Digging Deeper Into the Lady Lions NCAA Matchup

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - As the Penn State Lady Lions get ready for their first-round matchup in the 2012 NCAA tournament vs. UTEP, there are quite a few things to analyze.

Whether it is overall team stats, records, individual numbers, or something more complicated, there is quite a bit to know.

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Breaking down the major stats for the Penn State Lady Lions you will see strong and impressive numbers from the Big Ten Regular season champs.

The fourth-seeded squad from Happy Valley comes into the tournament with a 24-6 (13-3) record, and strong offensive numbers.

The fast-paced group puts up a strong 75.5 points per game, to go along with their .434 shooting percentage and plus 14.6 points per game scoring margin, all in the upper part of the Big Ten stat book.

While the numbers for the Lady Lions look strong at the start, they even look stronger when you look at their impressive RPI.

The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is
a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. Created in 1981, the RPI is a tool used in selecting and seeding for the NCAA tournament and only includes games against Division I schools.

Penn State's RPI is a strong 19th in the nation, out of the 342 schools in the county playing Division I women's basketball.

The Lady Lions also played a strong schedule when you look at their opponent's RPI's as well, including taking on non-conference opponent Delaware, who currently is seventh in the nation in that category. 

On the other side of the coin is the 13th-seeded UTEP Miners, they come into the game with a 29-3 record, which includes winning nine of their last 10.

While that may originally blow someone away, and have him or her say, "How is that team a 13 seed?" you have to dig a little deeper.

The Miners currently have an RPI of 44.  The best team on their schedule RPI-wise is 64th-ranked Arizona State (who beat the Miners by two in December and did not make the NCAA tournament).

And while the Miners three losses did come by a combined seven points, two of them came against teams who didn't make the NCAA tournament, and one who is a 16 seed (UC Santa Barbara).

When you compare that back to the Lady Lions schedule, Penn State has played nine teams with a better RPI than UTEP's best opponent, the Sun Devils.

As nice as all of this sounds in Happy Valley, the team still has to go out and play hard on every possession, and no matter what the stats say, it will still take 40 minutes of superb effort to score a victory.

If you want to check out more stats about the game and two teams check out the chart below.


#4 Penn State

 

NCAA Tournament
First Round

 

#13 UTEP

24-6

 

Overall Record

X

29-3

13-3

 

Conference Record

X

15-1

19

X

RPI

 

44

75.5

X

Points Per Game - Offense

 

67.2

60.9

 

Points Per Game - Defense

X

53.2

.434

X

FG Percentage

 

.408

.351

 

Opponent FG Percentage

X

.333

.365

X

3-point Percentage

 

.297

.260

 

Opponent 3-point Percentage

X

.239

.727

X

Free Throw Percentage

 

.693

42.9

 

Rebounds Per Game

X

44.2

+3.2

 

Rebounding Margin

X

+9.5

13.1

 

Assists Per Game

X

14.8

Lucas (19.1 ppg)

X

Leading Scorer

 

Brown (11.9 ppg)

Greene (8.0  rpg)

 

Leading Rebounder

X

Brown (8.8 rpg)

Bentley (4.8 apg)

X

Assists Leader

 

Smith (2.8 apg)

8-2

 

Record - Last 10 Games

X

9-1

1-0

X

All-Time Series

 

0-1

27-22

X

NCAA Tournament Record

 

1-1

23

X

NCAA Tournament App.

 

2




Follow GoPSUsports.com Media Specialist Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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