UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - There are no
easy road games in college basketball and the Lady Lions' trip to Storrs, Conn.
is no exception. Penn State will be taking to the court against the program
that knocked them out of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the No. 2/2 Connecticut
Huskies, and will be looking to claim their second road win over a ranked
opponent this season.
Penn State (6-1) will take on UConn (7-0) for the second time in nine months when the two teams take the floor inside Gampel Pavilion. That meeting went the way of the Huskies, 77-59, with Mia Nickson (19 pts) and Maggie Lucas (15 pts) leading the way for the Blue and White.
Another Streak to Snap
Penn State entered their first road test of the season at No. 16/13 Texas A&M with a tall task in front of them. The Aggies had won 58 straight home games when the Lady Lions rolled into town and claimed a 63-58 victory inside Reed Arena.
The Blue and White will look to snap another long home-court winning streak on Thursday night when they look to avenge last season's NCAA Tournament lost to UConn inside Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies - who play home games in two separate facilities - have won 61 straight games inside Gampel Pavilion and are 1-0 in the facility this year. Penn State is 3-1 away from home this season and will be looking to snap UConn's seven game winning streak in the series. Overall, PSU trails 7-3 in the series that began with a Penn State win in 1981.
Oh The Games We Play
There are some games that you just can't quite get a grasp on and this matchup is one of them. I am going to let you make up your own mind, will this be a high scoring affair or will defense prevail?
The Lady Lions enter the game averaging 77.3 points per game, which leads the Big Ten and ranks No. 18 nationally, while UConn is pouring in 87.9 points per game, which leads the BIG EAST and the NCAA. Flip that coin and you are looking at two stingy scoring defenses, with UConn allowing 44.0 ppg and Penn State is surrendering just 58.7 ppg.
Top Ten Showdown
The Lady Lions will square off with a top-10 opponent for the eighth time under head coach Coquese Washington and are 2-5 in the previous seven meetings. This will mark the first meeting since 2004 in which the Lady Lions will play a top-10 team while ranking among the top-10, themselves.
Ironically enough, the 2004 showdown came against UConn in an NCAA Tournament game in Hartford, Conn. The Huskies claimed a 66-49 victory in that contest. The last meeting with a top-10 opponent for PSU also came versus UConn in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The Lady Lions last victory over a top-10 foe came on Feb. 20, 2012 when they clinched the outright Big Ten title with an 84-66 victory over Ohio State at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State last defeated a top-10 opponent on the road during the 2003-04 season when they toppled No. 8 Purdue, 47-42, in West Lafayette, Ind.
Head coach Coquese Washington said in her press conference on Wednesday that junior guard Dara Taylor would make her second straight start on Thursday night at UConn. And why not, the speedy point guard helped orchestrate the Lady Lion offense to the tune of 101 points in her first starting role versus Fairleigh Dickinson.
The role is not new to the fourth
year college player. Taylor started 28 games in two seasons at Maryland before transferring
to Penn State in 2011-12. Of those starts, 27 of them came during her rookie
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-- NITTANY LIONS --