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Nov. 3, 2011
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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #12/14 Penn State Lady Lions (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) kick-off the 2011-12 season with an exhibition game against PSAC foe Bloomsburg on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game is the first half a doubleheader with the men's team, which faces Slippery Rock at 4 p.m. Tickets are general admission and are $5 at the BJC ticket office.
SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG: The Huskies finished atop the PSAC Eastern standings a year ago with a 22-6 overall record and 13-1 mark in conference play. Bloomsburg and PSAC Eastern Coach of the Year Bill Cleary return All-American and PSAC Athlete of the Year Kelsey Gallagher, who averaged 16.6 point, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals. The Huskies also welcome back Diane Wieller, the all-conference performer that tallied a team-best 17.8 points per game.
ALL-TIME VS. THE HUSKIES: While the exhibition game will not count in the record books, the Lady Lions are a perfect 5-0 all-time against Bloomsburg. The squads last officially met on Feb. 6, 1969 with the Lady Lions taking home a 78-24 victory.
PSU 12TH IN AP POLL: The Penn State Lady Lions are ranked 12th in the Associated Press preseason poll. It is the highest ranking in the AP poll for the Lady Lion since they were fifth in the final 2004 poll. Additionally, it is Penn State's first appearance in the preseason AP poll since the 2003-04 campaign.
LIONS RANKED 14TH IN COACHES POLL: The Lady Lions are ranked 14th in the ESPN/USA Today preseason coaches poll. It is the highest ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll for the Lady Lion since they were seventh in the final 2004 poll. Additionally, it is Penn State's first appearance in the preseason coaches' poll since starting the 2003-04 campaign eighth.
PENN STATE BIG TEN FAVORITES: With 10 returning letterwinners from a team that posted a second place regular-season finish and a runner-up effort in the Big Ten Tournament, the Lady Lions were selected to finish first in the Big Ten Conference in a vote of the league's coaches and media. PSU finished ahead of Purdue and Iowa in the coaches' vote and Purdue and Michigan State in the media poll.
BENTLEY BIG TEN PRESEASON POY: Junior point guard Alex Bentley was selected as the conference's Preseason Player of the Year by both the coaches and the media. She shared the coaches' Preseason Player of the Year with Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis.
VETERANS RETURN: The Lady Lions return 10 letterwinners and four starters, including All-Big Ten first team selection Alex Bentley, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year Maggie Lucas and Big Ten All-Defensive choice Nikki Greene.
BENTLEY NAMED TO PAIR OF WATCH LISTS: Junior point guard Alex Bentley as been named to a pair of preseason watch lists for National Player of the Year. Bentley is one of 25 players on the WBCA's Wade Trophy Watch List and is among the 30 players on the Wooden Award preseason chart. Bentley was instrumental in helping the Lady Lions return NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 with a 25-10 record. She became the 11th different Lady Lion to garner All-Big Ten first team honors last season after finishing 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). Bentley was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team after averaging 15.3 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 steals in three tourney contests. Bentley, who participated in USA Basketball World University Games trials in Colorado this summer, is 14th in school history with 299 career assists. Her 174 helpers last year are 17th on Penn State's single-season charts.
The Lady Lions open their season with the Lady Lion Classic on Fri., Nov. 11 and Sun., Nov. 13 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State faces Washington State in the tourney opener at 6 p.m. Friday, while Middle Tennessee State takes on UNC-Wilmington at 8 p.m. 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. Single game tickets go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 11. PNC Flex Books are available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, including one for the Coaches vs. Cancer game and one for the Pink Zone game, that can be redeemed for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets in any combination.
The 2012 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 as the Lady Lions take on Minnesota in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated nearly $200,000 for 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.gopsusports.com/pinkzone. The WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pinkzoneatpennstate.
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.