Penn State Faces No. 9 Michigan State on ESPN2

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Feb. 5, 2014

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PENN STATE (12-10, 3-6 B1G) at No. 9/8 Michigan State (19-3, 8-1 B1G)
DATE Thursday, Feb. 6
TIME 9:05 p.m.
LOCATION Breslin Center (East Lansing, Mich.)
TV ESPN2 / WatchESPN: Joe Tessitore (pxp) and Sean Farnham (analysis)
RADIO Listen: Penn State Sports Network: Steve Jones (pxp), Dick Jerardi (analysis)
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's basketball team looks to win four Big Ten games in a row for the first time since 2009 as it travels to No. 9 Michigan State for a 9 p.m. tip Thursday at the Breslin Center.

AT A GLANCE

  • At three games, Penn State currently has the longest active win streak among Big Ten teams.
  • The Lions and Spartans met on New Year's Eve to open Big Ten play, resulting in a 79-63 win for Michigan State.
  • At 12-10, the Nittany Lions have matched the most wins under a Patrick Chambers-led team at Penn State (12-20 in 2011-12).
  • Penn State has held its last four opponents to a combined 37 percent shooting (83-of-224) while forcing an average of 13 turnovers in those games.
  • In Penn State's last road game, it knocked off No. 24 Ohio State, 71-70, in overtime Jan. 29. The win snapped an 18-game losing streak against the Buckeyes and was the program's first Top 25 road win since 2009. The Lions have never defeated back-to-back Top 25 foes.
  • Tim Frazier needs just two assists to take over the all-time career record at Penn State currently held by Freddie Barnes (600; 1989-92). He is tied for No. 10 all-time in the Big Ten and has the sixth-most assists of any active Division I player.
  • In the Lions' current win streak, D.J. Newbill is averaging 20.0 ppg with 6.3 rpg. He was named Penn State's first B1G player of the week since 2011 Monday.
  • In the last three games, Brandon Taylor is second on the team in scoring with 15.0 ppg, while shooting 47 percent from 3-range.
  • Donovon Jack and Jordan Dickerson have combined for 19 blocks in the last six games. Jack is fifth in the Big Ten with 1.9 per game, while Dickerson had a career-high five in the OSU game.
  • In three games as a starter (all wins), Graham Woodward is producing 5.3 ppg, 2.5 more than his season average of 2.8.

SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Michigan State is atop the Big Ten standings with an 8-1 conference records and its lone loss coming to Michigan 80-75 Jan. 25. The Spartans have now lost two of their last three games following a non-conference loss to Georgetown 64-60 last Saturday in Madison Square Garden.

Gary Harris is the leading scorer with 18.4 points per game, while Adreian Payne is second with 16.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, though the senior forward has missed the last seven games with injury. In Payne's place, Matt Costello has averaged 7.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. Keith Appling is second in the Big Ten in assists with 4.9, trailing Tim Frazier in first by 1.5 per game.

VS. MICHIGAN STATE
D.J. Newbillis the leading scorer in the series with Michigan State, tallying 22 ppg in two meetings. In seven career matchups, Tim Frazier puts up 7.1 ppg with a series-best 22 points in the Big Ten tournament semifinals March 12, 2011. 

SERIES HISTORY
Michigan State holds a 31-7 advantage in the series - and a 19-1 mark when playing in East Lansing - but three of the the Lions'  seven wins have come in the last six seasons.

MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE - Round One
Sophomore Brandon Taylor and junior D.J. Newbill led the Penn State men's basketball team with 35 combined points but their efforts proved not enough as the Nittany Lions fell to fifth-rankged Michigan State, 79-63, on New Year's Eve at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State led by as many as 12 in the first half, converting on nine Spartan turnovers for 13 points and shooting 58 percent (7-12) from 3-point range. Improved ball control in the second half by Michigan State and  cooled off shooting by the Lions led to the MSU comeback.

Taylor posted a team-high 18 points for his seventh double-figure scoring effort of the season while Newbill tallied 17 points for his 29th-consecutive double digit scoring performance.

Branden Dawson led the charge for MSU, nearly reaching a double-double with 20 points and nine boards while Keith Appling posted 14 points, Gary Harris notched 13 and Travis Trice scored 12. [MORE/BOX SCORE: Page 35]

MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE -Last Time in East Lansing
Penn State came storming back to close within five of No. 11 Michigan State with 9:10 to play, but couldn't overcome a 14-point halftime deficit falling, 77-57, in East Lansing, Mich., Feb. 8, 2012.

Tim Frazier led the Lions with 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Jermaine Marshall added 12 points, 10 in the second half, and five boards. Draymond Green posted 23 points and 12 boards for his 13th double-double of the season to lead the Spartans who improved to 15-0 at home on the year.

Michigan State increased its halftime lead to 22 in the second after a Green three-pointer with 16:46 to play before Penn State mounted a 10-0 run to swing the momentum. Penn State shot 76 percent through the first 13 minutes of the second half to slice the Michigan State lead to just five, 52-47, following a Marshall jumper with 9:10 to play, but Michigan State responded with a 17-3 run to reestablish control.

THREE MORE NOTABALE GAMES
March 12, 2011: Penn State blew past the Spartans to reach the program's first Big Ten tournament championship game and clinch the Lions' first NCAA bid in a decade. The PSU backcourt of Talor Battle (25 pts) and Tim Frazier (22 pts) powered Penn State in out-scoring Michigan State 32-22 in the second half.

Feb. 1, 2009: Trailing by as many as 13 in the first half, Penn State rode a 29-point performance from sophomore Talor Battle to down the ninth-ranked Spartans, an eventual Final Four team, and earn the program's first (and last) win in East Lansing, Mich.

March 9, 2001: Joe Crispin's off-balance trey with little time left capped a 22-point perfomance and gave Penn State an upset win over No. 2 Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. This win stands as the highest-ranked opponent the Nittany Lions have defeated.

LAST TIME OUT
The Penn State trio of D.J. Newbill, Tim Frazier and Brandon Taylor led the men's basketball team to a 79-68 victory over Purdue Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. Newbill led all scorers with 19 points, Frazier followed closely with 18 points and Taylor added 15 points to give the Nittany Lions three-consecutive Big Ten regular-season wins for the first time since 2009.

Taylor also led the Lions in rebounding, pulling down eight boards while Newbill registered seven. Frazier recorded another complete game, dishing out five assists and grabbing five rebounds.

Penn State's (12-10, 3-6 Big Ten) 79-point performance marks the highest scoring effort for the Nittany Lions in Big Ten action this season; their previous best was a 76-point effort in the loss vs. Indiana Jan. 11.

UP NEXT
The Nittany Lions return home for a 4:15 p.m. Sunday game vs. Illinois at the Bryce Jordan Center.  It will be Penn State's Coaches vs. Cancer/Band Together Day with $3 from every ticket sold benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, as well as proceeds from rally towels sold at the door for $3 or two for $5.

The annual Band Together Day brings together cancer survivors and cancer fighting groups from across campus and the community.  They will join together for halftime recognition and a group photo Sunday.

Penn State's chapter of Coaches vs. Cancer has raised over $2 million since its inception in 1995 and consistently ranks among the Top 10 in CvC organizations across the country. Started by then head coach Bruce Parkhill, the organization raises funds for the American Cancer Society and the Bestwick Foundation and Bob Perks Fund, local organizations that provide direct support for community members and families fighting cancer.


 

 

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