UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a five day break, the No. 7/9 Lady Lions return
home for their final two home games of the season, starting Wed., Feb. 20
against Illinois. Penn State has won five games in a row vs. the Illini and are
15-2 in games played in Happy Valley.
Assistant coach Kia Damon gives us a quick scouting report, sophomore Tori Waldner talks about the bench and being a part of the THON athlete hour, and we've added a three-point play's worth of notes are included below.
Noteworthy Winning: When you have to
go back 10 years to make your point the stat is usually an impressive one and
when that statistics is regarding victories, you can bet that it is going to be
notable. Penn State enters their meeting with Illinois at 21-3 on the season
and 11-1 in Big Ten play and has won 18 straight games on their home floor.
The home court winning streak is the seventh longest streak in school history. With two more victories the Lady Lions can finish just the fourth perfect season inside the Brice Jordan Center and tie for the third most victories in the buildings history. Penn State's winningest seasons at the BJC were 2002-03 (16-0) and 1999-00 (15-0), along with a pair of 14-win seasons in 2003-04 (14-1) and 2010-11 (14-4). Along with the 2002-03 and 1999-00 seasons, the Lady Lions finished the 2004-05 season with an unblemished 12-0 mark, too.
Penn State has also started their Big Ten slate with an 11-1 record for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign and began the conference slate by winning its first seven games for the first time since the 2004-05 squad.
Bentley on a Tare: When Alex Bentley takes the court you know that you are going to get maximum effort from the senior out of Indianapolis, Ind. That effort has been rewarded during Big Ten play, as Bentley has notched 10-plus points in 10 of her 12 games in conference play, including four straight entering Wednesday night.
Her tenacity is felt on both ends of the court and over her last four games Bentley is averaging 17.8 points per game, 2.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. One of the top defenders in the country, Bentley has also basted nearly three steals per game, including a four-steal effort last Thursday at Iowa, during that stretch.
Her play against Michigan State on Feb. 10 encapsulated her recent output, as she poured in 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting with three assists and four steals.
Machine Gun Maggie: When Maggie Lucas steps on the floor the opponent better know where number 33 is at, because if they don't the result could be a three pointer for the Lady Lions. Lucas has been a threat from outside the arc since arriving on the University Park campus and on Feb. 14 her three, three-point baskets moved her into the fourth spot on the Big Ten's all-time three point charts.
Lucas knocked down a school record 112 shots from distance as a rookie, stepped back for 82 three-point field goals as a sophomore and already has 101 successful shots from beyond the arc this season. She ranks second in the Big Ten with 2.9 three point field goals per game and with four game remaining in the regular season can break her own school standard if she can hit her per-game average from downtown in seven fewer games.