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Senior Sasa Borovnjak is averaging 16.0 ppg in his last three outings.
Feb. 25, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., FEB. 25, 2013 - Nittany Lion seniors Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) and Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) will be honored on Senior Night when Penn State (8-18; 0-14 Big Ten) takes on No. 4 Michigan (23-4; 10-4 Big Ten) for the second time in 10 days Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. The game is set for a 6:30 p.m. tip on the Big Ten Network.
Borovnjak and Colella as well as senior managers Ryan Hughes, Brian Grossman, Raymar McClain and John Ball will be honored in a ceremony prior to tipoff. It will be Dollar Dog Night at the Jordan Center and Pepsi will be sponsoring a Refresh promotion with fans able to get a buy-one-get-one free ticket when bringing any recyclable good to a ticket window. Recyclable goods include: Aerosol cans, aluminum cans and foil, glass and steel beverage and food containers and mixed paper items.
Penn State led for most of the first half, by as many as eight, and trailed by just one with nine minutes to play in a 79-71 loss to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17. Michigan needed a career high 29 points from Trey Burke to hold off the Lions who got a career-best 17 points from Borovnjak and 17 from Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) while Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) posted his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Penn State has shot better than 43 percent in each of its last three games and has tied a season high eight threes in two of the last three. The offensive balance has received a big boost from the production of Borovnjak who is riding a career-best equaling three straight double-digit scoring games after back-to-back games with a career high 17. The 6-9 forward is shooting 74 percent from the floor in the last three games.
Michigan has been ranked as high as No. 1 this season and is coming off a 71-58 victory over Illinois in Ann Arbor on Sunday. National Player of the Year candidate Burke scored 26 points in that game and ranks second in the Big Ten posting 18.9 points and first with 6.9 assists per game.
Penn State will complete the regular season with two of its last three games on the road starting Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. tip at Minnesota.
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 (all commonwealth campuses) 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 (8-18; 0-14 Big Ten) vs. NO. 4 MICHIGAN (23-4; 10-4 Big Ten)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2013 @ 6:30 P.M. (ET)
BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (16,261)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.
TELEVISION: BTN: Kevin Kugler & Tim Doyle
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 20-38 (2nd at PSU); 62-66 (4th Overall)
MICHIGAN: John Beilein - 114-81 (6th at UM); 665-399 (35th Overall)
RPI: PSU: 197; MICH: 8
PSU will finish the regular season with two of three games on the road starting Saturday at Minnesota. The Gophers lead the series 28-10 and are 16-2 in Minneapolis. This will be the only regular season meeting. Minnesota posted an 80-66 victory in the lone meeting in the BJC last year. PSU had won the previous two meetings, including a 66-63 win in the last trip to Minnesota in 2011.
After a weekend off, Penn State will return to the Jordan Center to face Michigan for the second time in 10 days on Wednesday. Michigan posted a 79-71 victory in Ann Arbor behind a season-best 29 points from Trey Burke on Feb. 17. Penn State had a season-best equaling four players score in double-figures in that game led by a career-best 17 from Sasa Borovnjak and 17 from Jermaine Marshall. Michigan leads the series 28-11 and has won the last five meetings. Penn State is 6-11 vs. Michigan in State College, last winning, 73-58, in 2009. Michigan has won in its last three trips to the BJC. Penn State is seeking its first conference win of the season.
Penn State will honor senior players Sasa Borovnjak and Nick Colella as well as senior managers Ryan Hughes, Brian Grossman, Raymar McClain and John Ball. Borovnjak enters Wednesday playing the best basketball of his career, posting three-straight double-digit scoring games and back-to-back career highs (17). He has played in 76 games and scored 350 points while recording more than 200 rebounds. Colella, who joined the team as a walk-on after playing two seasons at Division III Penn State-Behrend, has started the last eight straight games and 15 on his career. He has played in 52 contests recording more than 170 points and 45 three-pointers in his three seasons (one a redshirt) at the main campus, and was named a team captain in his senior campaign.
NOTES TO KNOW:
PSU has shot better than 43% in each of its last three games, its longest such string since doing so in four straight games Dec. 5-Dec. 23.
PSU has tied a season high with 8 threes in two of its last three game (vs. Iowa & at Illinois). The Lions shot a season-best 47.1% (8-17) from three vs. Iowa and 42.1% (8-19) at Illinois marking just the third time over 40% from the arc on the year.
PSU has lost it last three games by an average of 5.0 ppg and its last six by 7.8 ppg. The Lions have been outscored at the free throw line by 11.8 ppg over the last six.
Four of PSU's last 6 opponents have attempted 35+ free throws and opponents are averaging 34 free throws per game over that stretch.
PSU has had seven B1G opponents record 30+ attempts at the foul line and 11 record 25+. Only one (Nebraska at home) has less than 20 in a game.
PSU's last two outing, losses at Illinois and at Michigan, are the first B1G game the Lions did not trail by double-digits in on the year.
D.J. Newbill ranks second in assists and fourth in scoring in B1G conference games and is the ONLY Big Ten player to appear in the conference statistical rankings for Big Ten games in scoring, rebounding (18th) and assists.
Jermaine Marshall posted his third 20-point game of the season (20) at Illinois and equaled a career-best four threes on a season-best 4-of-8 from the arc.
Sasa Borovnjak has posted a career high 17 points in each of his last two games and a career best three-straight double-digit outings in B1G play. He is posting 16.0 ppg while shooting 74.1% from the floor in his last three games.
Nick Colella leads PSU hitting 4-of-7 (57%) from three over the last two games while posting 7.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg & 2.5 apg over that stretch.
Newbill (10) or Marshall (11) have led the Lions in scoring in 21 of the 23 games since Tim Frazier went down with injury.
D.J. Newbill ranks third in the Big Ten with 172 free throw attempts trailing only Cody Zeller (194) and Aaron White (190). Brandon Paul (163) is the only other player within 25 attempts. Newbill has gotten to the foul line at least once in 53 of 56 career games.
Newbill (4th, 15.9 ppg) and Marshall (5th, 15.4 ppg) are the 2nd highest scoring tandem in Big Ten games (31.3 ppg), tied with Indiana's Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo (31.3) and behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. (34.3)
The No. 7-ranked Wolverines have climbed as high as the No. 1 ranking. They are coming off a 71-58 victory over Illinois in Ann Arbor Sunday and bring a 23-4 (10-4 Big Ten) mark into Wednesday. National Player of the Year candidate Trey Burke led UM with 26 points vs. Illinois and had 29 in their previous win over Penn State. His leads UM and is second in the Big Ten posting 18.9 ppg and leads the Big Ten with 6.9 assists per game. Tim Hardaway Jr., ranks fifth in the Big Ten posting 15.1 ppg and freshman Nik Stauskas (11.8) and Glenn Robinson III (11.3) also average double-figures in the starting line-up. Three UM players have 50+ threes led by Stauskas' 63. UM committs just 9.5 turnovers per game and shoots 49% from the floor.
NOT THAT FAR:
Eight of Penn State's 14 Big Ten losses have been by single digits, including each of the last three by an average margin of 5.0 ppg. The five of the Lions last six losses have been by single digits with an average margin of 7.8 ppg. The Lions have lost just two games by 20 points or more in the Big Ten.
WARMING UP FROM THREE:
Penn State has made a season-high equaling eight threes in two of its last three games and posted its two best three-point shooting percentages on the year hitting 47.1% (8-17) vs. Iowa and 42.1% (8-19) at Illinois. The Lions have outscored four opponents and equaled one from the arc in the last six games.
THE LAST THREE GAMES:
PSU has had three or more players score in double-figures in every game after having no more than two in the first 11 Big Ten games PSU is scoring 67.3 ppg, well above its season average of 61.2. The Lions are outshooting opponents 40% to 30% from three, and shooting well above their season average of 28% from the arc. PSU is shooting 44% from the floor vs. 38.8% for the season. PSU has posted season highs of 17 assists and 15 assists in the stretch and is posting 14.3 assists vs. 11.7 turnovers in the games compared to a 9.6 to 12.8 mark on the year. Three Lions are posting better than 16 pts per game over the span: Jermaine Marshall (17.0), D.J. Newbill (16.3) and Sasa Borovnjak (16.0).
Penn State's three 70-point games in Big Ten play are its most since posting four in 2010. The Lions have seven 70+ point outings on the year, equaling the seven posted last year, with one in Big Ten play.
FOUL LINE DEFICIT:
Penn State is being outscored 20.8 to 12.3 ppg at the foul line by Big Ten foes, having been outscored at the foul line in every Big Ten game so far. Big Ten opponents have made (291) more free throws than PSU has taken (242) and have 177 more attempts. Seven Big Ten foes have shot 30 or more free throws and 11 have attempted 25 or more.
LIONS FIND OFFENSIVE BALANCE/POST 70 IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES:
Penn State posted two of its best efforts of the season in close losses to Iowa (74-72) and at No. 4 Michigan (79-71), logging 70 points in back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time since the 2006 season. The 71 points at Michigan marked the most in a Big Ten road game since an 81-70 win at Northwestern on Feb. 17, 2010. After playing the first 11 Big Ten games with no more than two players reaching double-figure scoring in a game and averaging 54.8 ppg, the Lions have had three or more reach the mark in the last three games. PSU's four at Michigan were the Lions' most since four scored in double-digits vs. New Hampshire on Dec. 23.
BOROVNJAK BREAKS OUT IN FINAL CAMPAIGN:
Senior Sasa Borovnjak has broken out with the best basketball of his career in February off his final season in blue and white.
Averaging 1.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg in the first seven games of the season prior to declaring this his final season, he has raised his averages to 8.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg in Big Ten games.
He has posted the best stretch of his career over the last three games posting a career-best equaling three straight-double digit outings and back-to-back career-best 17-point outings. He is shooting 74% (20-27) from the floor while scoring 16.0 ppg over the stretch of games vs. Iowa and at Michigan and Illinois.
Tied a career high with 17 points on 7-of-10 (70%) shooting at Illinois, including scoring the Lions first six points of the game.
His 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting (77.8%) and three assists at No. 4 Michigan were both career highs and marked his first ever back-to-back double-digit scoring games in Big Ten play.
His 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting (75%) vs. Iowa (2/14) in the previous game, had previously marked his most ever in a Big Ten game.
He had nine points vs. No. 14 Ohio State and has posted seven or more in six of his last seven games since Jan. 26.
In his fourth year in the program, having redshirted the 2010-11 campaign due to a knee injury suffered prior to the season, he is eligible for a fifth season of eligibility, but made the decision to make this his final season 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 and started 17 straight games.
He posted three-straight double-digit scoring games to close out the non-conference season, culminating with 14 vs. Duquesne on 7-of-9 shooting, and averaged 10.2 ppg over the final five non-conference games.
He tied a career high with eight rebounds for the second time in three games vs. Delaware State and added 14 points for the best statistical game of his career. He followed with 11 points vs. New Hampshire for his first back-to-back double-digit scoring games.
LAST TIME OUT: ILLINOIS 64, PENN STATE 59, Feb. 21, 2013 Champaign, Ill.
Penn State out-shot (43%-39%), out-rebounded (34-25) and made more threes (8-7) than the Illini while getting 20 points from Jermaine Marshall and a career high equaling 17 from Sasa Borovnjak but couldn't overcome a 14-point scoring deficit at the foul line (23-9) and 16 turnovers in falling, 64-59, in Champaign. The Lions were whistled for a season-high 31 fouls and Illinois held a 36-16 free throw advantage. Penn State took an early 9-2 lead and led for most of the first 10 minutes. Illinois closed the first half on a 14-5 run to lead 29-20 at the half. Penn State used a 10-2 run to start the second to get within one. Illinois stretched its lead back to eight, but the Lions would play within a four to six point margin for most of the last seven minutes, getting within three twice, the last time on a Marshall three with four seconds to play. D.J. Richardson (18) and Brandon Paul (16) led Illinois, which scored its final nine points 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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