Here are some sometimes-random, sometimes-visionary things that I noticed or thought during and after the Lady Lions’ 76-44 destruction of Indiana on Thursday night.
Nikki Greene smells blood whenever she sees Hoosiers. Let’s see. Tonight, she notched a season-high in points with 17, and she played a mere 25 minutes. Last time out against Indiana (which was last season), Greene scored the go-ahead basket with 40 seconds left in the midst of a 18-5 run that was necessary to take the late, 80-77 win. And, the time before that, the 6-foot-4 junior collected a career-high in rebounds with twenty of ‘em. Not bad.
Maggie Lucas can flat out ball
Like Coquese Washington said after the win, “She’s just a doggone good player.” She’s quite right. The sophomore guard is eight points away from scoring the 1,000th point of her career. Only two Penn State players have ever done that. Though Alex Bentley might be the “energizer bunny” (another Washington quote) of the team, it wouldn’t be where it is right now without Lucas.
Indiana just isn’t a very quick basketball team. They have not won a Big Ten game yet because they’re just so slow to transition. They’re a young team, so there’s some leeway there, but they need to play with more effort and agility.
More classic Washington-Bentley antics
The Washington-Bentley dynamic is so fun to watch. They clearly love each other, but when Bentley isn’t playing to her potential, Washington just burns her for it. Tonight, Bentley had a dirty block-pass to Lucas, who drained a 3-pointer. However, Bentley turned away from the basket after Lucas shot, just to add a little swag. When Indiana immediately called a timeout, Washington was none too happy with her prodigy, getting right in her face. Even in the post-game presser, Washington didn’t mince words. “Up to that point, I didn’t think we were playing very smart basketball on the offensive end,” Washington said. “The biggest advantage we had was inside. It’s her job as the point guard to make sure she manages the team right and manages the team the way we needed it to be managed for that game, so I wasn’t really happy with her management of the team up to that point.” Classic.