Tourney Time For PSU Women

<P><B>No. 4</B> <B>Penn State vs. No. 13 Liberty <P>NCAA Tournament, Knoxville Bracket <P>Comcast Center, College Park, Md. <P>Game Time: 9:30 p.m., Sunday</B>

Records: Penn State 19-10; Liberty 24-6

Coaches: Rene Portland is 581-203 in her 25th season at Penn State and 668-232 overall. Liberty has averaged 23 wins per season in five years under Carey Green's direction.

Series: Penn State and Liberty have never played each other.

Last time out: Penn State lost 83-76 to Michigan State in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. Liberty ripped UNC-Ashville 88-41 in the final of the Big South tournament.

TV: espn2

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Jerry Fisher, Matt McDonald).

Next up: The winner of this game faces the winner of the No. 5 DePaul-No. 12 Virginia Tech matchup.

Probable Starters:

Penn State - G Jess Strom, 5-7 Sr. (15.6 ppg), G Tanisha Wright, 5-11 Sr. (19.3 ppg), G Jennifer Brenden, 5-10 Sr. (5.1 ppg), F Ashli Schwab, 6-3 Sr. (6.3 ppg), F Amanda Brown, 6-4 So. (7.1 ppg).

Liberty - G Daina Staugaitiene, 5-10 Sr. (8.4 ppg), G Allyson Fasnacht, 5-8 Fr. (3.5 ppg), F Kristal Tharp, 5-10 Sr. (11.5 ppg), F Rima Margeviciute, 6-3 Sr. (9.2 ppg), C Katie Feenstra, 6-8 Sr. (17.6 ppg).

Quick Quiz: How far did the Lady Lions go in last year's NCAA tournament?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State is 26-20 all-time in the NCAA tournament.

• The Lady Lions have reached the Sweet Sixteen in each of the last three seasons.

• Strom said the team's seniors want to make sure they finish the season without any regrets. "There's a sense of urgency now that every game could be your last," Strom said. "I think that motivates you."

• Penn State has not lost two games in a row since November.

• Strom has been resting her injured ankle but said she will be good to go Sunday.

• Stat Watch: Penn State turns the ball over 14.1 times per game.

Liberty Notes:

• The Lady Flames have made the tournament nine consecutive years but have not won a game in that span.

• Feenstra was the Big South's Player of the Year for the third straight season. She averages 17.6 points and 10.2 boards per game while shooting 68.5 percent from the field.

• Liberty outscored opponents by an average of 18.3 points per game in the regular season.

• The Lady Flames shoot 69.3 percent from the free throw line.

• Liberty lost to Ohio State 66-51 in the regular season, but held Big Ten Player of the Year Jessica Davenport to just six points.

• Stat Watch: Liberty turns the ball over 19.6 times per game.

Quiz Answer: Penn State made it to the Elite Eight last year before losing to Connecticut.

FOS Prediction: Penn State 72, Liberty 63

Comment: The Lady Lions should get through to the second round unless Feenstra completely takes over the game.

FOS Prediction Record: 13-2.


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