This weekend, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams showed strength and potential on the court during their exhibition double header.
The Lady Lions took on California (Pa.) and definitely showed why they are ranked 8th in the nation in the pre-season polls. In her first game as a Nittany Lion, Dara Taylor displayed her quickness and decision-making ability as a point guard.
Maggie Lucas led the way in scoring with 19 points, shooting 7-11 from the field while preseason Big Ten Player of the year Alex Bentley recorded 16 points of her own. Senior forward Nikki Greene posted a double-double which is likely to happen often throughout the season.
Stephanie Michael led Cal U’s offensive efforts with 11 points, but in the end, the Lady Lions took down the Vulcans (coached by Lady Lion alumnus Jess Strom), 95-39. Their first game of the season is on Sunday, November 11th against Howard at 2 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Soon after the conclusion of the women’s game, the men’s team took the court against Philadelphia University. Before the game began, Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers honored Philadelphia Head Coach Herb Magee. Magee coached Chambers when he attended Phila. U in the early 1990s and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year. To honor the “Shot Doctor,” the entire Penn State coaching staff wore sweatsuits, as Magee did back when he coached Chambers.
Although the Nittany Lions struggled to find a rhythm in the beginning, the first half ended on a 15-0 run for Penn State. Senior point guard Tim Frazier led the team with 17 points. Forward Jon Graham showed confidence in scoring 16 points, and D.J. Newbill finally got to see the court as a Nittany Lion and did so with a 15-point game. To get fans in attendance excited, Frazier found Ross Travis for an alley-oop before the first half ended.
Former Nittany Lion Peter Alexis led the Rams with 19 points. He shared hugs and handshakes with Penn State when the game ended and was welcomed with respectful cheers from the crowd as he left the court.
The Nittany Lions forced 18 turnovers and also grabbed 12 steals in a 79-54 victory. Their first game is this Friday at 7 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center against St. Francis (Pa.).