The No. 17 Lady Lions finally played like the team everyone thought they were in the preseason this past week in the Nugget Classic. In fact, they probably played a little better.
Game #5: Lady Lions (4-1) win vs. Iowa State (3-1), 66-59.
Iowa State was the highest-ranked team the Lady Lions had played all year, so this was a pretty convincing win. Somehow, the Lady Lions committed a startling 32 fouls, their most since 2001, but still hung on for the win. Maggie Lucas was her usual self here, as she dropped 18 points. I wrote last week that Alex Bentley should bounce back after a somewhat lackluster start to the season, and she did by scoring 13 points and eventually winning Tournament MVP.
Freshman Tori Waldner scored her first collegiate points in this one. She’s looking good for a freshman. Also, Marisa Wolfe, a captain who has been nursing concussion-like symptoms, saw 18 minutes of playing time, a season high.
Game #6: Lady Lions (5-1) win vs. Nevada (2-3), 103-65.
The score pretty much says it all about this laugher. The Lady Lions never trailed, and all three of their guards scored at least 21 points. It was utter domination.
Forward Mia Nickson only played nine minutes in the game. She has been fighting injuries for two weeks now, and perhaps she aggravated something during this game.
Player of the Week
Alex Bentley, for playing like the Wooden Award candidate that she is and winning Tournament MVP. She had 36 points in two games.
- Things are looking good for Penn State. They had shown flashes of brilliance in certain areas in past games, but couldn’t but them all together until the Nugget Classic. As the Big Ten seems to get better and better, the Lady Lions will have to keep winning the tough ones like these.
- Nikki Greene and Talia East continue to share minutes, but it’s starting to work out. They both played well in the Nugget Classic.
- Where is Renee Womack? The Lady Lions’ senior guard has not been practicing since the start of the year due to undisclosed personals reasons. The guards have been fine without her, but she would still provide some depth to the front court.
Around the League
No. 6 Tennessee lost again, but it was to No. 1 Baylor this time. No. 15 Purdue remains undefeated (6-0) heading into their home matchup with No. 4 Texas A&M. The Big Ten has four undefeated teams right now: Michigan (7-0), Purdue, Nebraska (6-0), and Ohio State (5-0).
11/30 vs. No. 16 North Carolina - This is a very big one. Coach Coquese Washington has said that she’s excited for it, and considering the rankings of both teams, it could be one of the most exciting games the Lady Lions play all year. It’s also their first home game since Nov. 13.
12/3 at Texas Tech - Yet another tough road game for the Lady Lions. If they manage to win both of these games, they will probably begin Big Ten play with an 11-1 record judging by the remaining games on their schedule.