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Nov. 30, 2009
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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - After a four-game road swing, the Penn State Lady Lions (5-1) return to the friendly confines of the Bryce Jordan when they host Georgia Tech at 6:30 p.m., in the Third Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Fans will receive a 2009-10 Lady Lion trading card set while supplies last. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network with Paul Alexander and Theresa Grentz calling the action.
PROMOTIONS/GIVEAWAYS: Wednesday is $1 hot dog night at the Bryce Jordan Center. It is also Highmark night for the Lady Lions where any Highmark member can receive two adult tickets for the price of one. The first 1,000 fans will also receive the 2009-10 Lady Lion trading card set at the gate.
TV/RADIO: The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Paul Alexander and Theresa Grentz calling the action. The game can also be heard on the Penn State Sports Network with Jerry Fisher and Kellie Goodman describing play. Locally the game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1450. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions claimed the Dead River Company Classic title with a 52-48 victory over Holy Cross Saturday. Tyra Grant paced Penn State with 13 points to go along with three rebounds and a blocked shot, while Alex Bentley accounted for 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. Freshman Nikki Greene turned in a solid performance with nine points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks. Junior Julia Trogele chipped in seven points, 10 rebounds and three assists.
SCOUTING GEORGIA TECH: Georgia Tech is 4-1 on the season and is coming off of a win at the Long Island Thanksgiving Tournament. The Yellow Jackets have three players averaging double figures, led by Mo Bennett at 10.8 points per game. She also accounts for 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. Alex Montgomery and Brigitte Ardossi are averaging 10.5 and 10.4 points per game, respectively.
ALL-TIME VS. THE YELLOW JACKETS: This will be the first-ever meeting between the Lady Lions and Georgia Tech. Penn State is 33-23 all-time against ACC schools.
BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE HISTORY: The Lady Lions are 1-1 all-time in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games. Penn State shocked 10th-ranked Duke in the inaugural Challenge game with a buzzer-beater by Janessa Wolff for the 86-84 win on Dec. 2, 2007. Last season, the Lady Lions dropped a 73-60 decision at Florida State, despite 18 points from Tyra Grant and 16 tallies from Brianne O'Rourke.
26TH TOURNAMENT TITLE: The Lady Lions earned their 26th regular-season tournament title with victories over Buffalo (86-65) and Holy Cross (52-48) in the Dead River Company Classic. Penn State is 121-48 all-time in 74 regular-season tourneys. Senior guard Tyra Grant was named Dead River Company Classic Tournament MVP after averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in two tourney games. Freshman Alex Bentley was selected to the All-Tournament team as she accounted for 10.5 points, 2.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.
GRANT CRACKS THE TOP 10: With her 18-point performance in the opening round of the Dead River Classic, senior Tyra Grant moved into the Top 10 on Penn State's career scoring list, passing Vicki Link. On the very next day, Grant climbed into ninth place on the career scoring list, moving past Tanya Garner. Grant has 1,542 points in her four seasons in Happy Valley. She needs 77 points to pass Andrea Garner (1,619) for eighth place.
ZHA AND EMO HAVE CAREER DAYS: Zhaque Gray and Emily Phillips each turned in career performances in the first round of the Dead River Classic against Buffalo on Nov. 27. Gray was 6-for-9 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range, en route to a career-best 19 points against the Bulls. The sophomore's previous career-high was 17 points set against Stony Brook in Nov. 2008. Gray also tied her career mark with five assists. Phillips accounted for seven points via a 2-for-3 shooting performance to surpass her previous scoring mark, set earlier this season against Drexel.
GREENE IS A BLOCKING MACHINE: Freshman Nikki Greene has been a dominating defensive presence in the post. The rookie has blocked at least two shots each of the last four games, including a career-best three rejections against Bucknell. With 10 rejections this season, Greene needs eight blocks to move into the Top 10 on Penn State's freshman season blocks list.
The Lady Lions open their Big Ten Conference schedule at Minnesota Sunday at 4 p.m. (Eastern). The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network. Penn State returns to Happy Valley for a four-game homestand, beginning with Monmouth on Wed., Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the Penn State ticket office at 814-865-5555.
The 2010 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m., as the Lady Lions take on Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on www.bigtennetwork.com. The first three Pink Zone events have raised more than $80,000 for breast cancer awareness. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow head coach Coquese Washington (@psucoachquese), sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and assistant coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook. Search Lady Lion Basketball and become a fan.