No. 10 Lady Lions Visit No. 2 UConn in Top 10 Battle Thursday
Dec. 4, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The #10/10 Penn State Lady Lions (6-1) will hit the road again for a tough road test against seven-time National Champion and second-ranked Connecticut (7-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on SNY and will feature a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen matchup in Rhode Island.
Additionally, the contest will reunite high school teammates Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) and Caroline Doty, who played together for two years at Germantown Academy in Philadelphia. This is the first time that the Lady Lions have faced a Top 10 team while ranked in the Top 10 since losing to UConn in the 2004 Elite Eight in Hartford (66-49; 3/29/04).
TV/RADIO/LIVESTATS: The air live on SNY with Andrew Catalon (Play-by-Play, Meghan Culmo (color) and Kerith Burke (sideline) on the call. Additionally, the game is on the Penn State Sports Network and ESPN Radio 1450 locally with Jerry Fisher and Brian Tripp calling the action. The audio feed and link to GameTracker are available at www.GoPSUsports.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions landed five players in double figures and shot 49.3% from the field as they rolled to a 101-44 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday. Juniors Dara Taylor and Talia East earned their first career starts and responded with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Taylor, whose 15 points are the most for her in a Penn State uniform, also had five assists, three rebounds and a steal. East's 11 markers are a career-high to go along with three blocks. Maggie Lucas paced all scorers with 24 points, including a 6-for-9 effort from three-point range, to compliment six rebounds and four assists.
SCOUTING CONNECTICUT: The Huskies are a perfect 7-0 on the season and ranked second in both polls. UConn is outscoring opponents at a +44.0 per game clip. Freshman Breanna Stewart leads the Huskies in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (6.4), while Stefanie Dolson adds 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per outing. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is also averaging double figures for the seven-time National Championship at a 14.7 rate.
ALL-TIME VS. THE HUSKIES: The Lady Lions are 3-7 all-time against Connecticut, but have lost seven in a row to the Huskies. Each of the last seven meetings between the teams have been at neutral sites, including four in the NCAA Tournament. The teams met last year in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen with the Huskies taking the 77-59 to advance to the Elite Eight.
LAST TIME VERSUS UCONN: The Lady Lions suffered a 77-59 loss to No. 1 seed Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Mia Nickson was solid on the interior for the Lady Lions with 19 points and five rebounds, while Maggie Lucas added 15 points and three assists. Alex Bentley tallied 11 points and Talia East snared 10 rebounds.
LUCAS AND DOTY REUNITED: Junior guard Maggie Lucas will be reunited with high school teammate Caroline Doty for the second time in her career. The pair played together at Germantown Academy for Lucas' freshman and sophomore seasons. The Patriots won the Inter-Ac in Lucas's freshman and sophomore seasons. Doty was unable to play Lucas' sophomore season due to a knee injury, but was one the team.
FIRST STARTS: Juniors Dara Taylor and Talia East made their first career starts in a Penn State uniform against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 2 and they both responded with their best days in the Blue & White. Taylor, who had 28 collegiate starts at Maryland, tallied 15 points against the Knights for her best scoring performance as a Lady Lion. East notched a career-best 11 points to go along with three blocks in her first career start.
AB DISHING HER WAY UP THE ASSISTS CHART: Senior guard Alex Bentley handed out eight assists in the win over FDU Dec. 2 to move into ninth place on Penn State's career helpers chart. With 489 career dimes, Bentley passed Tanisha Wright (484; 2002-05) for the ninth spot. Bentley needs 39 assists to tie Nancy Kuhl (528; 1975-79) for eighth place.
GREENE FOR THE BLOCK: With a pair of blocks in the win over Fairleigh Dickinson Dec. 2, senior center Nikki Greene moved into a tie for third on Penn State's all-time rejections list with Rashana Barnes (1999-02). Greene has 189 swats in her career and needs a trio of blocks to move into a tie for second place with Mary Donovan (192; 1977-81).
POST DUO HITS CAREER MARKS: Freshman Candice Agee and sophomore Tori Waldner each had career days in the win over Fairleigh Dickinson Dec. 2. Agee tallied personal bests of eight points, nine rebounds and 20 minutes played, while Walder notched a career-high seven points with five rebounds and two blocks. Waldner's previous career high was six points, established three times, including twice this season.
C-NOTE: With a 101-44 win over Fairleigh Dickinson Dec. 2, Penn State surpassed the 100-point plateau for the first time since scoring 103 tallies against Wagner last season (12/18/11). It was the 47th time in program history that the Lions have scored 100 or more points. Additionally, the 57-point win was the biggest margin of victory since the 103-42 win over Wagner.
The Lady Lions return home to face Georgetown on Sunday, Dec. 9 at noon for the annual Toys for Tots game. Sunday is also Girls Scouts Day and a Subway Full Court 4-Pack game. Go to www.GoPSUsports.com/promotions/wbb.html for complete promotions information.
Single game tickets for the Lady Lions are on sale now. Tickets are $15 and $12 for adults and seniors and $9 and $7 for youth (12 and younger). Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are still available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Season tickets are $99 for adults and $50 for youth (12 and under), this includes a Nittany Lion Kids Club Membership for 2012-13. 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 2013 Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24 as the Lady Lions take on Michigan in the Bryce Jordan Center. Last year, the Lady Lions donated a record $203,000 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.