Lions & Wildcats Meet on ESPNU Thursday
Jan. 9, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., JAN. 9, 2013 - Penn State (8-6; 0-2 Big Ten) will look for its first Big Ten win of the season Thursday night in the Bryce Jordan Center when Northwestern (9-6; 0-2 Big Ten) comes to town for an 8:00 p.m. tip on ESPNU.
It will be "Dollar Dog Night" at the BJC and students can receive a free snapback hat while supplies last. All PNC bank cardholders can show their card at the gate and receive two tickets for $10.
Penn State has won 10 of the last 13 meetings with Northwestern and holds a 26-14 series lead, but the Wildcats won both meetings last year including a thrilling 67-66 victory decided in the closing seconds.
Penn State forward Ross Travis is coming off a 14-point performance vs. No. 5 Indiana in which he led the Lions in scoring for the first time on his career. He ranks fifth in the Big Ten posting 7.5 rpg.
Penn State has been having success with its guard play as junior Jermaine Marshall and sophomore D.J. Newbill form the second highest scoring tandem in the Big Ten. Newbill ranks seventh in the conference scoring 14.9 ppg while Marshall is eighth posting 14.6.
Northwestern has gone 2-3 since losing leading scorer and third-team All-Big Ten selection Drew Crawford to injury. The Wildcats are lead by senior Reggie Hearn who is posting 14.2 ppg. Five Wildcats players have 13 or more threes on the year and the Wildcats make 8.3 threes per game.
Penn State will hit the road this weekend for a Sunday contest at Purdue. The game will tip at noon on the Big Ten Network.
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 (8-6; 0-2 Big Ten) vs. NORTHWESTERN (9-6; 0-2 Big Ten)
THURSDAY, JAN. 10, 2013 @ 8:00 P.M. (ET)
BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.
TELEVISION: ESPNU: Dan Gutowski (pxp) & Adrian Branch (analyst)
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 20-26 (2nd at PSU); 62-54 (4th Overall)
NORTHWESTERN: Bill Carmody - 188-197 (13th Year at NU); 280-222 (17th Overall)
RPI: PSU: 124; NU: 101
PSU will hit the road for a weekend road game at Purdue. The Lions trail the series 11-27 and are 2-16 in West Lafayette, having not won there since a 69-60 victory in 2009, a string of six games. The teams split games last year with PSU taking a 65-45 victory in the BJC for Patrick Chambers first Big Ten win and Purdue winning 80-56 in Mackey Arena.
Penn State will continue a two-game Big Ten home stand on Thursday when it takes on Northwestern. The Lions lead the series 26-14 and are 15-3 vs. NU at home. Penn State has won 10 of the last 13 meetings, but the Wildcats won the last two meetings last year, including a controversial 67-66 victory in the Jordan Center on a late foul call and two free throws from then Wildcat senior John Shurna with three seconds to play. The Wildcats made 15 threes in that game. After posting four straight wins to end the non-conference season, Penn State opened Big Ten play with a pair of losses.
NOTES TO KNOW:
Coach Patrick Chambers twitter account (@Coach_Chambers) eclipsed 10K followers early this week. Chambers was ranked among the Top 25 most followed Division I basketball coaches, and fourth among Big Ten coaches, in a preseason survey by the basketball blog runthefloor.com. He has gained more than 1,000 followers since that survey.
D.J. Newbill is the only Big Ten player to rank in the Top 15 of the conference statistics in scoring (7th), assists (8th) and rebounding (11th). He scored his 500th career point vs. IU, but had a string of 10 straight double-digit scoring games snapped in the loss.
After posting 70+ points, its four highest scoring games on the season, and averaging 78.5 ppg in the final four non-conference games, Penn State has scored 51 points in each of its two Big Ten games on the year.
PSU grabbed a season high 17 offensive rebounds vs. Indiana, the 10th game with double-digit offensive boards. The Lions allowed IU just 7 offensive boards and lead the Big Ten collecting 75.9% of all defensive rebounds.
PSU had a string of seven straight games shooting over 40% broken when it managed just 31.7% shooting in a loss to Indiana.
Penn State had a season high 19 turnovers vs. Indiana and has committed 15 or more in each of the last three games.
Penn State state has suffered a 60-12 deficit in free throw attempts and 35-8 in free throw line scoring in its first two Big Ten games. PSU held a 282-279 advantage in free throw attempts during the non-conference season.
Ross Travis led Penn State in scoring for the first time in his career logging a season high equaling 14 points on a career high 17 field goal attempts vs. Indiana. He ranks 5th in the Big Ten in rebounding with 7.5 rpg and has five double-digit scoring games on the year.
D.J. Newbill leads Penn State with 89 free throw attempts and has gotten to the foul line at least once in 43 of 46 career games.
Jermaine Marshall has posted double-figure scoring in nine of his last 10 games. He leads the team with 24 threes and 26 steals.
Penn State went 6-2 in the eight non-con games after 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 early in the fourth game of the year.
Nick Colella is 11-of-24 (45.8%) from three over the last five games. He leads the Lions with 10 charges taken and 45 dives on the year.
Sasa Borovnjak posted double-digit scoring in three straight games to finish the non-con season, the best stretch of his career. He leads the team shooting 58.5% on the year.
Newbill (7th, 14.9 ppg) and Marshall (8th, 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 (29.5 ppg), behind Michigan's Trey Burke (3rd, 18.2) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (5th, 16.4), 34.6 ppg.
The Wildcats lost leading returning scorer and third-team All-Big Ten selection Drew Crawford to a shoulder injury after 10 games. NU has gone 2-3 since then, including an 0-2 start in Big Ten play with losses to Michigan (94-66) and at Minnesota (69-51). NU is 9-6 on the year and ranks among the bottom in the Big Ten in scoring (62.3), scoring defense (66.5) field goal percentage (42.5) and field goal percentage defense (41.7). Senior Reggie Hearn leads the team posting 14.2 ppg and transfer Jared Swopshire leads posting 5.9 rpg. Sophomore guard Dave Sobolewski ranks among the top five in the Big Ten in assists (4.4), posts 10.9 ppg, and is 26-of-59 (44.1%) from three. Five active players have 13 or more threes for NU which makes 8.3 per game, third in the Big Ten.
Junior Jermaine Marshall has emerged as not only one of Penn State's main weapons, scoring 14.6 ppg, but a primary ball handler, sharing duties at the point with D.J. Newbill, and a generator of turnovers, leading the team with 26 steals (4th in the Big Ten, 1.9 spg). He led Penn State in scoring in four straight games immediately following the injury to Tim Frazier and has led the team in points five times on the year, including 19 on 9-of-14 shooting in the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin. He logged a career high five assists vs. two turnovers in the win over Delaware State for his best floor game of the year and followed that with a career high five steals in the win over New Hampshire. Marshall is the Lions' leading active career scorer (discounting the injured Tim Frazier) with 611 points and three-point shooter with 72 career threes.
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 (7th, 14.9), assists (8th, 3.9) and rebounding (11th, 6.3). Working through growing pains at the position, he posted 10-straight double-digit scoring games (including three 20-point outings) since taking over, a streak snapped vs. Indiana. 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 fourth-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 of collegiate competition and plans to graduate in May. Since discussing the decision with coach Patrick Chambers, he has played the best basketball of his career. He posted three-straight double-digit scoring games in the final three non-conference 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 9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg and shooting 25-of-37 (67.6%) from the floor and 14-of-19 from the foul line in his last seven games after averaging 1.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg in his first seven games.
TRAVIS GETS AGGRESSIVE:
Ross Travis has staked a claim as one of the top rebounders in the Big Ten posting four double-digit rebounding games on the season, including 11 in the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin, to rank fifth in the Big Ten posting 7.5 rpg. Having worked hard on his jump shot in the off-season, he has also 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) and has five double-digit scoring games on the year (he posted five all of last season). He led Penn State in scoring for the first time on his career with 14 points vs. Indiana while taking a career high 17 field goal attempts. Travis scored eight of the Lions first 14 points at La Salle and seven of Penn State's first nine vs. Army and shot 11-of-22 (50%) combined in the games. Travis logged his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 boards vs. Army.
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. He leads the team shooting 39.2 percent (20-51) from three and has made at least one three in eight straight games and in 10 of 11 since taking on a larger role following Tim Frazier's injury. He is second on the team hitting 43.2 percent overall. His 20 threes rank second on the team. 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). Taylor's 14 points vs. Army and 10 vs. New Hampshire gave him five double-digit scoring outings on the year.
LAST TIME OUT: No. 5 INDIANA 74, PENN STATE 51, Jan. 7, 2013 Bryce Jordan Center
Penn State suffered its worst offensive performance in a month and committed a season-high 19 turnovers to help fuel an Indiana team that shot 52 percent and hit 8-of-16 from three. The Lions shot just 31 percent and 5-of-18 from three and saw IU post 19 points off turnovers. PSU won the rebounding battle, 35-33, and pulled 17 offensive boards, but couldn't convert enough to keep pace. Ross Travis led the Lions with 14 points and Jermaine Marshall had 11 and a team high seven rebounds. Four IU players scored in double figures led by Christian Watford with 16 and Cody Zeller with 15. Indiana jumped to an early 15-3 lead. A Travis three cut the lead to nine, but IU used a 10-2 run for a 25-8 lead and led by double-digits the rest of the way. The Lions got no closer than 14 in the second half as IU's lead hovered around 20 most of the half. Penn State forced IU into 12 second half turnovers (17 overall) and just 30 points, but committed 11 of its own and scored 24 points.
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.