Lady Lions Open Season Ranked 12th
This year promises to be a breakthrough one for the Penn State Lady Lions basketball team, and the basketball writers of the Associated Press poll have recognized this.
In the AP’s annual preseason poll, the Lady Lions are ranked 12th, marking their first appearance in the preseason poll since the 2003-04 season. It’s also the highest the Lady Lions have been ranked since they slotted in 5th in the final poll of that same 2003-04 season.
The accolades don’t stop there, as Coach Coquese Washington’s squad is the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten Conference, voted as such by both the conference’s coaches and the media. Led by junior All-Big Ten guard and Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, Alex Bentley, the team is coming off a 25-10 (11-5 in Big Ten) record, and returns 4 starters and 10 letter-winners from last year’s tournament team.
Also returning to the starting lineup are junior All-Big Ten Defensive team center Nikki Greene, redshirt junior forward Mia Nickson, and senior guard Zhaque Gray. 2011’s Big Ten Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year Maggie Lucas also returns after a phenomenal rookie season.
Last year’s squad finished second in both the Big Ten regular season and tournament, but fell in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament to DePaul, by a narrow two point margin.
The Lady Lions will meet Bloomsburg in an exhibition on Saturday November 5 before the season opener in the Lady Lion Classic on Friday November 11 at 6 p.m. against Washington State at the Bryce Jordan Center.