UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - All that Coquese Washington wants for Valentine's Day is
a win at Iowa and maybe some chocolates. The No. 8/9 Lady Lions have won their
last three games and will travel to Carver-Hawkeye Arenato face off with a Hawkeye team that is
10-4 on their home floor.
Assistant coach Fred Chmiel gives us a quick scouting report, freshman Candice Agee talks about her growth over her rookie season and we've added a three-point play's worth of notes are included below.
A Nice Balance: There are some seasons when you feel like the schedule is against you and others when the scheduling gods are in your favor. Do you have to play five straight road games or do you have a pair of four-game home stands?
This season the Lady Lions have had a very balanced schedule when it comes to the home and away designations in the Big Ten. Penn State has exchanged home and away games for most of the season, with their longest home stand and road trip standing at two. The color of the uniform really hasn't mattered for PSU, owning a 4-1 record on the road and a 6-0 mark at home in B1G play.
After traveling to Iowa on Thursday, Penn State will play two games at home, vs. Illinois and Michigan, before hitting the road for their final two regular season games, at Minnesota and Nebraska. The balance continues.
Bentley's Top B1G Player: You might not believe it when I say it, but Alex Bentley won her first career Big Ten Player of the Week honor on Monday, Feb. 12. The two-time first team All-Big Ten selection had never garnered the conference's top weekly honor, winning B1G Freshman of the Week only once during her third team All-Big Ten rookie campaign.
The Indianapolis, Ind. native returned to her home state and poured in 20 points, collected three steals and hauled in four boards to start the week against Indiana and followed that with 24 points, three assists and four thefts vs. Michigan State.
Not sure how it took her this long to win her first Player of the Week honor, but it comes at the right time in the season. Games are looming larger and larger as we head down the stretch and Bentley continues to play with a swagger and confidence that fuels her game and the game of those who play around her. Congrats, A.B., this was an honor years in the making.
The Eye of the Hawk: Entering their only meeting of the regular season, Penn State knows that they will have their hands full on Thursday at Iowa. The Lady Lions trailed by two points with just over six minutes left against the Hawkeyes last season and own a 7-11 mark in games played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the Iowa City campus.
The Lions rallied to win the contest last season, closing the game on a 20-2 run to earn a 68-52 decision, and have won their last two contests at Iowa, but it will be no Valentine's Day dinner at Zola's. In the last ten meetings, only one has been decided by more than nine points - last season's 16-point PSU win - and each team has won five of those meetings. Also, the last two PSU wins in Iowa City are by an average of five and a half points.