Lady Lions ranked 15th in Preseason Coaches Poll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Lady Lions are ranked 15th in the preseason USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll, which was released Tuesday (Oct. 29). Penn State is one of four Big Ten teams in the preseason Top 25, joining Nebraska (12), Michigan State (18) and Purdue (23).

The Lady Lions won their second-straight Big Ten regular season title with a 26-6 overall record and 14-2 mark in conference play last season. Guided by the two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year in Washington, Penn State will return the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) and Big Ten All-Defensive team choice Dara Taylor (Wilmington, Del.). The Lady Lions will also add an eight-player recruiting class that ranks in the Top 10 in the country.

Lucas is coming off of an outstanding junior campaign that saw her take home top conference honors, as well as All-America accolades from the WBCA, Associated Press, USBWA and Full Court. The Narberth, Pa. native averaged 20.1 points per game to finish third in the Big Ten and 16th nationally. Lucas also finished in the Top 10 in the country in three-point field goal percentage (4th- .462) and free throw percentage (9th - 90.0) and was 11th in three-point field goals made (3.06).

Taylor made an immediate impact for the Lady Lions, finishing second on the team and fifth in the Big Ten in steals with a 2.4 per game average. She also finished in the Top 10 in the league in assists (10th - 3.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (9th - 1.2). She also contributed 7.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Penn State also returns seniors Ariel Edwards (Elmont, N.Y.) and Talia East (Philadelphia, Pa.). Edwards accounted for 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds a year ago, while East contributed 2.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. East had a solid NCAA Tournament, averaging 4.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in a pair of games.

The Lady Lions will add eight new faces on the roster in guards Lindsey Spann (Laurel, Md.) and Keke Sevillian (Goodrich, Mich.), swing players Jenny DeGraaf (Springboro, Ohio), Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.), Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.), forward Alex Harris (Lorain, Ohio) and center Infiniti Alston (Baltimore, Md.), who signed National Letters of Intent in November, as well as Sierra Moore (York, Pa.), who will sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

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 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.  

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Last Updated November 01, 2013