WBB Get Important Win Against Michigan
The 25th-ranked Penn State women’s basketball team got a big win on Thursday against a tough Michigan team, 78-63. After losing its first two Big Ten home games, Penn State beat the Wolverines thanks to 22 points from Maggie Lucas and 15 from Zhaque Gray.
The Lady Lions (12-4, 2-2 Big Ten) led for most of the game, winning rather more easily than expected. Penn State shot 55.4 percent, while holding Michigan (13-4, 2-2) to just 34.3 percent. However, this win is not indicative of the Lady Lions’ season so far.
To this point in the season, the Lady Lions have been somewhat underwhelming. A loss to Delaware early in the season was unexpected, as was losing their first two Big Ten home games. Penn State has looked good in several games–most notably in a 103-84 victory over North Carolina–but many other times has struggled to beat teams that should not have been a challenge.
The problems the Lady Lions have faced may stem from Mia Nickson’s concussion problems this season. Ariel Edwards, Marisa Wolfe and Tori Waldner have played well in her stead, but Nickson at her best is a vital component to the Penn State offense. If Nickson returns to full form, Penn State will have another viable, consistent offensive option. This should take some pressure off of other players to score. She is also a force on the boards, grabbing eight on against Michigan to go along with six points.
The Lady Lions face one of the toughest parts of their schedule the next few weeks. They play five games, four of which are on the road. This includes a road game rematch against Nebraska. Much will be learned about this team over this 5-game span. If Penn State can win at least three of those games, the team may gather some confidence heading into the home stretch. This confidence will be important for the Lady Lions heading into post-season play.
Penn State begins its road journey against No. 23 Nebraska on January 15.