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March 28, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (24-7, 13-3) head West for the regional round of the 2014 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The third-seeded Lady Lions will meet face No. 2 seed and host Stanford (29-3, 17-1 Pac-12) on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (ET) in Palo Alto, Calif. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and espn3.com. The Penn State-Stanford game is the first of a doubleheader as top-seeded South Carolina (29-4, 14-2 SEC) faces fourth-seeded North Carolina (26-9, 10-6 ACC). The winner of each game will face off in a Regional Final matchup on Tuesday at 9 p.m. (ET).
TV: The game will air on ESPN2 and espn3.com with Dave Pasch and Debbie Antonelli calling play with Brooke Weisbrod on the sideline.
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.
SWEET SIXTEEN: With wins over Wichita State and Florida, Penn State advances to its 13th Sweet Sixteen and second in the last three years. The Lady Lions are 4-8 all-time in Regional Semifinals. In Penn State's last Regional Semifinal appearance, the fourth-seeded Lady Lions dropped a 77-59 decision to top-seeded Connecticut in Kingston, Rhode Island in 2012.
#2 VS. #3: The Lady Lions are 1-3 in games where the #2 seed and #3 seed face off. Penn State's only win came when the Lady Lions were the #2 seed in the 2000 NCAA Tournament and topped #3 seed Iowa State, 66-65, to advance to the Elite Eight. Penn State's three losses to the #2 seed were to Ohio State in 1985 (81-78), Rutgers in 1986 (85-72) and Mississippi in 1992 (75-72).
SCOUTING #2 SEED STANFORD: The Cardinal topped South Dakota and Florida State to advance to the Sweet Sixteen and improve to 31-3 overall. Stanford is ranked fifth in the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll and sixth in the Associated Press Poll. All-American Chiney Ogwumike averages a double-double at 26.6 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. She also knocks down her shots at a 61.1% clip. Amber Orrange accounts for 9.8 points and a team-best 4.6 assists per game. Lili Thompson adds 8.1 points per outing, while Bonnie Samuelson chips in 7.3 tallies per game. The pair has combined for 99 three-pointers this season.
ALL-TIME VS. THE CARDINAL: The Lady Lions and Stanford have split a pair of neutral site meetings with Penn State claiming a 73-63 win on Jan. 5, 1984 in Miami, Fla. and the Cardinal posting a 90-68 win on Nov. 25, 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii. This is the first time that Penn State will visit Maples Pavilion. Penn State is 14-6 all-time against Pac-12 teams, including a 61-56 win over Oregon State at the Junkanoo Jam in November.
LAST TIME VS. STANFORD: Kelly Mazzante posted a double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds, but Stanford shot 51.5% from the field as the Cardinal picked up the 90-68 win over the Lady Lions to win the Rainbow Wahine Classic on Nov. 25, 2001. Jess Strom added eight points and six assists, while Jess Brungo had six points and six boards. Penn State shot just 31.3% from the field in the loss.
COMMON FOES: The Lady Lions and Cardinal have squared off against three common opponents this season in Connecticut, Purdue and Oregon State. Both teams fell to the unbeaten Huskies with Penn State dropping a 71-52 decision and Stanford losing by a 76-57 margin. The Cardinal topped Purdue (86-69), while the Lady Lions split a pair against the Boilers in Big Ten play. Both squads defeated Oregon State with Penn State defeating the Beavers in the Bahamas (61-56) and Stanford winning 89-67).
SCOUTING #1 SEED SOUTH CAROLINA: The top-seeded Gamecocks defeated Cal State Northridge and Oregon State to move on to the Sweet Sixteen. South Carolina is eighth in both major polls with a 29-4 overall record and 14-2 mark in SEC play en route to the conference title. SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell tallies 15.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. She also shoots the ball at an impressive rate, hitting 50.2% of her shots from the field and 52.9% of her attempts from three-point range. Aleighsa Welch tallies 13.8 points per outing to go along with 7.6 rebounds, while SEC Freshman of the Year Alaina Coates adds 12.0 points and a team-best 8.3 boards per game. Dayton fell to Fordham in the conference tournament championship game. Andrea Hoover was selected as the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year as she averaged 17.2 points per game with 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists. She has also knocked down a team-best 66 three-pointers this season. Ally Malott joined Hoover on the All-Atlantic 10 first team as she accounted for 14.5 points per game and a team-best 8.2 rebounds.
ALL-TIME VS. THE GAMECOCKS: The Lady Lions are 6-4 all-time against South Carolina and have won the last two contests. PSU is won the only NCAA Tournament meeting between the teams, a 77-67 win in the second round of the 2003 tourney in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State is 25-30 all-time against current SEC schools.
LAST TIME VS. USC: The Lady Lions used a 13-0 run, including the final six tallies coming from Maggie Lucas, over the final 5:47 to earn a 55-50 come-from-behind win at South Carolina on Nov. 20, 2011 in Columbia, S.C. Lucas nailed a jumper with 1:22 left to give the Lady Lions the lead and clinched the win with a layup, followed by a pair of free throws in the final 22 seconds. Lucas finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and dished out a pair of assists. Talia East had six points to go along with personal bests of 15 rebounds and seven blocks. Her seven rejections are tied for third-most in school history. Ariel Edwards also reached double figures with 10 points via a 5-for-7 shooting performance and snared seven rebounds.
SCOUTING #4 SEED NORTH CAROLINA: The Tarheels moved on to the Regional Semifinals with wins over UT Martin and Michigan State to move to 26-9 on the season. UNC is 13th in the USA Sports Coaches' Poll and 12th in the AP poll. Diamond DeShields was selected as the ACC Rookie of the Year after leading the North Carolina charge with an 18.1 scoring average. She also accounts for 2.7 assists per game. Allisha Gray has a squad-best 60 three-pointers on the season en route to a 14.0 scoring average, while Xulina McDaniel adds 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Stephanie Mavunga is the fourth Tarheel averaging double figures at a 10.7 clip to compliment a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game.
ALL-TIME VERSUS THE TARHEELS: The Lady Lions are 3-2 all-time against UNC and have won the last two meetings. Penn State is 84-42 all-time against ACC foes, but dropped a 77-67 decision to Notre Dame in its only game against an ACC team this season.
LAST TIME VS. UNC: The Lady Lions connected on a school-record 14 three-pointers on the way to a 103-84 victory over North Carolina Tar Heels in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 30, 2011. All five starters reached double figures, led by Zhaque Gray, who was 6-for-10 from the long range en route to 25 points to go along with a career-high six assists. Alex Bentley notched her first career double-double with 15 points and a personal-best 15 assists. The 15 assists by Bentley are tied for 11th on PSU's single-game list. Maggie Lucas added 21 points, while Ariel Edwards chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Nikki Greene also reached double figures with 13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
EDWARDS HITS 1,000-POINT MILESTONE: Senior guard/forward Ariel Edwards became the 36th member of Penn State's elite 1,000-point club with a 17-point effort against Wichita State on March 23. Edwards has had an outstanding senior campaign with a career-high 481 points per game. She is seventh in the Big Ten in scoring with a 15.5 average, making the Lady Lions the only team to have two players in the Top 10 in the league in scoring (Maggie Lucas - 2nd). Edwards has 1,032 career points, which is 34th in school history. In the last five games, Edwards is averaging a team-best 21.8 points and 5.2 rebounds with a 57.1% shooting percentage.
FABULOUS SENIOR CLASS: The senior class of Maggie Lucas, Ariel Edwards and Talia East is becoming one of the winningest classes in Penn State history. The trio has won 101 games in their four years in the Blue & White, which are the second-most wins by a class in Penn State history. The group is just the third Class in Penn State history to accumulate 100 wins. The fourth member of the senior class, Dara Taylor, has been on the roster for 76 of those wins after transferring from Maryland after her sophomore season. The Lady Lion seniors account for 74.7% of Penn State's points (1,690 of 2,263) this season and 46.5% of PSU's rebounds (620 of 1,334).
EAST LOVES THE POSTSEASON: Senior center Talia East posted her fifth career double-double and first in an NCAA Tournament game with 13 points and a season-best 13 rebounds against the Shockers. She also rejected a pair of shots against Wichita State to become the eighth player in school history with 100 career blocks. The double-digit rebounding effort was East's third in her last five NCAA Tournament games. East has had seven or more rebounds in each of her last five NCAA games. In her last five NCAA Tournament games, East is averaging 10.0 rebounds per game.
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