Aside from setting a pair of notable records in last week’s first game, it was an uneventful stretch for the Lady Lions, who cruised to two blowout wins.
Game #9: Lady Lions (7-2) defeat Virginia Tech (2-6), 66-28
Guard Alex Bentley notched career point number 1,000 in this throttling. Also, center Nikki Greene stepped up big time with 14 points and a season-low 2 personal fouls, and played very well defensively.
Virginia Tech is not a team that can score, but regardless of their scoring ability, the 28 points that the Lady Lions held them to is an impressive total. They did it by playing constant man-to-man defense, something coach Coquese Washington had toyed with but hadn’t relied on until this game. Obviously, it worked.
Not much else of note happened here - it was just a complete mismatch.
Game #10: Lady Lions (8-2) defeat Maryland-Eastern Shore (2-5), 76-51
Repeat last sentence. Maggie Lucas dropped 20 points after air-balling her first shot of the game. The Lady Lions switched between a man defense and a 2-3 zone formation for the game, which has been Washington’s usual play. Against such a weaker team, it hardly mattered what defense Penn State played.
By the way, it was pretty cool how Gizelle Studevent got a season-high in points (8) on her birthday in this game.
Player of the Week
Nikki Greene. Last week, I noted how the bigs had to stay out of foul trouble, especially with the injuries and lack of depth the Lady Lions have had. Greene did just that in the Lady Lions’ two games this week, fouling a combined five times while scoring 27 points.
I think the Lady Lions got a lot better through these two wins. Though the opponents were both weak, these were two of their most convincing wins of the season. Their biggest problem, defense, disappeared during the week, and they also made big strides forward in reducing the amount of fouls they committed. Definitely an impressive week.
Around the League
So much for No. 12 Purdue (7-3) being the new Big Ten powerhouse. It was a brutal week for the Boilermakers, as they dropped a home game to No. 3 Notre Dame and lost at Central Michigan. They should take a pretty big tumble in next week’s rankings since they’ve lost three of their last four. No. 13 Ohio State (8-0) will become the new highest-ranked Big Ten team, and it is foreseeable that they could begin Big Ten play with a 12-0 record.
Only one game this week as the Lady Lions take their finals.
12/18 vs. Wagner (2-7) - Should be another blowout.