Lady Lions Open WNIT Against Hofstra Thursday at 7 p.m. in BJC
March 17, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (17-13, 8-10) begin postseason play for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign when they host Hofstra (19-13, 11-7 CAA) in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. This is Penn State's 23rd postseason bid and second appearance in the WNIT after winning the inaugural title in 1998.
The winner of the Penn State-Hofstra game will face the winner of the St. Joseph's-VCU contest in the second round. If the Lady Lions defeat the Pride, Penn State will host the WNIT second round game on Saturday, March 20 at 3 p.m., in the Bryce Jordan Center.
TV/RADIO/WEB: The game is on the Penn State Sports Network with Jerry Fisher and Kellie Goodman calling the action. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com. The game will also be available on a live web stream on www.BigTenNetwork.com for $2.99. The game will also be taped-delayed as a "Student U" broadcast on the Big Ten Network on Friday, March 19 at noon.
TICKETS: Single-game tickets will be $13 for adults and $6 for youth and students. Season ticket holders can purchase tickets online through their existing athletics account until 6 p.m. Tuesday evening. Tickets will also be sold to season ticket holders and the general public by visiting the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office or by calling 814-865-5555 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The first 100 Penn State students to present their valid ID at Gate A of the Bryce Jordan Center on game day will receive free admission, courtesy of the Lady Lion Cager Club. Doors for Thursday's game will open two hours before game time, to minimize congestion at the Bryce Jordan Center will call and ticket windows.
LIONS BACK IN THE POSTSEASON: The Lady Lions returned to the postseason after a five-year absence to make their 23rd overall appearance (21 NCAA; 2 WNIT). Penn State is 30-21 all-time in postseason games (NCAA or WNIT). This is the second all-time WNIT berth for Penn State. In their only other WNIT appearance, the Lady Lions won the inaugural WNIT in 1998 with wins over Villanova, St. Joseph's, Indiana and Baylor. Ironically, the Lady Lions entered the 1998 WNIT with a 17-13 record, which is their record entering this season's WNIT.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions shot 47.5% (29-61) from the field, but No. 3 seed Iowa tied the Big Ten Tournament record with 11 three-pointers as the Hawkeyes earned an 82-75 win in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on March 5. Senior Tyra Grant tallied a season-best 32 points en route to becoming the fourth player in program history to surpass the 2,000-point plateau. She also pulled in nine rebounds and two steals. Freshman Alex Bentley also reached double figures with 18 tallies on 9-of-15 shooting. She also handed out six assists. Freshman guard Gizelle Studevent had a career-high seven points.
SCOUTING HOFSTRA: The Pride finished the regular-season with a 19-13 overall record and an 11-7 mark in CAA action. Shante Evans paces Hofstra, averaging team bests of 13.5 points and 9.3 rebound per game. Nicole Capurso accounts for 9.7 points per game, while Candice Bellocchio dishes out a team-high 4.8 assists per outing.
ALL-TIME VS. THE PRIDE: This will be Penn State's first-ever game against Hofstra on the hardwood. The Lady Lions are 17-12 all-time against teams from the current Colonial Athletic Association, including a 71-61 win over Drexel in this year's season-opener.
DOMINANT AT HOME IN POSTSEASON: Penn State has been dominant at home in the postseason throughout its history, posting a 19-4 record in home games in the NCAA Tournament and WNIT. The Lady Lions have won their last 11 home games, dating back to the 1995 NCAA Tournament. Penn State is 3-0 in WNIT home games and 16-4 in NCAA home contests.
GRANT JOINS 2,000-POINT CLUB: Senior guard Tyra Grant became the fourth player in school history to reach the 2,000-point plateau with 32 tallies in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Iowa on March 5. Grant joins Kelly Mazzante, Susan Robinson and Kahadeejah Herbert in the elite group. Grant is also the 14th player in Big Ten history to accomplish the feat.
GRANT CLAIMS SECOND FIRST TEAM HONOR: For the second consecutive season, senior guard Tyra Grant took home All-Big Ten first team accolades from both the coaches and media. She is the eighth Lady Lion to garner multiple All-Big Ten first team selections, joining Tina Nicholson (1994, 1995, 1996), Angie Potthoff (1995, 1996, 1997), Helen Darling (1999, 2000), Andrea Garner (1999, 2000), Maren Walseth (2000, 2001), Kelly Mazzante (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) and Tanisha Wright (2003, 2004, 2005). Grant was an All-Big honorable mention choice each of her first two seasons in Happy Valley.
BENTLEY EARNS ALL-BIG TEN ACCOLADES: Guard Alex Bentley was rewarded for a stellar rookie campaign with Big Ten postseason honors. Bentley was selected to the All-Big Ten third team by the coaches and was All-Big Ten honorable mention pick by the media. Additionally, she was a unanimous choice for the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Bentley is the ninth Penn State rookie to earn Big Ten All-Freshman team accolades, joining Helen Darling (1997), Lisa Shepherd (1998), Maren Walseth (1998), Kelly Mazzante (2001), Jess Strom (2002), Reicina Russell (2004), Brianne O'Rourke (2006) and Grant (2007).
GRANT BREAKS FREEBIES RECORDS: Senior Tyra Grant broke Penn State's single-season free throws made and free throws attempted records this year. Grant's 168 free throws made breaks the previous record of 161 set by Susan Robinson during the 1989-90 season. Grant has attempted 213 freebies this year, which passes the mark set by Kahadeejah Herbert in 1984-85 (210).
STUDEVENT THE SCORER: Freshman guard Gizelle Studevent had a career performance in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal loss to Iowa on March 5. The rookie was 2-for-3 from the field and made both of her free throw attempts en route to a career-high seven points. She also netted her first career three-pointer in the game. Studevent's previous career high was six points against Minnesota on Feb. 11.
TY TALLIES 32 AT BIG TENS: Tyra Grant notched her fourth career 30-point game with 32 points on 11-for-23 shooting in the Big Ten quarterfinal against Iowa on March 5. It is the fourth 30-point performance of Grant's career, which is tied for third all-time, and her third against the Hawkeyes.
LIONS VICTORIOUS IN BTT: Penn State picked up a 63-52 win over #6 seed Minnesota in the first round of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament. It was the first win for the Lady Lions in the Big Ten tourney since the 2006-07 when they defeated #4 seed Illinois, 73-71, in the quarterfinals. The win was also Penn State's first over Minnesota since Feb.15, 2007, a string of six games.
TROGELE AND GREENE EQUAL CAREER MARKS: Junior Julia Trogele and freshman Nikki Greene each tied career marks in the Big Ten Tournament win over Minnesota on March 4. Trogele equaled her career high with seven assists, while Greene tied her career high with 12 points for the seventh time this season.
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.