To say that the Michigan women’s basketball team has played poorly over the course of its seven-game losing streak would be a gross understatement.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, things won’t to get any easier for them tonight in State College, where Michigan takes on No. 13 Penn State.

The teams’ first meeting this season came on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Lady Lions defeated the Wolverines 72-70 following a bucket with just six seconds remaining. Since then, the season has gone straight downhill for the Wolverines, and their loss to Penn State was the start of their current seven-game streak.

In Sunday’s 82-55 thumping at the hands of rival Michigan State, the Wolverines had trouble getting off quality shots all afternoon against the Spartans’ zone. But compared to Penn State’s intense zone, Michigan State’s zone is just mediocre.

Michigan forward Jennifer Smith was a force on the inside against the Spartans, lighting them up for 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting. But Smith was the only one who could get anything done offensively, and this ultimately killed Michigan. If the Wolverines hope to have any chance in Happy Valley tonight, they will need to penetrate the lane for easy jumpers, and work the high-low game with Smith to perfection.

“Coach asked me if I wanted to be the go-to player, and I said I wanted to be all along,” Smith said Tuesday. “Along with that, when I get the ball, I know I want to shoot, and I have the mentality that I can shoot and make the basket.”

Leading the Penn State attack is junior guard Kelly Mazzante, a favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year. Mazzante, who is averaging 24.7 points per game this season, was held to just 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting earlier this season against Michigan. But it’s not often that Mazzante shoots just 33 percent from the floor, and Guevara knows that she will be making more shots tonight.

“I think the rims at (the) Bryce Jordan (Center) are going to be a little more friendly to her than here at Crisler.

“Mazzante’s such a dangerous weapon that sometimes you focus too much on her, and you have a (junior Jessica) Brungo and a (sophomore Jess) Strom. There’s a lot of weapons, and we’re just going have to try and not let them get their averages.”

As Guevara indicated, in addition to containing Mazzante, the Wolverines will have their hands full with Penn State’s role players. Brungo, who torched the Wolverines for 25 points in their last meeting, is averaging 12 points per game this year, while Strom has averaged 11 points per game in Big Ten play.

Their last time out, the Lady Lions were defeated by Iowa 80-75, and Guevara knows Penn State will be hungry to make up for that loss.

“(Penn State coach Rene Portland) will have those kids ready to roll, especially after the disappointing loss they had at Iowa,” Guevara said. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded Nittany Lion, (except) maybe a wounded Wolverine.”

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