Penn State Takes On Minnesota Sunday

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Billy Oliver leads Penn State with 34 threes.


Billy Oliver leads Penn State with 34 threes.

Jan. 14, 2012

Game Notes vs. Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader

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THON DAY (all student single-game tickets benefit THON 2012)

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., JAN. 14, 2012 - Penn State (9-9; 1-4 Big Ten) will return to the Bryce Jordan Center Sunday to take on Minnesota (13-5; 1-4 Big Ten), which is coming off a 77-74 upset of No. 7 Indiana in Bloomington. The Nittany Lions nearly knocked off Indiana before falling 88-82 in their last Jordan Center appearance and Penn State is averaging 71 points per game on its home court this season.

The game will tip off at 4:00 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network and can be heard across Pennsylvania on the Penn State Sports Network.

It will be THON Day at the Jordan Center with Penn State welcoming 49 Four Diamonds Families to the game and all proceeds from $5 student single game tickets going to support THON 2012. Fans will also receive a Penn State Basketball Snow Globe at the gates while supplies last and all Penn State alumni can get a $5 ticket at the door when presenting a valid Alumni Association ID. It is also a Subway Full Court 4-Pack game with fans getting four reserved game tickets, one voucher good for four 6-inch subs at any of seven State College Subway locations, and one voucher good for four soft drinks at the BJC, for just $40! Penn State players will also hold an autograph session on the concourse following the game.

Junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) is coming of a career-high 30 points in the Lions loss at Nebraska on Wednesday and enters Sunday's contest tied atop the Big Ten scoring stats in conference games posting 20.4 ppg in five Big Ten contests to date. Frazier's eight 20-point or better games on the season lead all Big Ten players and he is one of two Big Six conference players to rank in the top five of scoring, assists and steals in their respective conference's statistics.

Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday for a 9:00 p.m. tip vs. Illinoi on ESPN2.


PENN STATE (9-9; 1-4 Big Ten) vs. MINNESOTA (13-5; 1-4 Big Ten)

SUNDAY, JAN. 15, 2012 @ 4:00 P.M. (ET)

BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261), UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.


GAME INFO

TELEVISION: BTN: Tom Hart & Gary Williams

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local: 1450 AM; Sirius: CH 92; XM; CH 191

Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)

LIVE STATS & AUDIO:

GAMETRACKER | ALL-ACCESS AUDIO

COACHES:

PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 9-9 (1st at PSU); 51-37 (3rd Overall)

MINNESOTA: Tubby Smith - 93-58 (5th at MINN); 480-203 (21st Overall)

RPI: Penn State: #136; Minnesota: #83

NEXT UP:

Penn State will return to the Jordan Center Thursday to take on Illinois live on ESPN2. The teams split last year both winning at home. The Lions claimed a 57-55 victory at the BJC and have won five of the last nine meetings. Illinois leads the series 24-12 and is 10-6 in State College.

THE GAME:

Penn State will return to the Jordan Center Sunday for a match-up with Minnesota. The Lions won both match-ups last season, both by the score of 66-63. The Gophers lead the series 27-10, but it is tied 8-8 in State College. Eight of the last nine games played between the two teams in State College have been decided by five points or less, including a total of five points separating the last two. Minnesota claimed victory in six of those. This will be the only regular season meeting between the teams this season.

THON DAY:

Penn State is donating all proceeds from student single-game ticket sales to Sunday's game to Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), the largest student run philanthropy in the world. THON raised more than $9.5 million last year and more than $79 million total since 1973 for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and the fight against childhood cancer. Penn State will provide tickets to 49 Four Diamonds families to attend Sunday's game. THON is held annually in February in the BJC.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA:

The Gophers are coming off a 77-74 upset of No. 8 Indiana in Bloomington on Thursday, Minnesota's first Big Ten win of the season. The Gophers shot 47 percent in that game and got 18 points from Austin Hollins on 7-of-10 shooting. The Gophers lost leading scorer (14.0) and rebounder (9.1) Trevor Mbakwe to a knee injury seven games into the season. Forward Rodney Williams (10.4 ppg) and guard Julian Welch (10.2) have picked up the scoring slack. Williams posted 14 in the Gophers loss at the BJC last year. Williams ranks third in conference games pulling down 8.8 rebounds per game. The Gophers rank among the top four in the conference shooting 47.3% and lead the Big Ten blocking 5.8 shots and grabbing 8.7 steals per game. They lost their first four Big Ten games at Illinois (81-72 OT), at Michigan (61-56), vs. Iowa (64-62) and vs. Purdue (79-66). The Gophers went 12-1 in the non-con season.

LAST YEAR VS. MINNESOTA:

Penn State swept both regular season meetings by the same score, 66-63. Talor Battle posted 28 points to lead the Lions in State College. Penn State hit 12-of-31 three-point attempts and committed just five turnovers. The Gophers led 60-57 with 2:09 left but Penn State used a 9-0 run to grab the win. Blake Hoffarber led UM with 18 points on 6-of-13 from three. Penn State posted its first win in Minneapolis in 10 years behind 22 points from Battle and 20 from Jeff Brooks. The Lions won the rebounding battle, 31-28, hit 12-of-12 at the foul line and out-scored the Gophers 24-6 from the three-point line. Hoffarber again led UM with 17 points, but his two threes were the only points from behind the arc for the Gophers. The game was tied at 54 with 2:38 to play, but Battle and Brooks hit big late threes to lead the Lions to victory.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED:

Penn State graduated players that accounted for 80% of the scoring and nearly 70% of the rebounding from last year's NCAA Tournament team, including five seniors that accounted for 432 career starts and 581 career games played. Among them was all-time leading scorer Talor Battle who posted 2,213 points and led the Lions in scoring each of the past four seasons.

Penn State's top four scorers this year have taken on much bigger roles than previous years:

`11-12 PPG FGA `10-11 PPG FGA

Tim Frazier 18.1 261 6.3 165

Jermaine Marshall 9.9 141 2.5 63

Billy Oliver 7.7 119 2.3 76

Cam Woodyard 7.5 120 1.8 68

THE FRIENDLY CONFINES:

Penn State is happy to return home to the Jordan Center where Penn State logged a season-high 82 points vs. No. 12 Indiana in their last outing and is averaging 71.1 ppg, 43% from the floor and 36% from three. Penn State has scored more than 70 points in seven of 10 home games. The Lions have struggled offensively away from the BJC averaging just 54.4 ppg, 34% from the floor and 25% from three in eight contests while going 2-6. Penn State has scored more than 60 points (62 at B.C.) just once away from the BJC. The Lions shot 33% and scored 58 points in their last road outing, a 70-58 loss at Nebraska.

GETTING STARTED: Penn State has particularly struggled in the first halves of road games, shooting less than 30% on five occasions (including both Big Ten road games) and averaging 26% shooting overall and 17% from three while scoring 21.3 ppg in the first halves of road games. That compared to 33 ppg and 40% shooting in the first halves of home games. The Lions are much better in the second halves of games overall hitting 43% and scoring 33 ppg on the road and hitting 47% and scoring 38 ppg at home.

FRAZIER FOR 30 POINTS & SIX STEALS:

Tim Frazier posted career highs of 30 points (on 10-of-16 from the floor and 9-of-9 at the foul line) and six steals at Nebraska (1/11). It marked just the 77th 30+-point game in 116 years of Penn State basketball. Frazier became the 40th Penn State player to reach the mark and the first since Talor Battle had 31 vs. Michigan last Feb. 6. His six steals tied for the 6th best game total in Penn State history and were the most since Stanley Pringle had seven in his Nittany Lion debut vs. St. Francis in 2007. Frazier's total tied for the second most ever by a Lion vs. a Big Ten team behind Titus Ivory's seven against Michigan in 2001 and were the most in a Big Ten game since Travis Parker had six vs. Northwestern in 2006.

FRAZIER CONFERENCE TRIFECTA:

Ranking 1ST in the Big Ten in assists (6.7), 2ND in scoring (18.1) and 2ND in steals (2.4), Tim Frazier is one two players in a Big Six conference to rank in the top five of those three categories in their conference's statistics. He is joined by Mississippi State's Dee Bost who ranks fourth in scoring (16.0), fifth in assists (4.4) and second in steals (2.4) in the SEC.

LAST TIME OUT:

Nebraska 70, Penn State 58, Jan. 11 • Lincoln, Neb.

Penn State hung close for most of the first half despite shooting just 29 percent in the first 20 minutes, but saw Nebraska open a double-digit lead with 6:26 to play in the half and trailed 34-22 at the break. The Lions would never get the lead under 10 the rest of the way despite a career-high 30 points and six steals from Tim Frazier who shot 10-of-16 in the game. The rest of the Lions went 10-of-44 as Penn State hit just 33 percent from the floor and a season-low 3-of-24 (12.5%) from three. Nebraska shot 60 percent in the second half, including 5-of-8 from three, on its way to 55 percent shooting in the game. Bo Spencer led four Huskers in double-digits with 19 points. Penn State had just five assists to go with 13 turnovers on the night.

Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are $117 for adults, $91 for faculty/staff and seniors and $52 for youth. Penn State students will be admitted for free to Lady Lion basketball games beginning this season.

PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.

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.

-NITTANY LIONS-

 

 

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