Lady Lion Preview: No. 8 MSU

<B>No. 8 Michigan State @ Penn State <P>Bryce Jordan Center <P>Game Time: 1:00 p.m. Sunday</B>

Records: Penn State 11-6, 6-0; Michigan State 16-2, 5-1.

Coaches: Rene Portland is 573-199 in her 25th season at Penn State and 660-228 overall. Joanne P. McCallie is 84-54 in her fifth season at Michigan State and 251-127 overall.

Series: Penn State leads the all-time series 20-3.

Last meeting: Penn State beat the Spartans 58-54 in the semifinals of last year’s Big Ten tournament.

Last time out: Penn State beat Purdue 77-54 on Thursday, while the Spartans beat Illinois 62-42 on Wednesday.

TV: Fox Sports Net Chicago will air the game live while FSN Pittsburgh will air the game at 2:30 p.m.

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Jerry Fisher, Matt McDonald)

Next up: Penn State travels to Northwestern on Thursday and Michigan State hosts Purdue on Wednesday.

Probable Starters:

Penn State — G Jess Strom, 5-7 Sr. (14.4 ppg), G Tanisha Wright, 5-11 Sr. (20.0 ppg), G Jennifer Harris, 6-0 So. (13.0 ppg), F Ashli Schwab, 6-3 Sr. (6.2 ppg), F Amanda Brown, 6-4 So. (7.9 ppg).

Michigan State — G Victoria Lucas-Perry, 5-9 So. (6.2 ppg), G Lindsay Bowen, 5-7 Jr. (15.1 ppg), G Kristin Haynie, 5-8 Sr. (10.1 ppg), F Liz Shimek, 6-1 Jr. (14.7 ppg), C Kelly Roehrig, 6-4 Sr. (14.7 ppg).

Quick Quiz: How many times has Portland won Big Ten Coach of the Year?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State will recognize Portland’s 25th year with the program before the game. “My family will be here,” Portland said. “The older children are flying in from Florida. And, you know, it will be nice to have them, but there’s going to be a moment when I shoo them off the court and say, ‘Let’s get ready for Michigan State.’”

• The Lady Lions have outscored their opponents 128-66 in the second half over the last three games.

• Penn State is allowing an average of 49.3 points per game in its last four contests.

• Wright is the only player in the conference ranked in the top 10 in both points and assists.

• Stat Watch: The Lady Lions are averaging 1.3 more rebounds per game than their opponents.

Michigan State Notes:

• The Spartans are atop the Big Ten in steals (10.61 per game) and offensive rebounds (16.89 per game).

• Michigan State has proven it can win on the road against strong opponents. Already this year, the Spartans have won at No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 11 Connecticut. They are 6-1 on the road for the season.

• The Spartans’ 16-2 start is the best in school history.

• Michigan State dropped all three of its games against Penn State last year.

• Stat Watch: The Spartans are averaging 9.6 more rebounds per game than their opponents.

Quiz Answer: Portland has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times.

FOS Prediction: Penn State 68, Michigan State 63.

Comment: Until a team proves it can beat the Lady Lions at the BJC, they have to be considered a favorite for every home game.


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