Penn State Women’s Basketball: Lady Lions Look to Continue Home Success Against Wisconsin
The Penn State women’s basketball team will host the Wisconsin Badgers at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The eighth-ranked Lady Lions have blown out two consecutive Big Ten teams by 20-plus points for the first time since the 2004-05 season. After dominating Nebraska on Sunday, 80-58, Penn State is 13-2 on the season and 3-0 in Big Ten play. If the team continues to dominate on the defensive side of the court, it will likely move to 4-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since that charmed season, which culminated in a berth in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the win over Nebraska, Penn State prolonged its home-court winning streak to 14 games, the ninth-longest streak in school history.
Penn State coach Coquese Washington will push for consistency, hard defense and quick rotations, as she did on Sunday against the Cornhuskers.
Two aspects of the game that will determine whether or not the home team comes out on top is the number of rebounds it produces. The Lady Lions pull down an average of 42.8 rebounds per game; senior center Nikki Greene contributes an average of 7.8 rebounds per game, which leads the team. In comparison, the Badgers average 37.6 rebounds per game.
Another major advantage the Lady Lions hope to show off against the Badgers is their speed and scoring offense.
“I think our collective team speed is helping us defensively,” Washington said. “I think that it helps us on defense as much as it helps us on offense.”
Penn State junior guard and leading scorer, Maggie Lucas, contributes about 20 points to the team’s 74.7 scoring output. Wisconsin’s offense averages 59.6 points per game, with junior center Morgan Paige leading the team at almost 16 points per game.
The Badgers are 8-9 on the year and 0-4 in conference play. On Wednesday, Washington reassured reporters that coaches preach about the ability to stay focused when taking on a 0-4 team.
"Oh yes, they're teenagers, you have to remind them of everything," she said. "We have to remind them of what's at stake, and what's important for every game. Every game is important and every game has an impact on our season. So we make sure we keep them focused and keep them dialed in for what has to happen. Maybe it clicks faster because they're older, but we always have to coach."