By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Playing at home at the Bryce Jordan Center has
become a luxury for the No. 8 Penn State Lady Lions, who haven't dropped a game
at home since Jan. 7 2012.
Who was the opponent? Michigan State. The same school that the Lady Lions
will host on Sunday at 2 p.m.
However, since that 75-65 loss, Coquese Washington's squad hasn't
relinquished the benefits of playing in the BJC. Penn State is a perfect 17-0
at home since the loss to MSU, including wins over two ranked teams in Nebraska
and Purdue this season.
The Lady Lions feed off their home crowd, whether it be when Maggie Lucas
pumps up the crowd after forcing a turnover or the fans are on their feet when
Penn State begins a scoring run, the presence is felt.
By taking a look back at the recent home conference games, a point in each
game can be picked out where the Lady Lions went on a run. Particularly, in
their last game against Purdue where both teams were fighting back and forth,
Lucas said it was the home crowd that helped them seal the deal against the
"I think we had a great crowd on Monday. We loved playing in front of [a
good crowd], it gave us unbelievable energy. They were into it the entire game,
we had more students, it was a fun environment to play in," said Lucas.
Washington has been pushing for continued and growing support from the
students, who made a good showing against the Boilermakers.
Based on the way the crowd was able to make its presence felt against
Purdue, Washington has no doubt that they are yet another asset for her Lady
"Absolutely [the student section] affects the game in a very positive way,"
said Washington. "Our kids get so excited to play for their fans. It just
brings an added energy in the building and gives us another weapon to go to,"
In the 11 home games Penn State has averaged just below 4,700 fans per game
and had over 5,000 against Purdue. In contrast, the average attendance for a
Lady Lion road game has been just above 4,000.
With a big game coming up Sunday against a Spartan team that has persevered
despite injuries the crowd is essential for one of Penn State's bigger
"I think it's going to be a great crowd," said Washington. "Michigan State
is another pretty big rival for us so I'm anticipating another great crowd.
It's going to be a fantastic basketball game."
The Lady Lions have three more home games remaining, including the Pink Zone
game against Michigan on Feb. 24 and Washington hopes to see the fans to
continue to have an impact and expects they will on Sunday against Michigan
"It's going to be a fantastic game and I'm
fully anticipating another good student crowd and another six to seven thousand
people filling up the BJC," said Washington.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nikki Greene has reached the 1,000-point
milestone, grabbed over 900 rebounds and is one block shy of 200 in her career.
When Greene gets that 200th block, she will be the only Lady Lion in history to
have 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks.
So, one would think that a player with such numbers that hasn't missed
a single game in her entire career would be out for the glitz and the glamour
in her final season at Penn State. Not Greene.
was unavailable at the team's practice on Wednesday due to a class conflict
prior to the team leaving for Indiana, goes
about her business quietly and is humble regarding her career milestones. So
humbling in fact, when asked about scoring her 1,000th career point against
Minnesota on Jan. 24 she was more focused on her team's 64-59 win than personal
"It feels good," said Greene after the game. "I wasn't really aware of
it, but it feels good."
That's just who Greene is and that's how she has been since the
beginning of her freshman year when she was the only center on the roster. Now,
she is the centerpiece of the frontcourt on the Big Ten's current first place
The fact that she has yet to miss a game in her career, is one block
away from accomplishing something no Lady Lion has ever done and just goes
about her business quietly, has impressed her head coach.
"She's had in some ways a very quietly impressive career," said head
coach Coquese Washington, "one of the best careers of any post player in Penn
State history. When you think about that and all of the great players that have
played here and she is the only one to do that. I'm just thrilled she has been
able to do that and have this kind of impact on the program."
Greene hasn't gotten to this point without some improvements and those
improvements didn't come easy.
She came into the program struggling to shoot from the free throw line
and was a quiet presence in the post for Washington. Four years later both of
those categories have immensely improved, but not without constant work.
In Greene's freshman year she shot 53.5 percent from the line, which
was second last on the team. In year two, she shot just 48.5 percent from the
stripe, a team worst.
This season, however, the senior is currently sitting at 67.2 percent
and that is just seven percentage points short of the team average. Assistant
coach Maren Walseth credits that to Greene's constant work at improving her
confidence from the free throw line.
"She has been in the gym a lot," said Walseth. "She is a very linear
thinker, a very step by step kind of kid where she says 'I need to get better
at this and this is how I'm going to do it.' She does it everyday and sees the
results and it keeps her coming back for more."
As for her confidence, it comes straight from her comfort level.
"She's really become more confident in her game," said Walseth. "She
knows what her game is and she knows how her game fits in the system. She's
becoming more confident in herself."
Washington agreed and said that this confidence has also made Greene a
smarter player as she has been able to stay in games late and not get into early
foul trouble, which gives her more time to make an impact on the floor,
especially on the glass.
Greene has recorded nine or more rebounds in every conference game
except for two in 2013 and has been able to stay in games as of late and make
an impact on both sides of the ball in the second half.
The ability for her to do so is something Washington said is a key
reason why her team has been able to close out conference games.
"She has played more minutes this year and has been able to stay out of
significant foul trouble and be on the floor and be more of a factor,
especially in the second half," said Washington. "One of the reasons we are
able to close out games and do things is because Nikki's on the floor."
Greene has made impressive strides in 2013 as she climbs up the
all-time record books at Penn State, even with seven regular season games to go
plus postseason play.
When Washington was asked at her weekly press conference on Wednesday
if she ever thought Greene's game would elevate to its current point, Washington
didn't hesitate with her answer.
"Heck yeah," she laughed. "That's what I recruited her for, to have this
kind of impact."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - We talk to senior Alex Bentley and assistant coach Maren
Walseth give us a scouting report on Indiana. The Lady Lions (18-3, 8-1) sit
atop the Big Ten standings and will face the Hoosiers (10-12, 1-8) on Thursday,
Feb. 7 inside Assembly Hall on the Big Ten Network at 6:30 p.m.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It took a full team effort Monday night for No. 8 Penn
State (18-3, 8-1) to beat No. 13 Purdue (18-4, 7-2) at home for the first time in
five tries and reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Maggie Lucas didn't have a mind-blowing night from beyond the arc and Alex
Bentley didn't over power the Boilermakers offensively for a full 40 minutes,
but they didn't necessarily need to, either.
It was a back and forth game all the way through and it was the defensive
capabilities of Lucas, Bentley, Nikki Greene and company, as well as a little
help on the offensive end of the floor from Talia East, that got it done
against what has become one of Penn State's toughest conference foes.
Bentley finished the night with 11 points on 6-for-15 shooting. Similarly,
Lucas had 17 points but connected on just one of her six three point attempts.
When it mattered most, however, both players came through in the clutch.
With 2:49 to go in the second half, Lucas corralled a defensive rebound off
of an April Wilson missed three point attempt and brought it into transition,
stopped on a dime at the free throw line and connected on a 15 footer to
stretch the Penn State lead to eight.
Then, after Courtney Moses hit three free throws to get Purdue within five,
Alex Bentley came through with a bucket on a poor shooting night with under a
minute remaining, sealing the deal for the Lady Lions.
Head coach Coquese Washington saw her two leading scorers seal the deal
offensively, but on a night where they didn't shoot particularly well, it was
the defensive efforts of Lucas and Bentley that impressed the head coach.
"[Alex and Maggie] are not keyed in on doing all of the glamour stuff or
being on the highlight reel," said Washington. "Maggie had six rebounds and
Alex locked in defensively late in the game to secure the win. They're winners
and competitors and they're going to do whatever it takes for us to be
Bentley was a major disruption on the defensive end and was a big reason
why the Boilermakers turned the ball over 19 times on the night, including four
times in the last 2:19.
Five of Lucas's six rebounds came on the defensive side of the floor for
the Lady Lions, where she and East combined for 11 defensive boards.
East was two points short of her career high in points with nine and tied
her season high in rebounds with six, all of that coming in just 12 minutes of
"I think I got a couple put backs, which was
nice," said East. "Then they fouled a lot in the post, so I don't think I shot
too many field goals. Just finishing free throws is what I was trying to focus
The junior forward attempted seven free throws
on the night and hit five of them, which is about 10 percentage points higher
than her season average.
East's performance on the glass and at the free
throw line is exactly what Washington wanted from her bench, which has been
extremely important to the team's run in conference play.
"The biggest thing is that she was a presence,"
said Washington. "She did a great job rebounding, being physical with their
posts, getting to the free throw line and when you are physical and you are
present and you are working hard to get touches and you get to the free throw
line, you force them to go deep into their bench."
Penn State will travel to Indiana on Thursday
before returning home on Sunday against a surging Michigan State team for a 2
p.m. tipoff at the BJC.
PARK, Pa. - Welcome back to in-game coverage of 2012-13 Lady Lions women's basketball
season. Insight and reaction will be
provided by GoPSUsports.com throughout the game, so check back often as the
Take a look back at Penn
State's 69-61 victory over Purdue on Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The win gave the Lady Lions sole possession of first place in the Big Ten
Conference and pushed their home winning streak to 17 games.
Today's Game in 140 Characters: #B1G
battle inside the BJC...#PennState must play their game, force TO & get at
least 15 points on fast break...Nikki Green must be big for PSU
First Five on the Floor (Starting lineups)
Lady Lions - G- Bentley, G- Lucas, G- Taylor, F- Nickson, C- Greene Boilermakers - G- Houser, G-Moses, G-
Williams, F- Mingo, F- Ostarello
1st Half: 15:59 - No. 7/8 Penn State 5, Purdue
Penn State opened the game in a zone, which doesn't lend itself to creating many
turnovers, but they turned Purdue over on each of their first three
possessions. Maggie Lucas got the Lady Lion offense off to a quick start with a
pair of baskets to open the scoring, but a Mia Nickson free throw is all the
scoring they have managed since. The pace of the game is right where Penn State
wants it to be, with both teams getting up and down the floor, and they will
have to knock down shots after starting the game two-for-six from the floor.
1st Half: 11:58 - No. 7/8 Penn State 13,
The lane has been open for the Lady Lions - with all six of their baskets
coming in the paint - but the Boilermakers are making the most of their
offensive chances, hitting four-of-five shots from the floor. Ariel Edwards has
made an impact quickly off the bench for PSU with six points on three of three
shooting, including a swipe and score combo that pushed the lead to four points
at 13-9. It's been a pretty even game with both teams owning four rebounds, four
fouls and one free throw.
1st Half: 7:46 - No. 7/8 Penn State 20, Purdue
Penn State has had a heck of a time keeping their post players on the floor, as
Candice Agee and Talia East each have one foul in limited minutes and Nikki
Greene is now on the bench with three fouls, but they have all made their
presence felt in the paint, but it's the Bentley and Lucas show that has taken
over the game. The duo has 11 points, with Lucas tallying six points and
Bentley adding five.
1st Half: 3:54 - No. 7/8 Penn State 28, No.
14/11 Purdue 21
It has been all Boilermakers since we last talked, as an 8-2 run to pull them within
a point, but Lucas knocked down a jumper and East has added four straight
points to push the Lions back to a seven point lead. The flow of this game has
been stunted by a bevy of foul calls over the last few minutes and Purdue will
shoot the double bonus the rest of the half.
End of 1st Half - No. 7/8 Penn State 34,
No. 14/11 Purdue 23
Penn State was opportunistic in the opening half and did a nice job of playing
through some foul trouble with their post players for almost the entire final
10 minutes of the half. Lucas has 10
points at the break to push her over the 1,600-point plateau and East added six
points, all coming over the final six minutes to keep the Lady Lions in the
Penn State has led from the opening tip, but the Boilermakers have made shots
when they needed them to keep the game within reach. The final 20 minutes will
be interesting between two very good halftime adjustment teams. The Lady Lions
have been a solid second half team this season - scoring 35-plus points on 13 occasions and topping the
40-point mark six times. The Boilermakers have topped the 35-point barrier nine
times this season and only 52 of their 149 turnovers have come after the break.
2nd Half: 15:44 - No. 7/8 Penn State 42,
No. 14/11 Purdue 32
As expected, the second half has been a little crisper out of the gate. It didn't
start well for Greene, however, as the senior picked up her fourth foul just 90
seconds into the game. East has picked up the slack in the absence of Greene,
pouring in nine points on two-of-two shooting from the floor and a crisp
five-for-seven from the free throw stripe.
2nd Half: 10:39 - No. 7/8 Penn State 48,
No. 14/11 Purdue 41
Purdue has taken the ball to the basket for most the second half and continues
to inch closer as the half wears on. Lucas has been shutout over the first ten
minutes and the game seems a long way from the 13 point lead the Lady Lions
built to open the half. The two teams are each shooting over 40 percent from
the field and are an identical two-for-six from three point range. With a
combined 31 free throws it has seemed like a free throw contest and Penn State
will need to continue to take advantage from the charity stripe.
2nd Half: 7:05 - No. 7/8 Penn State 57, No.
14/11 Purdue 53
Purdue has roared back into the game and has been the more physical team over the
last seven minutes. Penn State has also wasted four straight possessions,
settling for outside jumpers early in the shot clock, which allowed the
Boilermakers to pull within two points at the 8:45 mark. Lucas struck with her
first basket of the second half just seconds later on a three pointer and,
after a Purdue three, Bentley added a score of her own to push it back to a two
2nd Half: 2:40 - No. 7/8 Penn State 63, No.
14/11 Purdue 55
It hasn't looked like the two best teams in the Big Ten over the last four
minutes with a combined eight points scored between the two of them. The last
two points came on a breakout, stop-and-pop jumper from Lucas who got the crowd
on their feet and forced Purdue to call a time out with 2:40 left. East fouled
out earlier, leaving with nine points, and Greene is playing with three fouls against
a very physical post corps for Purdue.
2nd Half: 2:40 - No. 7/8 Penn State 69, No.
14/11 Purdue 61
It was a total team effort for the Lady Lions tonight and they needed every bit
of energy that they brought to the BJC to hold off No. 14/11 Purdue and take
back sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. After Purdue pulled within
two points at 57-55 with 6:39 to play the Lady Lions doubled the Boilermakers
output the rest of the way.
Purdue entered the night with four starters averaging in double figures, but
the stingy PSU defense allowed only two to reach that mark tonight. On the flip
side, three Penn State starters reached double digits, led by 17 from Maggie
Lucas, and Talia East was huge off the bench with nine points. It was a near
career-high for East, who scored 11 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, and she added six
Alex Bentley had a quite 13 points, while Mia Nickson added 11 points and four
rebounds. Nikki Greene grabbed nine rebounds and scored six points - nearly all
of them late in the second half - to help lead a balanced attack for the Lady
One thing that Penn State does is take away your primary ball handler and that
is mostly a testament to what Dara Taylor does on the defensive end of the
floor. She only had two steals, but
hounded KK Houser and Courtney Moses for most of the game. She stayed out of
foul trouble against Purdue and was able to score five points and hand out four
The two teams are now separated by one in the loss column and weren't divided
by much more than that statistically on Monday. Penn State held a slim edge in rebounds
(36-35), free throws made (14-12) and field goals made (26-22), but Purdue
owned the edge in shooting percentage (42% - 43%) and three pointers made
Overall it was a gutsy performance from a team that was just delivered a wakeup
call at Wisconsin and shows that they are still the team to beat in the Big
Ten, as least in my opinion.
Fast Break Press Conference Quotes
"We played with a lot of energy and I thought we played a pretty good game offensively.
We really wanted to move the ball on offense and get a lot of people involved...I
thought our defensive effort was good, too. They made some open shots, but we
made them take some tough shots, as well."
-Head coach Coquese Washington
"[Alex and Maggie] want to win. They are two incredible competitors and are
going to do whatever it takes to win."
- Head coach Coquese Washington
"[Talia] was a presence, first and foremost. She came in and had a presence in the
paint and was aggressive and got to the free throw line. I feel like she set
the tone for us."
- Head coach Coquese Washington
"We are very happy about this game. It was a good team win. Purdue is a very
good team and to come off of a loss and be prepared for a good Purdue team was
something we really needed."
-Junior Maggie Lucas
"I got a couple of put-backs, but I don't think I made that may [shots] from
the field. I was getting fouled a lot and was just focused on making my free
- Junior Talia East
"I was more happy with our team effort. It was great to get out there and have
a great game as a team."
-Junior Talia East
"I think it was important for us to come out and dictate our type of game
again. We know what we are capable of and when we don't live up to that, that
is when we get frustrated with ourselves. I think we need to just continue
- Junior Maggie Lucas
"We knew it was going to be a great basketball game tonight...I thought our
players did a great job stepping up and being aggressive. I think that Penn
State did a good job of stepping up and making shots down the stretch and we didn't."
- Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp
What To Look For:
- The Lady Lions will put their 16 game home court winning streak on the line
vs. No. 14/11 Purdue on Monday night inside the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State
has had a few close calls this season, including Northwestern and South Dakota
State, but must avoid their first losing streak of the season to occur vs. the
Boilermakers to get back into first place in the Big Ten.
- Alex Bentley has been on campus for four years and will make her 120th start,
while Maggie Lucas is slated to make her 89th start in just her third season
vs. Purdue. What you ask does that have to do with the price of gas? They both
sit tied for 10th in school history with 1,592 points. As competitive as these
two are on the court, I am not sure who will emerge as the No. 10 scorer in school
history when the game is over, but PSU needs a big night on both ends of the
floor from both of them if they want to beat Purdue.
- Watch out for the game inside the game when former high school teammates Alex
Bentley (PSU) and Dee Dee Williams (PUR) square off one last time in regular
season play. In the last meeting on March 3, 2012 it was Bentley who ended with
the upper hand, scoring 22 points on eight-of-18 shooting and to go along with
four assists. Williams was held scoreless in nine minutes of play off the
bench, but handed out three assists and didn't turn the ball over.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - There is always a target on your back when you are the
top team in the conference standings and the target gets even bigger when you
are the defending champion. The Lady Lions know that, but don't mind the
target, and will look to take back sole possession of first place on Monday against
No. 14 Purdue at home.
Assistant coach Fred Chmiel gives us a
quick scouting report and we've added a three-point play's worth of notes are included
Second Showdown Comes Inside BJC: It
will have been just 14 days since the Lady Lions headed to Ann Arbor, Mich. to face
Michigan in a showdown of the only two undefeated teams in the Big Ten. Now, when
Penn State steps on the floor vs. Purdue on Monday, it will be the only two one-loss
teams atop the Big Ten standings that meet.
Purdue enters with the most wins in the Big Ten Conference and is 18-3 overall,
while Penn State is 17-3 overall this season. Both teams own a 7-1 record in
conference play, but the Boilermakers enter with the longest winning streak in the
Big Ten at three games, after Wisconsin snapped the Lady Lions 11-game winning
streak on Jan. 31.
Lions Must Reach Boil Quickly vs.
Purdue: The Lady Lions cannot afford a slow start vs. Purdue and needs to
make the Boilermakers play their style of basketball from the opening tip. At
Wisconsin, Penn State was unable to really get out in the open court, scoring
just eight points on the fast break, which is tied for their second lowest total
of the season.
The Lady Lions are just 4-3 in games in which they have eight or less fast break
points, with two of those wins coming against South Dakota State and Northwestern
in contests that they had to rally late to win. Penn State is at their best
when they are running the floor and finding easy baskets, but have the shooters
to be successful in the half court game, as well.
Bentley and Lucas Climbing Charts Together:
Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas have been one heck of a tandem since they teamed
up three seasons ago and the duo currently sits tied for tenth on the Penn
State scoring charts.
Bentley has tallied her 1,592 points in 119 games and Lucas has poured in her 1,592
points in 88 games. Lucas has been a bigger threat from deep while Bentley is
just the second player in school history with 1,500 points, 500 assists and 250
steals. Lucas has 256 three-point field goals and shoots a cool 88 percent from
the free throw stripe, while Bentley has added 530 assists, 344 rebounds and
292 steals to her point total.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- When she was eight
years old, Lady Lions head coach Coquese Washington thought she was destined to
spend her days making a living in the library, but luckily for Penn State she
was still too young for the librarian society.
"I absolutely did," Washington said, "I wanted to be a librarian. I wanted to
work in the library so that I could just be there all day and read the books. I
think I was seven or eight [years old] and I asked them if I could work at the
library. They told me 'you have to grow up little girl, at eight years old you
can't work in the library'."
She called herself a book worm, which by definition means a person devoted to
reading or studying. That description would encapsulate much of the Flint,
Mich. native's life, starting with her admittance of reading the book "Roots"
eight times prior to entering high school. She owns two degrees from Notre
Dame, a bachelor's degree in history and a Juris Doctorate from the Notre Dame
Law School. Even in her adult life, Washington admits that her favorite stores
to shop in are book stores.
"That's just my personality," said Washington. "I am a thinker, so I have to
take everything in. That's just me."
Next time you are watching the Lady Lions just take a glance at her on the
sidelines. The 5-foot-6 Washington might just be watching the game with one arm
folded across her midsection and her other hand on her chin. That's the
thinker's pose. A calming influence that looks at the game with the eye of an
educator, Washington tries to hold an even keel emotionally because the season
is long and each game is 40 minutes.
"The thing we always want to do is not get too emotional about things," said
Washington. "It's a long season and there is usually always time left in games.
There are a lot of teachable moments in every game and if we can learn from
those moments maybe we won't [repeat them in other games]. What our staff tries
to do is help our players grow and become better decision makers."
Those teachable moments that Washington talks about seem to come nearly every
time one of her players comes off the court. If you have watched any of the
Lady Lions games that have been televised on the Big Ten Network this season
you will have seen many shots of Washington putting her arm around one of her
players and calming delivering a lesson.
A librarian? I think Washington could have been a successful in the cut-throat
world of business or in the courtroom.
Oh, wait; she covered those bases, too. During her professional basketball
career, Washington helped organize the WNBA Players Association, serving as the
first president of the WNBAPA, and was a driving force behind the organizations
successful negotiation of the league's first collective bargaining agreement.
She serves on a variety of basketball related committees, including the Kay Yow
Cancer Fund, NCAA Women's Basketball Issues and WBCA Executive Committees.
With all of that going on, you would think that Washington would be moving
around the Bryce Jordan Center with the pace that her team shows on the court,
but that's not the case.
It's hard to think that someone with the temperament of Washington leads one of
the nation's top scoring offenses. It's not that her basketball IQ doesn't lend
itself to that, because the former point guard loved to get out and run the
court, but her demeanor offers the impression of a more conservative game.
However, her team averages over 70 points per game and that shows those teachable
moments are being communicated well and that her players, like herself, are
unrelenting in their journey for education. Her pupils know that she is an easy
going person, but they also know that she is going to share her opinion, good
"Coach is very laid back," said senior Alex Bentley, "she is a very calm person.
She is going to tell you what you are doing well and what you need to work on.
She is going to keep on you about things and if she is not, you probably have a
problem. I love her feedback and I love
her coaching style. She likes us to push the pace and wants us to get up and
down the floor."
Her calm appearance doesn't mean that there aren't emotions coursing through
her veins. She might channel her inner Bobby Knight at some point in her
career, but it won't be a chair that Washington flings across the court.
"More like throwing a pen," Washington said. "I don't want to hurt anyone, so
it would be more like a pen throw."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions are 7-0 in the Big Ten, number seven
in the country and have three of the hottest players in the conference on their
roster as they head to Madison, Wis. on Thursday looking to continue its 12
game winning streak.
The attention is deserved for all three of those storylines, but head coach
Coquese Washington and her players, especially her starters, have not neglected
to emphasize perhaps the most underplayed Lady Lion storyline: the impact of
the Penn State bench players.
They won't wow you in the box score, but the presence has been felt,
especially in the past three games. Ariel Edwards, Talia East, Gizelle Studevent,
Tori Waldner and Candice Agee have taken the floor in relief for Washington in
crucial moments of games and the team hasn't missed a beat on either side of
"Our bench is coming in the game and doing more than just spelling people's
minutes," said Washington. "I like our bench and what they give us. Hopefully
they can continue to play with that type of confidence and continue to be
impactful for us."
Starting with Studevent and Edwards, Washington has scorers coming off the
bench that can score efficiently. Edwards sees a little more time on the floor
because of her defensive capabilities, but has scored a combined 15 points in
her last two games while logging an average of 18 minutes in the last two
In the past two games Studevent has scored four points, hitting two of
three shots in seven minutes against Minnesota and four points in 10 minutes
against Ohio State. After struggling toward the beginning of the year, the
senior guard feels as though she has gotten her confidence back.
"My shot was a little off for a while, so I just spent extra time shooting
before and after practice to get it better, so going into the game I'm pretty
confident," said Studevent.
As her shot has improved and Edwards has continued to thrive after moving
back to the bench the Lady Lions have been able to tout five scoring threats in
the backcourt as well as the defensive prowess brought by the frontcourt.
Nikki Greene has come on as of late in the frontcourt for Penn State, as
has fellow senior Mia Nickson. As both of those players have developed,
suddenly the defensive abilities of East Waldner and Agee have come alive as
Against Minnesota it was Waldner with four rebounds and a game high five
blocks in only eight minutes. Three days later against Ohio State it was East
with four rebounds and a team high two blocks in just 11 minutes.
For Agee, as a true freshman coming off an ankle injury, her time has been
limited as of late, but against Ohio State she was able to have success in her
five minutes of play with two points and three rebounds.
Once again, it's the rate of efficiency for the Lady Lion bench and simply
their presence that has allowed the team to thrive.
"They're huge," said Bentley about the reserves. "We wouldn't have been
able to win these games without our bench. I have been saying all year that our
team is filled with depth. They all get in the box score and help us out a
When these players get in the game for Penn State nothing changes on the
court and quite frankly nothing changes on the Lady Lion sideline either. When
the starters are in and Bentley drives to the lane for a flashy layup it is
Studevent, Edwards and company that is out of their seats clapping for their
As the bench players come into the game that level of intensity coming from
the bench is still there. Whether it is Bentley or Lucas or Nickson, the
starters feed off of the production of the bench to garner some extra
"If you ever watch (Alex) Bentley when she's on the bench and somebody does
something, you would think she was waving pompoms as big of a cheerleader she
is," said Washington. "She's waiving the towel, yelling and on the verge of
getting us a technical for standing up too long. Our starters certainly
appreciate and value what our bench brings to the floor."
Conversely, what does that mean for the bench players when they see Bentley
hyped up on the sidelines? It defines their relationships as teammates.
"It's awesome, I mean we all love each other, we have each other's backs,
so it's great just to know that they have my back and they have everybody
else's back," said Studevent. "Now, we're just confident and we have to be ready
when they call our number."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It will have been two weeks since the Lady Lions claimed
an 84-40 decision over Wisconsin inside the Bryce Jordan Center, but the
Badgers have since claimed their first Big Ten victory. The Lady Lions are no
slouch themselves, entering the weekend with the nation's third longest winning
streak at 11 wins in a row.
Assistant coach Maren Walseth gives us the scouting report on the Badgers,
while senior Nikki Greene gives us a look inside the mindset of the team prior
to their departure for snowy Madison, Wis.
By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - It wasn't pretty from a statistical standpoint, but after No. 8
Penn State's (16-2, 6-0) 64-59 win over upset minded Minnesota (13-7, 2-4), Coquese
Washington acknowledged the effort that her players showed, especially down the
a little more than eight minutes to go in the second half the Lady Lions found
themselves trailing by two at home to a team that they now have more conference
wins in this week alone than Minnesota does all season.
center Nikki Greene was struggling in the scoring column with three points, all
from the charity stripe, and it had been almost ten minutes since senior guard
Alex Bentley connected from the field.
was testing Penn State's patience; moreover, testing their confidence and the
Lady Lions didn't flinch. Whether it was one of Maggie Lucas' 26 points or Dara
Taylor's three steals, it all came together at the end of the game.
have a lot of different people who are capable of stepping up and making plays,
which is certainly something we like happening," said Washington. "We certainly
don't have to rely on one person."
hit her first shot from the field with 7:54 to go in the second half followed
by two strong defensive possessions from her teammates and all of the sudden
they Lady Lions looked like the Lady Lions again.
when Minnesota hit a few key shots down the stretch to get the lead within one
point on four different occasions, Penn State answered. Whether it was a steal
on the defensive end or hitting free throws, they were able to come through
when it mattered most.
"We had a bunch of different people make key plays down the
stretch," said Washington. "Maggie made free throws. Alex made a huge jump
shot. Nikki made the big shots. Dara gets a steal on defense. Ariel in the late
second half made a huge drive to get the and one."
squad created turnovers, forced Minnesota to take tough shots and was able to
get out in transition and, maybe most importantly, converted from the free
throw line. Over the last nine minutes Penn State went five of six from the
stripe, which turned out to be the difference maker in a game they won by that
Greene, and Bentley led the way for Penn State down the stretch scoring the
team's final 16 points. In the game, Lucas tallied 26, Bentley added 12 and
Greene finished with nine points. Six of Greene's nine points came in the last
eight minutes of the game where she saw her scoring ability change drastically
compared to the first 32 minutes.
"I believe I was more patient with the ball," said Greene. "(Coquese)
kind of emphasized that every time we went into timeouts that they were going
to double team me and so I tried to look for a shot every opportunity I got if
I wasn't double teamed."
also collected 13 rebounds including a game high eight on the defensive side of
the ball. With the help of Tori Waldner and Talia East the Lady Lions continued
to have an effective down low presence in Big Ten play.
the course of the season Washington has been able to call upon players like
Waldner and East, as well as senior guard Gizelle Studevent, at any time in the
game no matter how many minutes they may see on the floor.
guys do a lot of things that maybe do not show up in the stat sheet,
necessarily," said Washington. "Whether it is talking or communicating, being
in the right side of help side, they just do a lot of stuff that necessarily
does not show up, but I have a lot of confidence in them to be a big factor and
to have an impact."
Lady Lions will try to build on the strong finish against Minnesota and
translate the intensity on the road in Columbus on Sunday against Ohio State