Lions Open Big Ten At Wisconsin

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D.J. Newbill posted 23 points and 12 rebounds in his last outing vs. Duquesne.


D.J. Newbill posted 23 points and 12 rebounds in his last outing vs. Duquesne.

Jan. 1, 2013

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Starting Five - Breaking Down the Big Ten Opener

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., JAN. 1, 2013 - Riding a four-game win streak and its best offensive performances of the season, Penn State (8-4) will embark on its 21st Big Ten Conference season Thursday when they take on Wisconsin (9-4) in Madison in an 8:30 p.m. (ET) tip on the Big Ten Network.

The Lions will open Big Ten play on the road for the fourth straight season and are 7-13 all-time in Big Ten openers having won four of the last six. Penn State has lost in its last 14 trips to Madison and has never won in the Kohl Center, the Badgers' home court.

Penn State posted its fourth straight game scoring 70 or more points and its highest point total in four seasons with an 84-74 victory over Duquesne that saw the Lions close out the non-conference campaign going 6-2 since losing leading scorer Tim Frazier to an Achilles injury. The Lions equaled their non-conference win total from last season of eight, despite losing Frazier five minutes into the fourth game of the season.

 

 

Sophomore D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) has raised his game in Frazier's absence posting his first double-double in a Lion uniform with 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. the Dukes. Newbill enters conference play as the only Big Ten player to rank in the top 15 of the conference statistics in scoring (6th, 15.8), assists (7th, 3.9) and rebounds (14th, 6.2).

Senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) posted a career high 15 points on a career-best 5-of-7 from three vs. Dukes and has raised his play shooting 55 percent from three (11-20) over the last for games to score 9.0 ppg.

Wisconsin brings a three-game win streak into the conference opener, rolling past their last three opponents at home to improve to 174-16 in home games under coach Bo Ryan. The Badgers are led by senior forward Jared Berggren who is posting 13.4 ppg and leads the Big Ten blocking 1.9 shots per game.

Penn State will return to the Jordan Center on Monday when they will take on No. 5 Indiana in a 7:00 p.m. tip.

Single game tickets for men's basketball are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting GoPSUsports.com/tickets or Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets for Nittany Lion games are $24 for lower bowl seats between the baselines, $18 for the lower bowl behind the baskets and upper level between the baselines and $15 for upper level behind the basket seats for adults and seniors. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $10, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5.

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist (@PSUSTRETCH) and the official Penn State men's basketball handle (@PennStateMBB) on Twitter and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.

PENN STATE (8-4; 0-0 Big Ten) at WISCONSIN (9-4; 0-0 Big Ten)

THURSDAY, JAN. 3, 2013 @ 8:30 P.M. (ET)

KOHL CENTER (17,230)

MADISON, WISCONSIN

GAME INFO

TELEVISION: BTN: Dave Revsine (pxp) & Mike Kelley (analyst)

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)

Sirius/XM: 134/193

LIVE STATS:

GAMETRACKER | ALL-ACCESS AUDIO

COACHES:

PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 20-24 (2nd at PSU); 62-52 (4th Overall)

WISCONSIN: Bo Ryan - 277-105 (12th at UW); 660-208 (29th Overall)

RPI: PSU: 121 ; WIS: 144

NEXT UP:

PSU will return for two games at the BJC as the spring semester begins, starting Monday vs. Indiana. The Hoosiers won three meetings last year, including 75-58 in the Big Ten Tournament. IU owns a 31-9 lead in the series, but Penn State has won six of the last 10 meetings. IU won a thrilling 88-82 game hitting 16 threes last year in the BJC.

PURDUE TIP SET:

Penn State's game at Purdue on Sunday, Jan. 13 has been set for a noon (ET) tip on the Big Ten Network.

THE GAME:

Riding a four-game win streak with its four highest scoring games of the season, Penn State will open its 21st season of Big Ten play at Wisconsin. It marks the fourth straight season Penn State has opened Big Ten play on the road. PSU is 7-13 all-time in Big Ten openers, having won four of the last six, and 3-9 in road Big Ten openers. The Lions are 10-28 all-time vs. Wisconsin and 2-16 in Madison. PSU has never won in the Kohl Center and has not won in Madison since 1995, a string of 14-straight games. The Badgers posted a 65-55 win in Madison and a 52-46 win in State College last year. The Lions last downed UW with a 36-33 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. Penn State has won three Big Ten openers on the road, the last coming 69-60 at Indiana in 2011. The Lions lost 71-53 at Michigan to open the 2012 Conference campaign.

OFFENSE CLICKING WITH FOUR STRAIGHT 70-POINT GAMES:

Penn State has posted its four best point (78, 80, 72 & 84) and assist totals (13, 15, 13 & 12) of the season in the last four games and three of its top for shooting games. The Lions are shooting 47% and scoring 78.5 ppg in the last four outings, an increase of nearly 20 ppg over their 58.9 ppg average over the first eight games of the year. PSU has posted six straight games shooting over 40% after shooting under 40% in the first six games of the season and scoring more than 61 points just once (65). The Lions' streak of four straight games of 70+ points is their longest since posting seven in November and December of 2008.

NOTES TO KNOW:

• Penn State is 6-2 in the eight games since losing do-everything guard Tim Frazier to a season-ending Achilles injury. The Lions 8-4 record in the non-con season equaled their win total from last year (8-5), despite losing Frazier five minutes into the fourth game of the year.

• Penn State brings a four-game win streak, its longest in two seasons under coach Patrick Chambers, into Thursday and has won five-straight at home going 7-1 at home on the year.

• Penn State shot a season-best 40% from three (8-20) making a season high 8 vs. Duquesne. The Lions are shooting 36.7% from three in the last four games after hitting 25% in their first eight on the year.

• Penn State eclipsed 70 points for the fourth straight game in the win vs. Duquesne and its 84 points marked the Lions most since posting 104 vs. Gardner-Webb in 2009.

• Penn State out-rebounded Duquesne 50-28 (+22), posting its most rebounds since logging 52 vs. UMBC in 2009. The Lions season-high equaling 16 offensive boards produced a 23-7 advantage in second chance points.

• Penn State got a season high 25 points off the bench vs. Duquesne, led by a career-best 15 from Nick Colella on a career-best 5-of-7 from three. Colella is a team best 11-of-20 (55%) from three over the last four games, posting 9.0 ppg.

D.J. Newbill posted a career high 23 points vs. Duquesne and added 12 rebounds and five assists for his first double-double at Penn State and seventh of his career. Newbill is posting team highs of 18.5 ppg and 7.3 rpg over the last four games while going 28-of-39 at the foul line. He is the only Big Ten player to rank in the Top 15 of the conference statistics in scoring (6th), assists (7th) and rebounding (14th).

• Newbill's four 20-point games on the year rank tied for third in the Big Ten and his seven career double-doubles are tied for third-most among active Big Ten players.

Sasa Borovnjak has posted double-digit scoring in three straight games, including 14 vs. Duquesne, the best stretch of his career. He is posting 10.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg in the last five outings while shooting 70%.

• Big Minutes: D.J. Newbill ranks second (35.6) and Jermaine Marshall fifth (34.0) in minutes played in the Big Ten as the pair serve as the primary ball handlers and scorers.

• Newbill (6th, 15.8 ppg) and Marshall (9th, 14.6 ppg) are one of two sets of teammates to rank in the Top 10 in scoring in the Big Ten, and the 2nd highest scoring backcourt (30.4 ppg), behind Michigan's Trey Burke (3rd, 17.8) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (5th, 15.8), 33.6 ppg.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN:

The Badgers are 9-4 and bring a three-game win streak into the Big Ten opener having rolled past their last three opponents at home after falling at Marquette (60-50). They have one loss at home on the year, falling to Virginia (60-54) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and are 174-16 at home under Bo Ryan. The Badgers shot 52% and hit 12-of-22 from three in their last outing, led by a 4-4 effort from 6-11 Frank Kaminsky. UW is posting 73.2 ppg led by 13.4 ppg from senior Jared Berggren who also leads the Big Ten with 1.9 blocks per game. UW has three senior starters. The Badgers take care of the ball committing just 9.2 turnovers per game and ranking second in the Big Ten with a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio. They also rank second allowing just 56.3 ppg.

FILLING IN FOR FRAZIER:

Since losing Tim Frazier and his 21.7 ppg to injury in the fourth game, Penn State has actually improved its scoring average (58.8 ppg to 68.8 ppg) and shooting percentage (35.3% to 43.5%) over the last eight games while going 6-2. Jermaine Marshall has made the biggest increase since the loss of Frazier improving his scoring average by 6.5 ppg (10.3 to 16.8) and his shooting percentage from 30.6% to 44.0% (22.6% to 40.5% from three) and seeing his assists rise dramatically from 0.7 apg to 3.0 apg. Freshman Brandon Taylor also has increased his scoring from 4.0 ppg to 9.0 ppg (+5.0) and Sasa Borovnjak from 1.5 ppg to 7.1 ppg (+5.6).

BENCH PRODUCTION:

After getting 6.7 ppg from its bench over the first seven games, Penn State's bench has produced double-digit scoring in each of the last five including season highs of 20 points vs. New Hampshire and 25 vs. Duquesne to average 16.6 ppg over the last five outings. Much of that due to the increased production from senior Nick Colella and freshman Donovon Jack.

NEWBILL ON POINT:

D.J. Newbill, a natural off-guard, has taken over point guard duties since the injury to Tim Frazier in the fourth game of the season. He is logging big minutes at the position playing 35.6 per game to rank second in the Big Ten. He is the only Big Ten player to rank in the Top 15 of the conference statistics in scoring (6th, 15.8), assists (7th, 3.9) and rebounding (14th, 6.2). Working through growing pains at the position, he has posted nine-straight double-digit scoring games (including three 20-point outings) since taking over and is averaging 16.4 ppg and 4.6 apg with a 1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio since moving to the point. He has led the Lions in scoring four times since Frazier's injury, posting career highs on three occasions including a 23-point, 12-rebound effort vs. Duquesne for his first double-double at Penn State and seventh of his career. His four 20-point outings on the year are tied for the third-most in the Big Ten.

BOROVNJAK BREAKING OUT IN FINAL CAMPAIGN:

Senior Sasa Borovnjak, who is in his fourth year in the program but redshirted the 2010-11 campaign due to a knee injury suffered prior to the season and is eligible for a fifth season of eligibility, has made the decision to make this his final season of competition for the Nittany Lions and plans to graduate in May. Since discussing the decision with coach Patrick Chambers, he has played the best basketball of his career. He has posted three-straight double-digit scoring games in his last three outings culminating with 14, one shy of a career high, vs. Duquesne on 7-of-9 shooting. He tied a career high with eight rebounds for the second time in three games vs. Delaware State and added 14 points on a career best 8-of-10 from the foul line for the best statistical game of his career. He followed with 11 points and four boards vs. New Hampshire for the first back-to-back double-digit scoring games of his career. He is averaging 10.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg and shooting 19-of-27 (70.4%) from the floor and 13-of-18 from the foul line in his last five games after averaging 1.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg in his first seven games.

TRAVIS GETS AGGRESSIVE:

Ross Travis asserted himself offensively posting back-to-back double-digit scoring outings for the first time in his career with 12 points at La Salle and 14 vs. Army, one shy of his career high. Travis scored eight of the Lions first 14 points at La Salle, as he started 3-of-4 from the floor, and seven of Penn State's first nine in a 3-for-3 start vs. Army. He posted a career high in field goals (6) at La Salle and career highs in field goal attempts (11) in both games while shooting 11-of-22 (50%) combined. Travis logged his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 boards vs. Army and is averaging nearly a double-double (7.8 ppg & 8.0 rpg) in eight games since Tim Frazier went down with injury.

TAYLOR LEADING THREE-POINT SHOOTER:

Freshman Brandon Taylor has proven to be an efficient offensive performer early in his career. He led Penn State shooting 58.3 percent (7-12) to average 5.3 ppg in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and is now leading the team shooting 37.8 percent (17-45) from three and is second hitting 43.7 percent overall. He posted back-to-back double-digit outings vs. Akron and Bucknell (hitting 62.5 percent (6-12 from three) while averaging 13.0 ppg) before running into foul trouble and having his minutes limited in a three-point outing vs. Boston College. Taylor's 14 points vs. Army and 10 vs. New Hampshire gave him five double-digit scoring outings on the year.

COLELLA COMING ON:

After a rough start to the season that saw him shoot 5-of-27 from three in the first eight games, senior Nick Colella has found his shot going a team-best 11-of-20 (55%) from three over the last four games to average 9.0 ppg. Included in that effort is a career high 15 points on a career-best 5-of-7 from three and a career-best four boards in the win vs. Duquesne. His five threes marked the most by a PSU player on the season.

LAST TIME OUT: PENN STATE 84, DUQUESNE 74, Dec. 29, 2012 • Bryce Jordan Center

Penn State posted its highest point total in four seasons and its fourth straight game of 70 points as the Lions built a 22-point second half lead and then held off a Duquesne surge to win by 10. D.J. Newbill led the way with a career high 23 points to go with 12 rebounds and five assists while Nick Colella posted a career high 15 points on 5-of-7 from three and Sasa Borovnjak added 14 points. The Lions dominated the glass posting a 50-28 rebound advantage and turned 16 offensive boards into a 23-7 advantage in second chance points. The Lions went 26-of-36 at the foul line led by Newbill's 12-of-16 effort in a game that saw 54 fouls. The Lions used an 11-0 run to pull ahead in the first half and led 39-28 at the break. Another second half 11-0 run put PSU up 63-42, but the Dukes mounted a 12-2 run to get within 11 and closed to within five, 79-74, with 56 seconds to play before the Lions shut the door at the foul line.

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.

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