Penn State vs. LIU Women’s Basketball Preview
For the first time in both schools’ history, the Penn State Lady Lions will take on the Long Island University Sharks at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Both squads return a large chunk of leading scorers including eight of nine for the Lady Lions and four of five for the Sharks.
Long Island only played against competition from the Northeast Conference last season, so it will be interesting to see how it matches up with a team from the Big Ten.
The Sharks record against their conference and overall was 7-11. Meanwhile, the Lady Lions are 15-1 all-time against opponents from the Northeast Conference.
Penn State is led on the sideline by third-year head coach Carolyn Kieger who is looking to push her squad to new heights in an ultra-competitive Big Ten.
There are five Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason AP poll, none being Penn State. All five squads (Maryland, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan) are ranked inside the top 20.
The talent of the Big Ten makes it extremely important for the Lady Lions to start their season strong with the non-conference schedule.
Penn State’s first three matchups are all at the Bryce Jordan Center against non-conference opponents. The blue and white will not take on a fellow member of the Big Ten until early December when the Lady Lions travel to Indiana.
On the court, Penn State will be led by last year’s Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Maddie Burke. Burke also received Big Ten All-Freshman team honors and averaged just under nine points a game in a mix of starts and coming off the bench.
The Lady Lions will also have the return of graduate transfer and star player Kelly Jekot to look forward to. Jekot was the team’s leading scorer averaging around 16 points per game last season before suffering a season-ending injury.
Another veteran presence the Lady Lions are happy to have back is that of guard Niya Beverley. Beverley was not eligible to go last year until Big Ten play began but started in 14 of 19 games averaging nine points per game and shooting above 40% from 3-point range.
The Long Island University Sharks were recently picked to finish ninth in the Northeast conference in the NEC women’s basketball preseason poll.
They are led by third-year head coach Rene Haynes who has been improving her team slightly over the last couple of years.
In the 2019-2020 season, the Sharks were 8-22, but last season they were 7-11. Haynes will attempt to continually improve the Sharks with the return of nonconference play for this season.
Tuesday night will tip off the season for two teams on the rise with high aspirations. However, only one squad will get to begin the season in the win column.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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