March 21, 2011

Lady Lions vs DePaul in Round of 32 tonight at the Bryce Jordan Center

TIME/VENUE: 7 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, so there's no excuse to not attend.
TV: The game will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN2, based on a coverage map, or on
LAST MTG: Regular Season: Dec. 30, 1992 - PSU W, 85-78; NCAA Tournament: 1992 - PSU W, 77-54.

It was a slow start for Penn State, but the Lady Lions fought off a 16-8 deficit against Dayton to win the first round NCAA tournament game Saturday at home, 75-66 over the Flyers. But as in any tournament play, it sure doesn't get any easier. Tonight at 7 p.m., the Lady Lions take on the 3-seed DePaul Blue Demons (28-6, 13-3 Big East) in the Bryce Jordan Center.

It's Penn State's second straight "home" game in this tournament. Should the Lady Lions win, the regional games will also have a friendly feel to them, as the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 will be in Philadelphia. In a way, that gives this game even more meaning and weight to Penn State's chances for a deep run in the bracket. Not only does a win advance the Lady Lions (duh!), but it means they will have some of the most favorable game locations in the tournament.

The Blue Demons

DePaul broke open a tight game by keeping Navy without a field goal for the final 10 minutes, 28 seconds of a 56-43 win. Felicia Chester had a double-double for DePaul with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists and six steals. Anna Martin and Katherine Harry added 10 tallies each to help the Blue Demon cause.

The Blue Demons are ranked 12th in the Associated Press Poll and 10th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. DePaul are 28-6 overall record and 13-3 mark in Big East play. Keisha Hampton paces five Blue Demon players averaging double figures with a 15.8 scoring mark. Felicia Chester accounts for 11.3 points and a team-best 6.6 rebounds per game, while Anna Martin (10.9 ppg) and Sam Quigley (10.2 ppg) also average double-digits.

DePaul fell to Notre Dame, 71-67, in the Big East Tournament semifinals.

The Game

This is obviously a much tougher out for the Lady Lions than Dayton. But hopefully the home court advantage plays a role in getting Penn State over the hump and into the Sweet 16. Despite Maggie Lucas being held down most of the game Saturday, Alex Bentley stepped it up big time with 25 points. However, even with the leadership by Bentley and others, Penn State can ill afford to allow DePaul to stifle the Lady Lions' best outside and scoring threat in Lucas. If Penn State can win this one, it will require a full team effort, and maybe a star or two.

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