Penn State will look to steady the ship with a road win against Northwestern as the final stretch of the season commences.
The Lady Lions travel to Evanston, Illinois in hopes of ending a four game losing streak when they will face a Wildcats at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Northwestern has found much more success in conference matchups than Penn State this season. Sitting at 7-6, the Wildcats hold notable wins against Michigan State and Indiana, both of which were ranked in the top 25 at the time of the upset.
Dating back to January 24, the Lady Lions have only one win in their last seven contests -- a stretch that has seen their Big Ten record fall to 3-9 and into the bottom three of the conference standings.
Penn State’s four game losing streak is currently the largest losing streak in the Big Ten, but Northwestern isn’t coming into this matchup on the best form either. The Wildcats have lost their last two games and will be looking to bounce back at home.
Lindsey Pulliam is Northwestern’s leading scorer, averaging 16.4 points per game and Pulliam is one of three starters who averages double digit points, along with Abi Scheid and Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah.
Pulliam has been most effective when she is able to get to the foul line. She leads the team in free throw attempts, but has struggled shooting from the floor.
Pulliam has not been a threat from deep on the season, shooting a mere 18.5 percent, and hasn’t been efficient from the field in general, shooting just 38 percent.
If Penn State is able to defend Pulliam without fouling, it will bode well for its chances of keeping the Wildcats’ leading scorer quiet.
The Lady Lions have their own shooting problems though. They haven’t been able to keep up with opponents who shoot the three pointer at a high rate.
Penn State has shot just 29 percent from beyond the arc on the season while its opponents have shot nearly 34 percent.
Northwestern isn’t exactly a team of sharpshooters -- shooting just under 31 percent from three -- so that bodes well for the visitors who depend mostly on getting to the foul line and a dominant performance from their star Teniya Page.
Page is the most talented individual in this matchup, averaging 19.7 points per game Page will have to put on another great performance for the Lady Lions to have a chance to come away with a road victory.