Lady Lion Quartet Selected as Captains
Oct. 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - Seniors Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.), Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.), Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.) have been named the team captains for the Penn State Lady Lions for the upcoming season.
"The seniors have done a fantastic job of helping the freshmen adapt and adjust to college life and college basketball," Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington said. "The four of them together are providing stellar leadership for our team. I am really pleased with they've done so far and what they will continue to do as the season unfolds."
Lucas has been lauded in the preseason by several publications as a first team preseason All-American and is among the 25 players on the Wade Watch for the WBCA's National Player of the Year. She enters her senior season with 1,838 career points, which ranks seventh in program history. Lucas is also chasing Kelly Mazzante's Penn State and Big Ten career three-pointers record (357). Lucas has 292 triples, entering her final season in the Blue & White. As a junior, Lucas was named to a variety of All-America teams, including earning first team honors from the USBWA and second team accolades fro the Associated Press and Full Court.
"As a captain this year, I am focusing mainly on two things and that is to lead by example and to be a consistent and noticeable vocal presence for my team both on and off the court," Lucas said. "It means a lot to me to have been selected as a captain of this team and it feels great to be in this leadership role with the three other seniors."
Edwards averaged a career-best 7.9 points per game last year and earned the starting nod in six of her 32 appearances. She was solid for the Lady Lions in the NCAA Tournament, accounting for 13 points in 15 minutes against LSU after tallying nine points and six rebounds in the win over Cal Poly in the opening round. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection also had a career-high 24 points against Detroit last season.
"This year is a special year in that I get to lead a great group of individuals, as well as be a part of a team of leaders who are great examples of excellence," Edwards said. "I am looking forward to an amazing senior year and making memories that will last a lifetime."
East enters her senior season ranked 19th in program history with 57 blocks. She is coming off of a junior season that saw her make 31 appearances and average 2.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. She connected on 45.1% of her shots from the field. In her first career start, East tallied a career-high 11 points in the win over Fairleigh Dickinson. The Philadelphia native was solid on the glass in the NCAA Tournament, hauling in 20 rebounds in two games.
"Being a captain consists of taking care of those around you," East said. "I've dedicated my time this year to looking out for my teammates and doing everything I can to ensure that we're successful this season."
After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, Taylor made an immediate impact for the Lady Lions on both ends of the court. She garnered Big Ten All-Defensive team honors after notching 77 steals in 32 games. She also accounted for 7.0 points and 3.4 assists per game. She surpassed the 300-assist mark for her collegiate career in the win over Wisconsin on Jan. 17, 2013.
"Being a captain is a huge honor," Taylor said. "It is a lot of responsibility but as a senior, it's a great feeling to have so many of your teammates looking to you to lead them. It's a feeling of trust and respect and I'm very excited to be in the position to lead this team this year."
The Lady Lions will host Lock Haven in an exhibition game on Sun., Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. Penn State opens its season against St. Francis (Pa.) on Fri., Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The Lady Lions will raise their 2013 Big Ten Championship banner at the season opener and give away commemorative banks to celebrate back-to-back Big Ten titles.
Lady Lion Basketball single-game and season 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). Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2013-14. New this year, the Lady Lions have introduced a Family Season Ticket package. For $200, fans will get two adult tickets and two youth tickets for the 2013-14 campaign. 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.
The 2014 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 as the Lady Lions take on Wisconsin in the Bryce Jordan Center at 1 p.m. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $260,000 to breast cancer causes. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Lewistown Hospital. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.pennsylvaniapinkzone.org.
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.