Play: Lady Lions Look to Lock Up Championship
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It will be hard to believe that the Lady Lions are taking to the floor on Sunday vs. Michigan with all of the pink that will be taking over the Bryce Jordan Center. It will be the annual Pink Zone at Penn State contest and the Lions will be trying to secure their second straight Big Ten Regular Season Championships vs. the Wolverines.
Assistant coach Maren Walseth gives us a quick scouting report, junior Talia East talks about Pink Zone and their meeting with Michigan, and we've added a three-point play's worth of notes that are included below.
Searching for a Second Title: To win a championship you have to be a steady force and take care of business when the time comes. The Lady Lions have done that so far this season, with a loss at Wisconsin as the only blemish on their Big Ten record, and will be looking to lock up a share of their second straight regular season Big Ten Championship on Sunday vs. Michigan.
The Lady Lions are looking to secure their first back-to-back titles since the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. A victory would not only give the Blue and White back-to-back Big Ten banners, but would also mark the most home conference wins in school history, eight, and lock up the tenth undefeated home season in school history.
Superb Shooting vs. Illini: Everyone took two looks at the box score after the Lady Lions 95-62 victory on Wednesday and both glances provided the same result. Penn State had shot 61 percent the in the game to mark the first such effort since Feb. 24, 1996 against Michigan State.
Penn State connected on 33-of-54 shots from the field and didn't miss more than two shots in a row after starting the game 2-for-7 from the field. Penn State missed consecutive shots only three times over the final 35 minutes of the game and added a 71 percent mark from the free throw stripe.
Seriously Successful Seniors: When a recruiting class arrives on campus as a top-25 ranked group there are a lot of high hopes attached. When the four-person class of Alex Bentley, Nikki Greene, Gizelle Studevent and Marisa Wolfe - later adding transfer Mia Nickson - inked their intent to play at Penn State those expectations were through the roof.
The class has delivered on those prospects and then some. Four of them have topped the 200-point mark in there career, while Bentley and Greene have both topped the 1,000-point plateau. Greene is nearing the 1,000-rebound mark, while Bentley has added nearly 400 rebounds, over 300 steals and nearly 600 assists. Studevent has come off the bench and piled up almost 100 rebounds and is closing in on her 200th point.
Nickson, who transferred in from Boston College, has been a welcome addition to the club both on and off the court. Nickson has piled up 576 rebounds and 777 points in her Penn State career, while being a vocal leader on the floor and a shining example of a student-athlete off the floor.