Penn State Gameday: Illinois (Big Ten Tourney)
UNIVERSITY PARK – Postseason basketball has arrived as the Penn State women’s basketball program travels to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for a first-round matchup with Illinois on Wednesday (Feb. 28). The Lady Lions (15-14, 6-10 B1G) will face the Fighting Illini (9-21, 0-16 B1G) at approximately 4 p.m. ET, with the game airing on locally on WHVL.
The Big Ten Network production will be broadcast locally on WHVL with the captivating Lisa Byington calling the play-by-play alongside the magnificent Christy Winters-Scott. Remarkable basketball mind Vera Jones will patrol the sidelines for the telecast.
-Penn State and Illinois will meet for the 51st time, with the Lady Lions owning a 35-15 edge after collecting a 68-59 victory over the Fighting Illini on Jan. 23, 2018.
-This will mark the eighth meeting in the B1G Tournament between the two programs, as Penn State owns a 5-2 edge and has won two-straight game.
-Penn State is 10-5 all-time on Feb. 28, but have lost five of its last six games on the date. The Lady Lions have played three times in the B1G Tournament on the final day of the month, with two of those games coming against Illinois.
-Junior Teniya Page and redshirt-sophomore Amari Carter each earned All-Big Ten honors, with Page garnering first team (coaches) and second team (media) honors, while Carter was a second team (coaches) and honorable mention (media).
-Penn State currently ranks among the NCAA top-40 as a team in free throws attempted and free throws made, ranking No. 2 the Big Ten in both categories.
-Redshirt-sophomore Amari Carter posted her 22nd multi-steal game of the season against Ohio State on Feb. 25 and finished the regular season No. 2 in the Big Ten with 78 steals on the season.
-Junior Teniya Page joined an exclusive group of Lady Lions, as she is the fifth player in program history to score 1,500 points and hand out 300 assists in a career.
-Sophomore Jaida Travascio-Green made her 100th career 3-pointer at Purdue on Jan. 28, making her the 16th Lady Lion to reach the century mark from distance.
-A handful of Lady Lions posted career highs in a multitude of categories this season, including Siyeh Frazier and Jaylen Williams.
-Head coach Coquese Washington is looking for her 200th career victory, entering the game with 196 career wins.
-The Lady Lions played six Big Ten game against a ranked opponent this season, tying for the most games vs. ranked teams in its 26-year tenure in the conference.
-Penn State is one of 11 Division I programs to enter the 2017-18 season with zero seniors on its roster, including one of only two power five conference teams.
LAST FIVE GAMES
-Penn State is 1-4 over its last five games, with the lone victory coming over Northwestern, 67-59, on Valentine’s Day. Of those five games, four of them came against the top-five seeds in the B1G Tournament (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State).
-Looking at the three main statistical categories, Penn State is minus-12.4 in scoring margin, a minus-13.8 in rebounding margin, while owning a plus-4.8 edge in turnover margin.
-The Lady Lions have 48 steals (9.6 spg) over the last five games, including three games with 10-plus swipes.
-The 53 steals have helped Penn State force 81 turnovers (16.2 tpg) during that stretch, while committing just 57 missteps (11.4 tpg) of its own.
-Junior Teniya Page is averaging a team-best 19.8 points per game on 40 percent shooting (35-of-87).
-Redshirt-sophomore Amari Carter has logged a team-best 17 assists and 13 steals to go along with 13.4 points per game.
-In her last five games, Carter has turned the ball over just four times as the primary ball handler in the Lady Lion offense, giving her a 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio during that stretch.
-Freshman Alisia Smith made her first career start vs. Northwestern and has started two of the last five games, chipping in 6.2 points and a team-best 5.4 rebounds per game.
-Sophomore Siyeh Frazier has done a little bit of everything over the last five games, averaging 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.0 block per game.
-Illinois enters the Big Ten Tournament with a 9-21 overall record and finished with a 0-16 mark in Big Ten play. The Fighting Illini are in the midst of a 17-game losing streak, with their last win coming over Austin Peay on Dec. 16, 2017.
-The Illini sit among the top teams in the NCAA in blocked shots, ranking No. 48 nationally and No. 7 in the B1G with 128 rejections and No. 67 in Division I and No. 7 in the conference with 4.3 blocked shots per game.
-Illinois is connecting at a 73.8 percent clip from the free throw stripe to sit No. 66 nationally.