseph (2,405; 1989-92) for fourth position in conference history. Lucas needs 173 points to move into a tie for third place with Ohio State's Katie Smith (2,578; 1993-96).
NEW FREEBIES QUEEN: With seven free throws made against Northwestern on Feb. 20, Maggie Lucas broke the Penn State career free throws record. Her 517 career makes from the charity stripe break the 29-year old record of 512 previously set by post player Kahadeejah Herbert from 1982-85. Lucas is on pace to break the single-season free throws record with 155 freebies this season. She is currently tied for fifth on the single-season chart with Kelly Mazzante's 2002-03 campaign and needs 21 makes from the charity stripe to break Tyra Grant's record of 176 free throws made during the 2009-10 season. Lucas will also finish her career fourth on Penn State's career free throws attempted list with 569.
The Lady Lions close out the regular season with Senior Day and Alumni Day against Michigan on Saturday, March 1 at 3:30 p.m. There will be a pregame ceremony to honor the four-member senior class. Penn State Alumni Association members can show their card and get a $5 ticket. It's also a Subway Full Court 4-Pack game.
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 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.