Lady Lions Reveal Non-Conference Schedule
Aug. 2, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions announced their 2011-12 non-conference schedule today. The 12-game non-conference slate features six home games, highlighted by appearances by North Carolina and Virginia Tech at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Lady Lions will take on eight teams that appeared in either the NCAA Tournament or the WNIT.
"Our non-conference schedule will definitely challenge us," head coach Coquese Washington said. "We are playing some of the nation's top teams and playing tough competition on the road. It will certainly prepare us for the rigors of Big Ten Conference play, as well as the NCAA Tournament."
The Lady Lions, who will face Bloomsburg in an exhibition game on Sat., Nov. 5, opens their season with a home tournament sandwiched around the Nebraska football game. Penn State will meet Washington State in the opening round on Fri., Nov. 11 and will face off against either Middle Tennessee State or UNC-Wilmington on Sun., Nov. 13.
Following the season-opening tournament, the Lady Lions embark on a four-game road trip with contests at Delaware (Thurs., Nov. 17) and South Carolina (Sun., Nov. 20), before heading to Reno, Nev. for the Nugget Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. Joining Penn State in the Nugget Classic are Iowa State, Butler and the host Nevada Wolfpack. Games will be contested on Fri., Nov. 25 and Sat., Nov. 26.
Penn State returns to the friendly confines of the Bryce Jordan Center to meet perennial national contender North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wed., Nov. 30. The Lady Lions then travel to Lubbock, Texas to face Texas Tech in the Big 12/Big Ten Challenge on Sat., Dec. 3. Washington and her squad begin a three-game homestand against Virginia Tech on Tues., Dec. 6 before facing Maryland-Eastern Shore (Sun., Dec. 11) and Wagner (Sun., Dec. 18). Penn State closes out its non-conference slate at Bucknell on Wed., Dec. 21.
The Lady Lions return a solid base from last year's NCAA Tournament team with 10 letterwinners back in the fold. Among the four returning starters are junior All-Big Ten selections Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas). Bentley became the 11th different Lady Lion to take home first team All-Big Ten honors after a solid sophomore campaign. She finished in the Top 15 in the Big Ten in scoring (12th/14.4), assists (2nd/5.0), field goal percentage (14th/.446), free throw percentage (11th/.798) and assist-to-turnover ratio (4th/1.7). Greene became one of the top shot-blocking forces in the conference en route to Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors. She tallied a career-best 75 rejections, which is sixth on the Penn State single-season list, and is the seventh player in school history with 100 blocks. The All-Big Ten honorable mention choice also accounted for 7.8 rebounds per game to rank sixth in the Big Ten.
Additionally, Penn State returns 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 2010 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.). She etched her name into the Penn State and Big Ten record books in her outstanding rookie campaign as she broke the Big Ten and Penn State single-season record for three-pointers (112). Additionally, Lucas broke Kelly Mazzante's Penn State freshman season scoring record with 552 tallies.
The Lady Lions also return starters Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) and Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.). Nickson tallied 10.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 27 starts for the Lions. She was ninth in the Big Ten in rebounding and 14th in free throw percentage (.795). Gray made a marked improvement between her sophomore and junior years as she improved on her three-point shooting by 11% (.303 to .414) and her field goal shooting by 8.5% (.338 to .423). With a 9.5 scoring average, the Chicago native also nearly doubled her scoring output to finish fourth on the team.
The Big Ten Conference schedule will be announced at a later date.
Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-867-2557. Season tickets are $117 for adults, $52 for youth and $91 for seniors. The PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 10 vouchers that can be redeemed for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets in any combination.
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.
2011-12 PENN STATE LADY LIONS NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Schedule subject to change. Please visit ww.GoPSUsports.com for up-to-date schedule information.