Lady Lions Look to Protect Home Floor

Penn State will be in its road blues in second-round NCAA Tournament action at the BJC Monday. It intends to give higher-seed DePaul a not-so-warm welcome.

Although DePaul boasts the higher seed and will be in its home whites Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center, it will be the Penn State Lady Lions playing with the support of the home crowd.

The No. 6 seed Lady Lions will play the No. 3 seed (AP No. 9) DePaul Blue Demons in the second round of the NCAA tournament Monday at 7:10 p.m. in University Park.

Having won all nine NCAA games it has played at the BJC, Penn State is favored by many pundits to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.

DePaul coach Doug Bruno knows his team is in for a tough battle.

"Basketball is a very, very different game on the road for many reasons," Bruno said at his Sunday press conference. "You've got to put that little ball into that little ring. It's easier to do that at home than on the road, not just in the tournament, but in your league."

While Bruno is concerned about his team's offense, his players are focused on the other end of the court.

“The biggest thing is defense and rebounding,” said DePaul sophomore guard Anna Martin. “The big key will be containing (Penn State's) scorers because they are so athletic. We are very good offensively. I know that we will score, but we need to play defense.”

Penn State coach Coquese Washington echoed Martin's sentiment for her team.

“We've got to focus on our defense,” Washington said Sunday. “We need to get a defensive run going like we would get an offensive run. Whichever team does that will have the advantage.”

“It's going to be a defensive competition,” Penn State sophomore guard Alex Bentley added. "Who can stop the better offensive transition team?"

At the forefront of Penn State's defensive game plan will be containing DePaul's Keisha Hampton. The 6-foot-2 junior forward was the team's leading scorer in the regular season (15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and the player Washington highlighted in Sunday's press conference.

“She's extremely athletic,” Washington said. “She can shoot the pull-up jumper, the three, and she takes it hard to basket. We need to put our best defenders on her and take her out of her comfort zone. They have a lot of scorers, though, so we just need to have a defensive mindset.”

WHO: Penn State vs. DePaul

WHAT: NCAA Tournament Second Round

WHEN/WHERE: 7:10 p.m., Bryce Jordan Center

RECORDS: Sixth seed Penn State (24-9, 11-5 Big Ten); Third seed DePaul (28-6, 13-3 Big East)

COACHES: Coquese Washington is 66-59 in her fourth season at Penn State; Doug Bruno is 486-270 in his 25th season at DePaul.

TV: ESPN2 (Justin Kutcher, Brenda VanLengen)

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network (Jerry Fisher and Brian Tripp)

PROBABLE STARTERS

Penn State:
G Julia Trogele, Sr.
G Zhaque Gray, Jr.
G Alex Bentley, So.
F Mia Nickson, So.
C Nikki Greene, So.

DePaul:
F Felicia Chester, Sr.
F Katherine Harry, So.
F Keisha Hampton, Jr.
G Sam Quigley Sr.
G Anna Martin, So.

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