Lady Lions ready to tip off at Big Tens

<P><B>No. 23 Penn State vs. Iowa <P>Big Ten Tournament <P>Conseco Fieldhouse <P>Game Time: 8:30 p.m., Friday</B>

Records: Penn State 18-9, 13-3; Iowa 20-8, 9-8.

Coaches: Rene Portland is 580-202 in her 25th season at Penn State and 667-231 overall. Lisa Bluder is 93-57 in her fifth year at Iowa and 449-199 overall.

Series: Penn State is 16-11 all-time against Iowa.

Last meeting: Penn State beat Iowa on the road 77-71 Jan. 6.

Last time out: Penn State fell to Ohio State in its regular season finale 68-59 while Iowa beat Michigan 70-42 in an opening-round tourney game Thursday night.

TV: FSN Pittsburgh and FSN Chicago

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

Next up: The winner of this game faces the winner of Michigan State-Illinois Sunday.

Probable Starters:

Penn State - G Jess Strom, 5-7 Sr. (15.4 ppg), G Tanisha Wright, 5-11 Sr. (19.6 ppg), G Jennifer Brenden, 5-10 Sr. (4.4 ppg), F Ashli Schwab, 6-3 Sr. (6.2 ppg), F Amanda Brown, 6-4 So. (7.0 ppg).

Iowa - G Jenna Armstrong, 5-9 Sr. (6.3 ppg), G Crystal Smith, 5-6 Jr. (13.7 ppg), F Johanna Solverson, 6-2 Jr. (10.7 ppg), F Krista VandeVenter, 6-2 Fr. (7.4), C Jamie Cavey, 6-3 Sr. (16.4).

Quick Quiz: When did the Lady Lions last win the Big Ten tournament?

Penn State Notes:

• Iowa was the nation's last unbeaten team before Penn State beat the Hawkeyes in January.

• Strom set a career-high with 29 points, including five 3-pointers, against Iowa earlier this season.

• Last year, Penn State lost in the finals of the tournament to Purdue, 59-58.

• The Lady Lions are 5-2 following a loss this season. They have not lost back-to-back contests since November.

• Penn State was 6-6 before its first meeting against Iowa, but went on to win seven of its next eight after the win.

• Stat Watch: Penn State hit 13 of 16 free throws against Iowa in the first meeting.

Iowa Notes:

• Bluder said Iowa is no longer playing for just a berth in the NCAA tournament. “I think that we're in the NCAAs,” she said. “I believe that with all my heart. I believe that what we're playing for now is a higher seed."

• Smith led the Hawkeyes with 23 points in their victory against Michigan, while Cavey added 15.

• Iowa's 28-point win against the Wolverines was its largest margin of victory all season.

• The Hawkeyes have only faced Penn State once in the Big Ten tournament and lost that contest in 1995.

• Cavey is first all-time in career field goal percentage (58 percent) at Iowa.

• The Hawkeyes were 13-0 before meeting Penn State earlier this season, but the loss began a streak where Iowa lost eight of 11 games.

• Stat Watch: Iowa shot 14 of 23 from the charity stripe the first time the two teams met.

Quiz Answer: 1996.

FOS Prediction: Penn State 71, Iowa 66

Comment: Look for the Lady Lions to bounce back from their loss to Ohio State. Iowa will need Cavey to put up big numbers for the Hawkeyes to advance.

FOS Prediction Record: 11-2.


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