Lady Lions to Tussle with MSU

<B>Penn State vs. Michigan State <P>Big Ten Tournament <P>Conseco Fieldhouse <P>Game Time: 6 p.m., Sunday</B>

Records: Penn State 19-9, 13-3; Michigan State 26-3, 14-2

Coaches: Rene Portland is 581-202 in her 25th season at Penn State and 668-231 overall. Joanne P. McCallie is 94-55 in her fifth season at Michigan State and 261-128 overall.

Series: Penn State is 21-3 all-time against Michigan State.

Last meeting: Penn State beat Michigan State at the Bryce Jordan Center 73-56 Jan. 23

Last time out: Penn State beat Iowa 68-66 Friday while Michigan State beat Illinois 61-50 on the same day.

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 Ohio State-Minnesota for the championship Monday at 7 p.m.

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).

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 points did Wright and Strom combine for the first time these two teams met?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State put up 15 fast-break points in its win against Iowa.

• The Lady Lions overcame a double-digit second-half deficit to beat the Hawkeyes by two.

• Penn State has now advanced to the tournament's semifinals nine times in 11 years.

• This is only the second time in 11 years that the top four seeds have advanced to the semifinals

• The win against Iowa marks the first Lady Lions' game decided by three points or less this season.

• Stat Watch: Penn State hit 11 of 13 free throws against Iowa

Michigan State Notes:

• It took overtime for the Spartans to defeat the Illini in the second round. Michigan State outscored Illinois 11-0 in the extra period.

• The Spartans are 3-0 in overtime games this season.

• Roehrig led the Spartans with 15 points and 11 rebounds against Illinois, posting her seventh double-double of the season and the 12th of her career.

• The Spartans were out-rebounded by the Lady Lions 40-31 in the teams' first meeting.

• Michigan State limited Illinois to 32 percent from the field Friday.

• Stat Watch: Michigan State hit 8 of 14 free throws against Illinois.

Quiz Answer: Wright and Strom both poured in 24 points to combine for 48 in the Lady Lions' win.

FOS Prediction: Michigan State 70, Penn State 67

Comment: The Spartans' loss to the Lady Lions earlier this season cost them the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Michigan State's experience in close games will give it an edge.

FOS Prediction Record: 12-2.


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