UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State men’s and women’s basketball season tickets are available for 18 Nittany Lion and 15 Lady Lion home games during the 2011-12 season at the Bryce Jordan Center. Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-865-5555 or by filling out an application at GoPSUsports.com/tickets.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are $117 for adults, $91 for faculty/staff and seniors and $52 for youth. Penn State students will be admitted for free to Lady Lion basketball games beginning this season.
PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions’ Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions’ Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
The Nittany Lion basketball schedule is highlighted by eight weekend home dates, including a season opening double-header with the football team on Saturday, Nov. 12. The Nittany Lions will take on Hartford in their first-ever game under new head coach Patrick Chambers while the football team will face Nebraska at Beaver Stadium. Admission to the basketball game will be free. Game times for both contests have yet to be announced, pending television arrangements, but will allow fans to attend both contests.
Other weekend home opponents for the Nittany Lions include clashes with Mississippi (Sat., Dec. 4; 6 p.m.) and Mount St. Mary’s (Sun., Dec. 18; 4 p.m.) and five Big Ten match-ups including Indiana (Sun., Jan. 8; 12 p.m.), Minnesota (Sun., Jan. 15; 4 p.m.), Nebraska (Sat., Feb. 11; 1 p.m.), Northwestern (Sat., Feb. 25; 9 p.m.) and Michigan (Sun., March 4; tba). Penn State’s home schedule also includes dates with Radford (Mon., Nov. 14; 7 p.m.), Long Island (Wed., Nov. 16; 7 p.m.), Youngstown State (Wed., Nov. 23; 7 p.m.), Lafayette (Wed., Dec. 7; 7 p.m.) and Cornell (Wed, Dec. 21; 7:30 p.m.) as well as Big Ten clashes with Purdue (Thurs., Jan. 5; 8 p.m.), Illinois (Thurs., Jan. 19; 9 p.m.), Wisconsin (Tues., Jan. 31; 8 p.m.) and Iowa (Thurs., Feb. 16; 8 p.m.) and an exhibition contest with Slippery Rock (Sat., Nov. 5; 4 p.m.).
Chambers’ first Nittany Lion team will be led by junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) who surged last season as Penn State reached the Big Ten Tournament final and its first NCAA Tournament in a decade. Frazier posted a career-high 22 points in a victory over Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and averaged 10 points, 5.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game over the Lions’ final 11 games.
Chambers guided Boston University to an America East Conference tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance last year and posted a 42-28 mark in two seasons with the Terriers. The associate head coach at Villanova under Jay Wright, Chambers helped lead the Wildcats to the 2009 NCAA Final Four and corral the No. 3 rated recruiting class in the nation. He has energized the Nittany Lion fan base with his enthusiasm and passion since arriving in "Happy Valley."
The Lady Lions’ home schedule includes an exhibition game against Bloomsburg (Sat., Nov. 5; 2 p.m.) and regular-season games against Washington State (Fri., Nov. 11; 6 p.m.), Middle Tennessee/UNC-Wilmington (Sun., Nov. 13; 12/2 p.m.), North Carolina (Wed., Nov. 30; 6:30 p.m.), Virginia Tech (Tues., Dec. 6; 7 p.m.), Maryland-Eastern Shore (Sun., Dec. 11; 2 p.m.), Wagner (Sun., Dec. 18; 1 p.m.), Nebraska (Fri., Dec. 30; 7 p.m.), Michigan State (Sat., Jan. 7; 2 p.m.), Michigan (Thurs., Jan. 12; 6 p.m.); Iowa (Sun., Jan. 22; 3 p.m.), Indiana (Thurs., Feb. 2; 7 p.m.), Wisconsin (Thurs., Feb. 9; 7 p.m.), Ohio State (Mon., Jan. 20; 7 p.m.) and Minnesota (Sun., Feb. 26; 12/2/4 p.m.).
Head coach Coquese Washington and the Lady Lions, who have been ranked in the top 15 of preseason polls, return four starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round a year ago. Headlining the list of returnees are All-Big selections Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.), Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa.) and Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas).
Bentley became the 11th different Lady Lion to take home first team All-Big Ten honors after a solid sophomore season. She finished in the Top 15 in the Big Ten in scoring, assists, field goal percentage, free throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. Lucas took home the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and 2011 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year awards after breaking the Big Ten and Penn State single-season record for three-pointers (112), as well as Kelly Mazzante’s Penn State freshman season scoring record with 552 tallies. Greene became one of the top shot-blocking forces in the conference with 75 rejections en route to Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors. The All-Big Ten honorable mention choice also accounted for 7.8 rebounds per game to rank sixth in the Big Ten.
The Lady Lions also return starters Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) and Zhaque Gray (Chicago, Ill.). Nickson tallied 10.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 27 starts for the Lions. She was ninth in the Big Ten in rebounding and 14th in free throw percentage (.795). Gray made a marked improvement between her sophomore and junior years as she improved on her three-point shooting by 11 percent (.303 to .414) and her field goal shooting by 8.5 percent (.338 to .423). With a 9.5 scoring average, the Chicago native also nearly doubled her scoring output to finish fourth on the team.