Lady Lion Preview: @ Northwestern

<B>No. 23 Penn State @ Northwestern </B> <P><B>Welsh-Ryan Arena </B> <P><B>Game Time: 8:00 p.m., Thursday</B>

Records: Penn State 12-6, 7-0; Northwestern 4-16, 1-6.

Coaches: Rene Portland is 574-199 in her 25th season at Penn State and 661-228 overall. Beth Combs is 4-16 in her first season at Northwestern and 48-61 overall.

Series: Penn State leads the all-time series 21-4.

Last meeting: Penn State beat Northwestern 64-51 on Feb. 1 of last year.

Last time out: Penn State beat Michigan State 73-56 on Sunday while Northwestern lost to Ohio State 71-59 on the same day.

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

Next up: Penn State hosts Minnesota on Sunday while Northwestern hosts Purdue on the same day.

Probable Starters:

Penn State — G Jess Strom, 5-7 Sr. (14.9 ppg), G Tanisha Wright, 5-11 Sr. (20.2 ppg), G Jennifer Harris, 6-0 So. (12.4 ppg), F Ashli Schwab, 6-3 Sr. (6.3 ppg), F Amanda Brown, 6-4 So. (7.8 ppg).

Northwestern — G Samantha McComb, 5-8 Sr. (7.2 ppg), G Sara Stutz, 6-0 Fr. (7.8 ppg), F Ifeoma Okonkwo, 5-10 Jr. (12.6 ppg), F Melissa Miller, 6-1 Fr. (4.3 ppg), C Sarah Kwasinski, 6-4 Sr. (12.6 ppg).

Quick Quiz: How many consecutive wins do the Lady Lions have over Northwestern?

Penn State Notes:

• Wright was chosen as one of 20 players on the Wooden Women’s Award midseason watch list.

• Wright was also named Big Ten co-Player of the Week for the second straight week. She averaged 23 points per game in wins against Purdue and Michigan State.

• The Lady Lions are ranked (No. 23) for the first time since Nov. 15.

• Opponents are averaging 50.6 points per game against the Lady Lions in their last five games. The Lady Lions are 7-0 when allowing less than 60 points.

• Stat Watch: Penn State’s turnover margin is +1.17.

Northwestern Notes:

• The Wildcats are in a stretch that has them facing five straight ranked opponents.

• Northwestern’s opponents are averaging 6.6 more rebounds per game than the Wildcats. That is the worst margin of any Big Ten team.

• The Wildcats are 0-12 when they attempt less free throws than their opponent.

• Suzanne Morrison was Northwestern’s leading scorer before she went down with a knee injury on Dec. 14. She saw action for the first time in the Wildcats’ last game against Ohio State.

• Stat Watch: Northwestern’s turnover margin is -2.75, worst in the conference.

Quiz Answer: Penn State has beaten Northwestern 12 straight times.

FOS Prediction: Penn State 73, Northwestern 60

Comment: The only way the Wildcats can keep this game competitive is if Penn State looks ahead to Minnesota. Even then, it could be tough.


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