UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The three-time defending Big Ten Champion Penn State Lady Lions will open their 2014-15 slate with the Preseason WNIT against Towson on Friday, Nov. 14 at noon as part of the 12-game non-conference schedule. Of the Lady Lions' eight known opponents in the non-conference slate, there are four teams that participated in the postseason last year (2 NCAA, 2 WNIT).
"Our schedule will help this group of young players gain crucial game experience in non-conference play, while simultaneously, preparing us for the rigors of the new-look Big Ten," Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington said. "Although we'll have many new faces in new roles, our fans can still count on us to play a fun and exciting brand of basketball. The Bryce Jordan Center will definitely be rocking again this year."
Fans will get their first look at the Lady Lions with an exhibition game against IUP and former Lady Lion Kelly Mazzante on Sunday, Nov. 2. The Lady Lions will play at least three games as a participant in the Preseason WNIT, beginning with the opening round game against Towson on Friday, Nov. 14. The second round game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 16, followed by the third game of the tournament on Thursday, Nov. 20. If the Lady Lions advance to the Preseason WNIT championship game, they will host the contest on Sunday, Nov. 23.
Penn State continues the season-opening homestand against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The Lady Lions hit the road for the first time with the Georgia State Thanksgiving tournament on Friday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 30. Joining Penn State at the tournament are first-round opponent Middle Tennessee State, the host Panthers and Samford.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is next on the docket for the Lady Lions when they travel to Syracuse on Thursday, Dec. 4, before returning home to meet Wagner on Sunday, Dec. 7. Penn State is on the road again to visit Hartford on Wednesday, Dec. 10 to close out the home-and-home series with the Hawks.
The Lady Lions close out the non-conference slate with home games sandwiched around final exams. Penn State will host Rider on Sunday, Dec. 14 and then welcome South Florida to the BJC on Sunday, Dec. 21.
Ticket information will be released in the future.
After the graduation of a very accomplished senior class, senior forward Tori Waldner (Milton, Ga.) is the top returnee for Penn State. She started every game as a junior and averaged 4.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She also rejected 39 shots a year ago to bring her career total to 89, which is tied for 11th on PSU's career list.
Also returning for the Lady Lions are sophomores Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.). Mitchell is the second-leading returning scoring at 4.5 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds per outing. Whitted accounted for 3.6 points and 3.3 rebounds with a .522 field goal percentage in conference play. Overall, she was second on the team in field goal percentage with a .463 mark.
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