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Penn State Women’s Basketball Names Captains for 2016-17 Season


Leadership is the one constant of successful programs and the 2016-17 edition of the Penn State women’s basketball team has elected a trio of capable student-athletes as captain for the 2016-17 season. Seniors Kaliyah Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) & Peyton Whitted (Suwanee, Ga.), and sophomore Sarah McMurtry (Pittsburgh, Pa.) have been selected as captains for the upcoming season.


“No question, having strong team leadership is an important ingredient to team success,” said head coach Coquese Washington. “Peyton, Kaliyah and Sarah have shown that they are ready to take the leadership reigns for this team. Working together, they will guide Lady Lion Basketball in a positive direction this season.”


The 2016-17 captains all bring different experiences to the table; Mitchell has appeared in every game since stepping on campus for the 2013-14 season, Whitted broke out as one of the top post players in the Big Ten last season and McMurtry is lauded as one of the hardest workers in the program after joining the squad as a walk-on in 2015-16.


While she won’t be the first to raise her voice, Mitchell’s actions speak plenty loud enough in the gym and off the floor. Entering her final year in the program, she ranks among the top 20 in school history in free throw shooting and continues to climb the all-time rebounding charts. Last season, she averaged a career-best 9.5 points per game and pulled down 5.1 rebounds per contest. She is on pace to crack into the top-20 for career rebounds and with a career year in the scoring column can also join the 1,000-point club.


Among her off-court accolades, Mitchell is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, helping the Lady Lions set a school-record with seven team members earning that distinction in 2014-15.


Whitted’s leadership role on the team has continued to expand from her junior campaign, which saw career-best efforts in nearly every statistical category. During her 2015-16 campaign, she posted her first seven career double-doubles – including three such efforts in the first four games of the season. Her 256 rebounds last season come in at No. 21 on the single season charts, while her per-game average of 9.3 points and 8.3 rebounds more than doubled her career averages entering the year.


A nominee for COSIDA Academic All-District, Whitted is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten performer that spent the summer interning with WPSU Penn State as a member of their video production unit, helping produce content for the Lady Lion program.


Every team needs someone that continually places team before self, and McMurtry embodies what it is to be a great teammate. After joining the team as a walk-on in October 2015, she quickly stood out as one of the hardest working and most respected players in the program. Her willingness to do whatever it took to see her role completed at the highest level led to her seeing playing time in eight games, while also earning the distinction as Penn State’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.


McMurtry was one of the top performers in the classroom for the Lady Lions last season, and combining that with her on-court work, was awarded a scholarship for the 2016-17 campaign.



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