Penn State Faces No. 18 Spartans Wednesday

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Brandon Taylor led Penn State with 11 points at Purdue.


Brandon Taylor led Penn State with 11 points at Purdue.

Jan. 15, 2013

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., JAN. 15, 2013 - Penn State (8-8; 0-4 Big Ten) will face its third top 20 ranked team of the season Wednesday when No. 18/17 Michigan State (14-3; 3-1 Big Ten) comes to the Bryce Jordan Center for a 7:00 p.m. tip. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network and can be heard across the Penn State Sports Network.

It will be Dollar Dog Night for all Nittany Lion season ticket holders who can receive hot dog vouchers when presenting an ID. The game will also feature a halftime performance from world renowned Flag Man.

Penn State will look to solve a scoring slump that has it posting 49.5 ppg through the first four Big Ten outings. Sophomore guard D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior guard Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) rank seventh and ninth respectively in scoring in the Big Ten posting 14.9 and 14.1 ppg. Newbill remains the only Big Ten player to rank in the top 15 of the conference statistics in scoring, rebounding and assists.

 

 

Freshman Brandon Taylor went 3-of-7 from three, including a draining a half court shot at the buzzer, for a team high 11 points in the Lions loss at Purdue. The 6-7, 235-pound freshman leads the Lions shooting 38 percent from three on the year.

Michigan State will bring a three-game winning streak into Wednesday having knocked off Nebraska, 66-56, in its last outing. The Spartans downed No. 7 Kansas, 67-64, earlier in the year and also have wins over Purdue (84-61) and at Iowa (62-59) in the Big Ten. Junior guard Keith Appling leads the Spartans posting 13.8 ppg. Sophomore Branden Dawson (10.5) and freshman Gary Harris (12.9) also are averaging double-digits.

Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday to take on Nebraska in a 1:00 p.m. tip. It will be THON Hoops day with the Nittany Lions welcoming approximately 60 Four Diamonds children and their families to the game and all single-game student ticket sale revenue going directly to Penn State Dance Marathon.

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 (8-8; 0-4 Big Ten) vs. #18 MICHIGAN STATE (14-3; 3-1 Big Ten)

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16, 2013 @ 7:00 P.M. (ET)

BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.

GAME INFO

TELEVISION: BTN: Eric Collins (pxp) & Dan Bonner (analyst)

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

Sirius/XM: 94/190

LIVE STATS:

GAMETRACKER | ALL-ACCESS AUDIO

COACHES:

PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 20-28 (2nd at PSU); 62-57 (4th Overall)

MICHIGAN STATE: Tom Izzo - 426-172 (18th at MSU); same overall.

RPI: PSU:167; MSU: 20

NEXT UP:

PSU will return to the Jordan Center on Wednesday to face No. 18 Michigan State, the Lions' third Top 20 foe of the year. The Spartans lead the series 30-7 and are 11-4 in State College. The teams met just once last year with MSU taking a 77-57 win in East Lansing. PSU has won two of the last four, including 66-62 in the last meeting in the BJC in 2011.

THE GAME:

Penn State will return to the Jordan Center on Wednesday to face No. 18 Michigan State, the Lions' third Top 20 ranked foe of the year. The Spartans lead the series 30-7 and are 11-4 in State College. The teams met just once last year with MSU taking a 77-57 win in East Lansing. Penn State has won two of the last four meetings, including a 66-62 victory in the last meeting in the BJC in 2011. Michigan State did not travel to State College last year. The Spartans are also a Penn State one play this season as Penn State will not travel to East Lansing. After posting four straight wins to end the non-conference season, Penn State has opened Big Ten play with four losses and seen its scoring fall from 78.5 ppg in the final four non-con games to 49.5 ppg in conference.

NOTES TO KNOW:

• Penn State is finishing a string of three games in seven days vs. No. 18 Michigan State, which will be the Lions third top 20 ranked opponent on the year. PSU is slated to face at least nine opponents currently ranked in the Top 25.

• All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier hit week 8 of his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery and advanced from a walking boot to a heel wedge in his shoe on Jan. 15.

• After a string of seven straight games shooting 40% or better, PSU has posted season lows in shooting in each of its last three outings culminating with a 25.9% effort at Purdue, marking the lowest under Patrick Chambers. PSU is shooting 29.7% in its last three games.

• PSU has faced the top two shot blockers in the Big Ten (Jared Berggren, UW & A.J. Hammons, PUR) and three of the top six (Cody Zeller, IU), and has had 5.3 shots per game blocked in four Big Ten games.

• 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 not eclipsed 54 points in its four Big Ten games and is averaging 49.5 ppg in the Big Ten.

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 (13th). He scored his 500th career point vs. IU, and posted his fifth 20-point game of the season (20) to lead PSU vs. Northwestern.

• PSU has posted 12 games with double-digit offensive boards, including 14+ in four of the last five and a season high 17 vs. Indiana.

• The Lions 76.2% at the foul line in Big Ten play leads the conference, but Penn State has been on the wrong end of an 89-56 foul differential in Big Ten play resulting in an 107-42 deficit in free throws attempted and 62-32 in free throw line scoring.

Brandon Taylor led Penn State in scoring for the first time on his career with 11 points at Purdue. He has made a three in 11 of 13 games since Tim Frazier went down with injury. He leads the team shooting 38.3% from three.

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 4th in the Big Ten in rebounding with 7.6 rpg and has five double-digit scoring games on the year.

D.J. Newbill leads Penn State with 102 free throw attempts and has gotten to the foul line at least once in 45 of 48 career games.

Jermaine Marshall has posted double-figure scoring in 10 of his last 12 games. He leads the team with 26 threes and 28 steals.

• Newbill (7th, 14.9 ppg) and Marshall (9th, 14.1 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 (29.0 ppg), behind Michigan's Trey Burke (3rd, 18.0) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (5th, 16.1), 34.1 ppg.

D.J. Newbill ranks second (35.7) and Jermaine Marshall fifth (34.3) in minutes played in the Big Ten.

• Former walk-on Nick Colella (28) and current walk-on Kevin Montminy (12) combined to play 40 minutes vs. Northwestern. Current walk-on Kevin Onyeaka saw first half minutes at Purdue. Freshman Akosa Maduegbunam played a career high 18 minutes at Purdue.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE:

The Spartans downed Nebraska, 66-56, in East Lansing on Sunday night for their third straight win to improve to 14-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten. Senior 6-9 center Derrick Nix led MSU with 17 points while 6-10 junior Adreian Payne had 14. Guard Keith Appling leads MSU on the season posting 13.8 ppg and 4.6 apg. Gary Harris is a two-time Big Ten freshman of the week and is 26-of-69 from three to lead MSU from the arc. The Spartans rank second in the Big Ten in scoring defense giving up 57.7 ppg and allowing teams to shoot just 37.6% overall and 30.1% from three. They also rank second with 8.8 steals per game. The Spartans defeated then No. 7 Kansas, 67-64, earlier this season. They lost their Big Ten opener at No. 9 Minnesota, 76-63.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?:

On January 13, Nittany Lion freshman Brandon Taylor and Lady Lion senior Alex Bentley made half court shots just prior to halftime on the same day, approximately two hours apart. Taylor tossed in a 50-foot bomb at the halftime buzzer for the last of his 11 points in a road loss at Purdue. Meanwhile, two hours later at the Bryce Jordan Center Bentley tossed one in from the Nittany LIon logo to give Penn State a 40-27 halftime lead in an eventual victory over Nebraska.

BIG TEN SCORING DROUGHT:

After posting 78.5 ppg in its final four non-conference games, Penn State has not eclipsed 54 points in Big Ten play and is posting 49.5 ppg. The Lions have posted three straight games with season lows in shooting logging 31.7% vs. Indiana, 31.6% vs. Northwestern in the Jordan Center and 25.9% (the lowest mark under Patrick Chambers) at Purdue. The Lions 42 points in the loss at Purdue marked the fewest scored in two seasons under head coach Patrick Chambers. Penn State is hitting 29.7% from the floor and 24.4% from three over the last three games.

FRAZIER HITS 8-WEEK MILESTONE:

Tim Frazier had successful surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon on Nov. 20. He hit the eight-week milestone since the surgery on Jan. 15 and marked the day by no longer requiring use of a walking boot. He will now wear a wedge under his left heel for the next 2-3 weeks as he continues to stretch the tendon. He is currently walking in a pool and undergoing rehab to stretch the tendon and remove scar tissue. He is expected to begin walking on a weight suspended treadmill at the 10-week mark post surgery and to begin jumping rope in weeks 14 to 18. Frazier was in a cast for about three weeks before moving to a walking boot that gradually flattened his foot as the tendon stretched. He is expected to have about a six-month recovery period and, at the completion of the 2012-13 campaign, will apply for an NCAA Hardship Waiver to return for the 2013-14 season.

BOARDIN:

Penn State has won the rebounding battle in nine of the last 10 games and in 11 of 16 on the year. The Lions have had 14 or more offensive rebounds in four of their last five games.

BUILDING A FOLLOWING:

Coach Patrick Chambers twitter account (@Coach_Chambers) eclipsed 10K followers in early January. 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.

LAST TIME OUT: PURDUE 60, PENN STATE 42, Jan. 13, 2013 • West Lafayette, Ind.

Penn State suffered through its worst shooting and lowest scoring game of the season hitting just 25.9% from the floor in a 60-42 loss in Mackey Arena. Despite Purdue shooting 54% in the first half and the Lions offensive struggles throughout, the Lions battle to be down only six, 34-28, with 14:05 to play. The teams combined to shoot 4-of-23 through the opening minutes of the second half, but Penn State failed to capitalize on Purdue's offensive slowdown and 10-of-21 effort from the foul line and the Boilers eventually mounted a 17-2 run to take a commanding 49-30 lead with 7:36 to play. Freshman Brandon Taylor led Penn State with 11 points, all in the first half, and leading scorer D.J. Newbill posted nine but didn't get his first points until 7:19 to play. Newbill and second leading scorer Jermaine Marshall combined to shoot 6-of-25. Four Boilermakers scored in double-digits led by Ronnie Johnson with 13 and 7-0 A.J. Hammons with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

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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