Lady Lions Travels to Wisconsin for a Second Place Battle Thursday
Jan. 20, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State Lady Lions (13-4, 5-2) travel to Wisconsin (15-4, 5-3) for a crucial Big Ten matchup Thursday evening at the Kohl Center at 8 p.m. There will be a lot on the line in Madison as the Lady Lions have a half-game lead over the Badgers for second place in the Big Ten standings and both teams are riding four-game winning streaks. The game can be heard locally on WRSC and is available as a live streaming event on BigTenNetwork.com for $2.99.
RADIO/WEB: The game is on WRSC with Jerry Fisher and Ben Youngerman calling the action. The audio feed is available at www.GoPSUsports.com. The contest will also be available on BigTenNetwork.com via a live video stream for $2.99.
LAST TIME OUT: The Lady Lions held #20/23 Michigan State without a field goal for the final 8:16 to secure a 68-60 victory over the Spartans in front of a raucous crowd of 7,085 people at the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday. It is the second win over a nationally-ranked opponent for the Lady Lions this season (#15 Pittsburgh, Dec. 12). Senior Tyra Grant led three Lady Lions in double figures with 23 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Freshman Alex Bentley added 14 tallies and three assists, while fellow freshman Nikki Greene tied her career high for the second-straight game with 12 points and seven rebounds.
SCOUTING WISCONSIN: The Badgers are in third place in the conference with a 15-4 overall and 5-3 in Big Ten play. Alyssa Karel paces Wisconsin with a 13.8 scoring average, while Tara Steinbauer accounts for 8.5 points and a team-best 6.6. rebounds per game. Rae Lin D'Alie averages 7.5 points and a team-high 3.0 assists.
ALL-TIME VS. BADGERS: Penn State is 24-8 all-time against the Badgers, but just 7-7 in games played in Madison. The Lady Lions have lost their last three games at the Kohl Center, including a 58-52 loss on Feb. 12, 2009. Penn State did split the season series last year with a Tyra Grant buzzer-beater for the 58-56 overtime win over the Badgers on Jan. 22, 2009.
LAST TIME VS. UW: The Lady Lions rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to tie the game, but could not finish off the comeback in a 58-52 loss at Wisconsin on Feb. 12, 2009. Tyra Grant had a game-high 24 points, while Julia Trogele had six points, all of which came in the second-half rally, to go along with 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Zhaque Gray was 3-for-4 from the field and made both of her free throw attempts to account for nine points.
GREENE LIGHTS IT UP AGAIN: Freshman center Nikki Greene tied her career high for the second consecutive game with 12 points in the upset win over No. 23/20 Michigan State on Jan. 17. She was 4-for-7 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free throw line in the win. Greene also corralled a team-best seven rebounds against the Spartans.
STINGY DEFENSE: The Lady Lions lived up to their title of having the top-ranked field goal percentage defense in the Big Ten against Michigan State on Jan. 17. Penn State held the Spartans without a field goal for the final 5:58 of the first and for the final 8:16 of the game. The Lady Lions rank 10th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense this season, allowing teams to shoot just 43.2% against them.
QUESE TIES COACHING WIN MARK: With their 13th win of the season against No. 23/20 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Lady Lions tied the mark for most win in the Coquese Washington era. Washington finished her first season at Penn State with a 13-18 record in 2007-08.
TWO RANKED WINS: The Lady Lions toppled their second ranked opponent of the season with a 68-60 victory over No. 23/20 Michigan State on Jan. 17. Penn State has two wins over ranked opponents for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. The Lady Lions also defeated No. 15/15 Pittsburgh, 77-73, earlier this season.
BEST START: With a 13-4 record in their first 17 games, the Lady Lions are off to their best start since the 2003-04 season when they opened the season with a 14-3 mark. The 2003-04 team, led by Kelly Mazzante reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Connecticut in Hartford.
SEEKING A POLL POSITION: The Lady Lions are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Penn State has 18 votes in the AP poll and have one vote in the coaches poll.
BENTLEY BRINGS IN FRESHMAN AWARD: Alex Bentley was selected as the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week along with Wisconsin's Taylor Wurtz for the week-ending Jan. 17. Bentley guided the Lady Lions to wins over Iowa and No. 23/20 Michigan State. She is the second Lady Lion to earn Freshman of the Week honors this season, joining Nikki Greene (Diboll, Texas) who was the Dec. 14 Freshman of the Week. Bentley averaged 14.5 points, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals against the Hawkeyes and Spartans. Bentley was 7-for-13 from the field en route to 15 points, five assist, two steals and a block in the road win at Iowa on Jan. 14. She sparked an 11-0 run that put the Lions in front in Iowa City with a three-pointer in transition and a fastbreak layup. Bentley accounted for 14 points, three assists and a steal in the upset win over #20 Michigan State on Jan. 17.
The Lady Lions return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday, Jan. 24 for the Fourth Annual WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State against Illinois at 1 p.m. Penn State will donate $2 from every single-game ticket sold to the Pink Zone to the fundraising cause. Single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the Penn State ticket office at 814-865-5555.
The 2010 WBCA Pink Zone at Penn State will take place on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m., as the Lady Lions take on Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game can be seen on www.bigtennetwork.com. The first three Pink Zone events have raised more than $80,000 for breast cancer awareness. This year's fundraising efforts will benefit the Mount Nittany Medical Center, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. For more information on the Pink Zone at Penn State, visit the official Pink Zone website at www.gopsusports.com/pinkzone.
The Lady Lions hold several camps throughout the summer. There is a Lady Lion Basketball Camp available for girls of all ages, ranging from shooting camp to elite camp. The 2010 Lady Lion Basketball Camp schedule is as follows: Shooting Camp (June 13-15), Elite Camp (June 20-22), Skills Camp (June 20-23), Total Package Team Camp (June 24-26) and Games Galore Team Camp (August 6-8). For more information on Lady Lion Basketball Camps, please visit psusportscamps.com and click on Lady Lion Basketball Camp.
The Lady Lions are on Twitter. Follow head coach Coquese Washington (@psucoachquese), sports information contact Kris Petersen (@ladylionsid) and the Lady Lions and assistant coaches (@pennstatewbb) to get the inside scoop. The Lady Lions are also on Facebook. Search Lady Lion Basketball and become a fan.