By ANNA PITINGOLO, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 86-69, Thursday night at the Bryce Jordan Center behind 18 points from sophomore guard Teniya Page.
But it was another guard who took home the night's biggest honor: junior Lindsey Spann became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
Spann reached the milestone thanks to a jumper in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't something she had her sights set on coming into the game.
"I didn't really know where I was," said the Laurel, Maryland native. "And then we came in at halftime and they were like 'did you know you're three points away?' and I was like 'no, but why did you guys tell me that because now I'm like thinking about it.'"
Spann added: "It's a great feeling but I didn't do it by myself."
Head coach Coquese Washington agrees with Spann's selfless mindset, and has seen all the work that Spann has put in behind the scenes in order to play at the level that she does.
"I think, like she said, her teammates have helped a lot," Washington said. "And Lindsey's a kid who works really hard and she puts a lot of time in the gym to be able to produce offensively for us. So to see all that hard work pay off this early in her career, she's halfway through her junior year, it just speaks volumes about how much she's contributed on a game-in and game-out basis over the course of her career."
Despite Spann finding out at halftime that she was so close to history, she played it off and didn't worry about it.
"I did [feel the pressure] but then I was like 'alright just get over it,'" she said.
And get over it she did. Spann added eight points in the second half to finish with 14, one of four Lady Lions to reach double figures on the night. Despite coming off the bench the last couple of games, her ability to perform on the court hasn't slowed down.
"It's a luxury as a coach to know that at any time we can put Lindsey in," Washington said. "She's hot off the bench. She's going to come in and she's going to push tempo. She gets shots up, she shoots at a very high percentage and so she's gong to change the game [when she's playing]."
As Washington has figured out, it's all about timing with Spann. As someone who can quicken the pace on the floor, putting her in when the opposing team is wearing down provides an advantage for Penn State.
"Oftentimes she's going in when the other team is a little tired and maybe they don't get back, maybe they lose her, maybe they don't remember where she is and that allows her to come in and make some big plays for us and kind of get us going," Washington said.
Spann finished the game at 1,005 career points, putting her 17 points behind Helen Holloway ('94) and 19 points behind Rashana Barnes ('02) on the all-time scoring list.
She'll have her chance to move up those two spots to 35th all-time when the Lady Lions travel to Indiana for a matchup with the Hoosiers on Monday, January 23. Tip is set for 7 p.m.