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Oct. 31, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Lady Lion senior guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) was selected as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year by both the league's coaches and media. Additionally, the Lady Lions were picked to finish second in the conference by both groups. This is the second-straight season that Lucas has been named to the preseason All-Big Ten first team.
Lucas, who was a unanimous preseason first team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media, is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year after averaging 20.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Lucas earned a spot on several All-America teams as a junior, including claiming second team Associated Press and first team USBWA honors. She was also a finalist for the Wade Trophy for the WBCA's National Player of the Year.
The Narberth, Pa. native is on the Wade Watch and Wooden Award preseason watch lists entering her senior season. She currently ranks second in program history and third in Big Ten history in three-point field goals made with 292 triples. Lucas is also seventh in Penn State history with 1,838 points and is tops in program history in free throw percentage (.900) and three-point field goal percentage (.462) among players with 65 or more attempts.
The Lady Lions, who are 15th in the preseason USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll, won their second-straight Big Ten regular season title with a 26-6 overall record and 14-2 mark in conference play last season. In addition to Lucas, Penn State returns Big Ten All-Defensive team choice Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.), as well as seniors Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) and Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.).
As a junior, Taylor finished second on the team and fifth in the Big Ten in steals with a 2.4 per game average. She was also in the Top 10 in the league in assists (10th - 3.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (9th - 1.2). Edwards accounted for 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds a year ago, while East contributed 2.2 points and 3.1 rebounds.
The Lady Lions saw their first action of the 2013-14 season with a 102-51 win over Division II Lock Haven in an exhibition game on Oct. 27. Edwards paced Penn State with 21 points, going 7-for-10 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. She also added five rebounds, two assists and two steals for a complete all-around performance. Freshman Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.) also reached double figures with 11 points, while classmate Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) nearly tallied a double-double with nine points and 10 boards in 15 minutes of action.
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 and give away commemorative championship ring banks to celebrate back-to-back Big Ten titles. The Lady Lions also face Fordham on Sun., Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. to close out opening weekend.
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.