Lady Lions Open Big Ten Slate at Minnesota Sunday

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Nikki Greene

Nikki Greene

Dec. 4, 2009

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In the earliest start to the Big Ten season in school history, the Penn State Lady Lions (5-2) will travel to Minnesota (5-3) for a game on Sunday at 4 p.m. (Eastern). The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Marney Gellner and Mary Murphy calling the action. The Lions are 20-9 all-time against the Golden Gophers, but have dropped the last four decisions.

TV/RADIO: The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Marney Gellner and Mary Murphy calling the action. The game can also be heard on the Penn State Sports Network with Jerry Fisher and Ben Youngerman describing play. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio 1450 locally. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com.

LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions battled a pesky Georgia Tech full-court press and staged a late comeback, but a three-point play by Brigitte Ardossi with 1:10 remaining led the 23rd-ranked Yellow Jackets to a 64-60 win over the Lady Lions in the Third Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Senior guard Tyra Grant had a game-best 20 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Alex Bentley had another solid performance for the Lady Lions with 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA: The Golden Gophers are 5-3 this season, but have dropped their last two games to Xavier and Maryland. Kiara Buford leads Minnesota with a 13.1 scoring average to go along with 4.4 rebounds per game. Ashley Ellis-Milan leads the team in rebounding at a 6.1 clip and is second on the squad in scoring (12.8).

ALL-TIME VS. THE GOLDEN GOPHERS: The Lady Lions lead the all-time series against Minnesota, 20-9, but have lost the last four meetings with the Golden Gophers. Penn State is just 8-7 in games played in Minnesota. The Lady Lions have not won at Williams Arena since Dec. 28, 2001, a string of six games. Last season, the Lady Lions dropped a 69-55 decision at Minnesota and a heartbreaking 63-61 outcome at home.

LAST TIME VS. MINNESOTA: A late field goal drought for the Lady Lions foiled Penn State's bid for a win over Minnesota as the Golden Gophers earned the 63-61 win at Jordan Center on Feb. 5, 2009. Tyra Grant had a team-best 21 points and three rebounds and three assists. Janessa Wolff was solid against her home state team as she hit her first four shots and finished with 11 points. She also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.

BIG TEN OPENERS: The Lady Lions are 10-7 all-time in Big Ten openers. Penn State is also 10-7 in Big Ten road openers. This is the earliest that the Lady Lions have played the first game of the Big Ten season in school history.

WASHINGTON INDUCTED INTO FLINT HALL OF FAME: Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington will be inducted into the Greater Flint (Mich.) Area Sports Hall of Fame on Sat., Dec. 5 at the Genesys Banquet Center. Washington will be enshrined for her standout basketball career that began at Flint's Central High School. She was a two-time All-State selection at Central and led the Indians to two Saginaw Valley Championships. Among the other individual inductees are former Detroit Tigers pitcher Scott Aldred, John Biedenbach (baseball), Kelly Hebler (basketball), Roy Hall (wrestling), Don Batchelor (Grand Blanc coach and athletics director).

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 five games, including a career-best three rejections against Bucknell. With 12 rejections this season, Greene needs six blocks to move into the Top 10 on Penn State's freshman season blocks list.

The Lady Lions return to Happy Valley for a four-game homestand, beginning with Monmouth on Wed., Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Penn State will then host Big East rival Pittsburgh on Sat., Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. The Lady Lions will be honoring the 10th anniversary of the 2000 Final Four team at the Pitt game and several members of that team are expected to be in attendance. 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.

 

 

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