Everybody is gunning for them.
The No. 7 Lady Lions are the team with the bullseye on their backs — the only undefeated team left in the conference.
“People don’t want to consistently lose to Penn State,” junior forward Talia East said.
The Lions will try for their 12th straight win and 15th straight Big Ten win, dating back to last season, against Wisconsin in Madison at 8 tonight for their
This will be the second time Penn State (17-2, 7-0 Big Ten) will face Wisconsin (9-11, 1-6 Big Ten) this month. The Lions handled them easily, 84-40, on Jan. 17.
“The one thing, especially in this situation is going to their place,” coach Coquese Washington said. “You know they are going to play better. You know they are going to shoot the ball better. You know they are going to have the crowd behind them and have a little bit more energy and adrenaline. They are going to try to make it a different outcome this time around.”
Penn State not only tops the Big Ten, but is climbing in the national rankings as well, jumping one spot in the AP poll this week. The team boasts the No. 18 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 73.6 points per game. The Badgers average 59.1 points per game, but give up nearly 60.
Despite the low scoring numbers, junior guard Maggie Lucas said it will be different this time around playing in Wisconsin’s gym.
“Everyone gets to know each other a little bit better, we are on their court now so we know they are going to play well and they are going to make more shots,” Lucas said. “They are going to give us a good shot.”
The Lions won the Big Ten regular season title last year, finished in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament and were ranked No. 8 in the 2012 preseason polls. East said that teams are constantly bringing their best effort every night, which she said is good experience come tournament time.
“It is starting to get a little bit harder, you see the games are getting a little bit closer. Last year was easy because we were sneaky a little bit,” East said. “They thought we would do it, but some teams doubted us, so it was easy to come in and win. When you have this X on your back and everybody knows that that’s No. 1 and they are a top team in the nation, it is a lot harder to play teams. But it is worth it.”