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Maryland women's basketball preview: Terps return to the floor against Penn State

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After a snowy week off, the Terps are back in action against the Nittany Lions.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, a sizeable portion of the east coast of the United States was bombarded and paralyzed by a derivative of water known as "snow." Among the less severe (but more relevant to this site) consequences of Winter Storm Jonas was that several sporting events had to be postponed because nobody could safely travel to the intended venue.

Maryland women's basketball, for instance, first rescheduled and later postponed its game against Michigan State. In efforts to accommodate the contest's move to Monday evening, the Penn State game was also moved back a day. Score one for chaos.

But finally, after a full week off, the No. 5 Terps will return to action Wednesday night in University Park. The game tips off at 7 p.m. EST and can be streamed via BTN Plus.

When last we left them, the team overcame a slow start and took control of the game against Wisconsin, ultimately recording a 90-65 victory. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones each scored 22 points, and Walker-Kimbrough was 6-of-6 from 3-point range. If you believe in numbers, she's the nation's best 3-point shooter by a wide margin, having made 38 of 64 (59.4 percent) of her attempts this season. However, to qualify in this category, players need to make 2 such shots per game, and the junior is right on that number. Jones, meanwhile, leads the country with a 67.7 field goal percentage.

Penn State isn't expected to offer much competition for the Terps, but there are no guarantees conference play. The Nittany Lions were one of the nation's best teams a few years ago, but torpedoed last year and are rebuilding. They currently have a tiny 3-guard starting lineup and a relatively young core, but there's definitely talent to be seen.

Penn State Nittany Lions (8-11, 3-5 B1G)

The coach

Coquese Washington, in her ninth year. She has a career 156-116 record, and was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in both 2013 and 2014. In her time at the helm, the Nittany Lions made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2011-14, but last season they went 6-24. Yikes.

Players to know

Teniya Page, freshman, guard, 5'7, No. 11. One of the nation's premier point guards coming out of high school, Page has stepped right in and become the team's primary scorer and ball-handler. She's averaging 16.1 points and 3.5 assists per game this year. In conference play, she's up to 19.5 ppg, thanks in part to a stellar 46.9 percent mark from downtown.

Brianna Banks, redshirt senior, guard, 5'9, No. 3. A UConn transfer that played three years and won two titles with the Huskies. After sitting out last season, she has averaged 13.9 ppg (15.8 in B1G games) for Penn State.

Lindsey Spann, redshirt sophomore, guard, 5'6, No. 12. Another guard that averages double-digit points. Spann is also the team's highest-volume 3-point shooter by far, but only makes 33.1 percent of them.

Strength

Rim protection. The Lions' 3.9 blocks per game put them in the 66th percentile of Division I (which sounds a lot better than "119th in the country"). On the other end, they only get blocked 2.7 times per game. Candice Agee, a 6'6 center off the bench, leads the team with 25 swats.

Weakness

Frontcourt scoring. You may have noticed that the three "players to know" were all shorter than 5'10. The Nittany Lions do have forwards and centers, but none of them are crazy scoring threats. With Jones and Howard roaming around the low post for the Terps, expect Penn State to hoist up a lot of jump shots.

Prediction

Maryland, 88-62.