March 19, 2011

Lady Lions take on Dayton in NCAA 1st Round

TIME/VENUE: 11 a.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, so there's no excuse to not attend.
TV: The game will air on ESPN2 with Justin Kutcher and Brenda VanLengen calling the action.
RADIO: Our boy Ryan will be calling the game today on ComRadio, and online at
LAST MTG: Nov. 12, 2010 / Recap

Unlike the Nittany Lions, the Lady Lions head into their opening NCAA tournament game having a long layoff, not unlike the layoff in between football's regular season and most bowl games. And just as with those football teams who are sitting around at home getting fat and lazy, Coquese Washington had to answer questions about the 13-day break between the Big Ten title game and today's game.

"It has not been an issue at all. In fact, we welcomed the time off. I think we needed it to get some bumps and bruises heeled and get bodies refreshed. Like I said, getting back into basketball this week, we were able to keep to our normal routine like we had in the Big Ten Tournament. So, I think it's been helpful."

Two weeks is a long time. But that is where good coaching comes in to play. Washington has had this team ready to play all season long. If the Lady Lions come out flat today, it would be a surprise. Both Dayton and Penn State should have very fresh legs to work on, but with 13 days off, practices can only keep your team so busy.

The Flyers

Dayton has only a few opponents in common with Penn State. They lost to Michigan State right after the Penn State game, then later played Boston College, also a loss. The Flyers were the Atlantic 10 runner-up to Xavier, after a scorching run through the conference tournament in which they beat Duquesne and Temple. The Dukes are playing in the WNIT, while the Owls are also in the NCAA tourney this week.

On offense, Justine Raterman and Kristin Daugherty combined for 922 points this season, with Raterman leading the team sinking 511. Raterman also played the most minutes and scored the most field goals of any player on the team, clocking 924 minutes and 190 field goals. But Daugherty is literally lethal from beyond the arc, shooting 50 percent on 3-point attempts.

Defensively, Dayton's Casey Nance comes in with 45 blocks this season. The Flyers are improved on defense since the Penn State loss, but they're not exactly smothering opponents into oblivion.

The Game

As for the Nittany Lions, this game is everything for the Lady Lions. It's a familiar opponent; a beatable opponents. But even more encouraging is that it's in the Bryce Jordan Center, where Penn State is 8-0 in NCAA Tournament games. The Lady Lions need to take every tournament opponent seriously, but this one should be a solid win. Penn State played a tough conference slate, with a young lineup that has grown tremendously over the past 3 months.

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