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Jerry Fisher: Senior Class has Returned Lady Lions to Summit of Women's Basketball

by on February 20, 2013 6:00 AM

The Penn State women's basketball team has turned it up since a loss at Wisconsin several weeks ago, a loss to a team that the Lady Lions defeated by 44 at home 14 days earlier.

Since that embarrassing loss, Penn State has run off four straight wins and has improved its record to 21-3 overall and a Big Ten leading 11-1 conference mark. This team is one comprised of five seniors that came in for the second year of then-new coach Coquese Washington's tenure. This is a senior class that took a chance on the new head coach and what she could potentially build at Penn State. This class of Marissa Wolfe, Gizelle Studivent, Nikki Greene, Mia Nickson and Alex Bentley have brought the Lady Lion program back to the elite of women's basketball, keeping the team ranked in the Top 10 for much of the entire season.

Wolfe has been battling concussion symptoms all season long and has not been able to dress for any games this season, but her leadership for this team and her dedication, regardless of playing time, has been remarkable.

Studivent has also made her mark as a leader, and her time off the bench for the Lady Lions has been nothing short of outstanding, making the most of her every opportunity on the floor.

Nickson has only been here three years after transferring from Boston College, but her presence on the floor as the enforcer, when needed, was the perfect fit for this team at the right time.

Greene continues to improve, even in her final season, with incredible games, including a 20-rebound effort against Cal State Northridge back in November and 11 double-digit rebounding games this year. She is also the only Penn State player to amass 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks in a career.

Bentley is the feisty point guard that has handled that position from her first game. She is the motor behind the Lady Lions, the emotional leader and pretty much the keystone in this class of young ladies that have made their mark as they head into their final four games of the regular season.

Two home games remain. Wednesday night the Lady Lions will entertain Michigan at 7 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State defeated the Wolverines in Ann Arbor back on Jan. 21, 59-49. The Lady Lions will then close out the home schedule with the annual Pink Zone game at 1 p.m. Sunday in front of what is anticipated to be a sellout crowd. Not only will the program be raising thousands of dollars for the fight against breast cancer, but the five seniors will be honored prior to the game.

If you have your ticket, make sure you are in your seat early so you can be a part of the senior ceremony to thank these five players for their contributions to Lady Lion basketball.



Jerry Fisher hosts "Centre County This Morning," appearing weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on 970 WBLF. He is now a regular columnist for StateCollege.com, as well.
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