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March 2, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (16-12, 8-10) earned the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will open tourney play on Thursday against No. 11 Minnesota (13-16, 6-12) at approximately 2:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the Michigan-Northwestern game. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network. The winner of the Penn State-Minnesota game will face #3 Iowa (17-12, 10-8) on Friday in the quarterfinals at approximately 2 p.m.
TV/RADIO: The first round, quarterfinal and semifinal games of the Big Ten Tournament will air live on the Big Ten Network. Mark Neely, Mary Murphy and Leah Secondo will call the action for the Penn State-Minnesota game on Thursday. Penn State's tourney games will also air on the Penn State Sports Network with Jerry Fisher and Stacey Brewer describing play. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The Lady Lions are 20-13 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament with a pair of Championships in 1995 and 1996. Penn State is 2-3 in the first round, but has dropped its last two opening round contests. The Lady Lions sport a 10-2 record in quarterfinal round games.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions rallied valiantly from a 23-point deficit in the second half, but it was not enough as they dropped a 77-68 decision at Indiana on Feb. 28. Freshman guard Alex Bentley led Penn State with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting and three assists. Senior guard Tyra Grant chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds and a pair of assists, while classmate Meredith Monroe notched her second career double-double with 12 points, 11 of which came in the second half, and 12 rebounds.
SCOUTING MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers finished the season in 11th place with a 13-16 overall record and 6-12 mark in conference action. Kiara Buford paces Minnesota with a 13.3 scoring average to go along with 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Ashley Ellis-Milan leads the squad in rebounding (5.3) and is second in scoring (9.6), while Brittany McCoy is second in the Big Ten with a 5.0 assist average.
ALL-TIME VS. THE GOPHERS: The Lady Lions lead the all-time series against Minnesota, 20-11, but have lost the last six meetings with the Golden Gophers. This will be the first ever meeting between these teams in the Big Ten Tournament. The Lady Lions dropped a 56-48 decision at Minnesota on Dec. 6 and a 59-52 contest at home on Feb. 11. In her career, Tyra Grant has averaged 14.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game against Minnesota, while Alex Bentley accounted for 11.5 points and 5.0 assists in two games against the Gophers this year.
LAST TIME VS. MINN: The Lady Lions led by eight points with 5:33 remaining, but Minnesota closed the game on a 17-2 run to earn a 59-52 victory on Feb. 11. The Golden Gophers made more free throws (28) than Penn State had field goals (23) and were outstanding from the charity stripe, shooting 90.3%. After being held scoreless in the first half, senior Tyra Grant had 11 consecutive points in the second half to lead Penn State's offensive effort. Sophomore Zhaque Gray came off of the bench to go 5-for-10 from the field en route to 10 points.
GRANT AND BENTLEY EARN BIG TEN HONORS: Senior Tyra Grant and freshman Alex Bentley took home Big Ten accolades for their outstanding performances during the 2009-10 season. Grant was named to the All-Big Ten first team for the second consecutive season by both the coaches and media, while Bentley was an All-Big Ten third team selection by the coaches and an honorable mention All-Big Ten choice by the media. Additionally, Bentley was a unanimous pick for the Big Ten All-Freshman team.
MONROE NOTCHES DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Senior forward Meredith Monroe registered the second double-double of her career with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the regular-season finale at Indiana on Feb. 28. She was 5-for-9 from the field on the game and her 12 caroms were one off of her career high.
GRANT CLOSING IN ON 2,000: Senior guard Tyra Grant is 26 points away from becoming the fourth player in school history to register 2,000 career points. Grant would join Kelly Mazzante, Susan Robinson and Kahadeejah Herbert in the elite group. Grant would also become the 13th player in Big Ten history to accomplish the feat.
ALEX NINTH ON FROSH SCORING LIST: Freshman Alex Bentley moved into ninth place on the freshman season scoring list with her 17-point performance at Indiana on Feb. 28. The rookie guard passed Vanessa Paynter (1983-84) for ninth place with her performance against the Hoosiers. She has 328 points in their first collegiate season. Bentley now sets her sights on Kahadeejah Herbert (340; 1981-82) for eighth place on the list.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2010 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Shooting Camp (June 13-15), Elite Camp (June 20-22), Skills Camp (June 20-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 24-26) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 6-8). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit psusportscamps.com and click on Lady Lion Basketball Camp.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow head coach Coquese Washington (@psucoachquese), sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and assistant coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook. Search Lady Lion Basketball and become a fan.