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Feb. 28, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., FEB. 28, 2012 - Penn State will do something it hasn't done in 40 years Wednesday when the Nittany Lions (12-17; 4-12 Big Ten) tip off against a surging Purdue (19-10; 9-7 Big Ten) in West Lafayette, Ind. The Lions will play on Leap Day, Feb. 29, for the first time since knocking off Kent State, 61-51, in Rec Hall in 1972. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network and can be heard across Pennsylvania on the Penn State Sports Network.
Penn State is 6-1 on Leap Day, having won six-straight after falling 24-16 at Lehigh in 1908 in their first appearance on the day, which occurs once every four years. Penn State will be looking for its first Big Ten road win of the season and just its second road victory in its 12th appearance on an opponent's home floor this year. The Lions posted a 62-54 victory at Boston College earlier this year. The game will mark the 100th in the three-year coaching career of first-year Nittany Lion head coach Patrick Chambers who brings a 54-45 overall record into Wednesday's clash after a pair of 21-win seasons at Boston University.
Junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) enters Wednesday's game just six assists shy of Talor Battle's season assist record of 189 set in 2009. Frazier continues to lead the Big Ten with 6.3 assists per game and is posting 19.9 points per game in Big Ten Conference play, second only to John Shurna's 20.6 ppg. Frazier posted his Big Ten leading 15th 20-point outing with a team high 23 points in the Lions' last second loss to Northwestern Saturday in the Jordan Center, the 11th time in 16 Big Ten games he has exceeded his season scoring average of 18.7.
Nittany Lion freshmen Jon Graham (Baltimore, Md.) and Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) have surged at the end of the year. Graham has posted three-straight games with either a career high in scoring or rebounds and is posting 9.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg over that stretch. Travis is coming off a career-best nine rebounds to go with 10 points in a near double-double in the loss to Northwestern.
Purdue has won four of its last five games, including a victory at No. 11 Michigan Saturday, and is being led by the play of senior Robbie Hummel whose 116 points since Feb. 12 are the most in Division I over that period. Hummel is posting 20.7 ppg in February, while Frazier is posting 21.0 ppg in a match-up of two of the most currently prolific scorers in the nation.
Penn State will return home for the final game of the regular season vs. Michigan on Sunday, March 4. The "Senior Day" tip has been set for 1:00 p.m. on ESPN. Cammeron Woodyard and Billy Oliver will be honored prior to the game.
PENN STATE (12-17; 4-12 Big Ten) vs. PURDUE (19-10; 9-7 Big Ten)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29, 2012 @ 6:30 P.M. (ET)
MACKEY ARENA (14,123)
WEST LAFAYETTE, IND.
TELEVISION: BTN: Tom Hart & Keno Davis
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network; Local: 1450 AM; Sirius: CH 92; XM; CH -
Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
LIVE STATS & AUDIO:
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 12-17 (1st at PSU); 54-45 (3rd Overall)
PURDUE: Matt Painter - 157-74 (7th at Purdue); 182-79 (8th Overall)
RPI: Penn State: #152; Purdue: #40
Penn State returns to the Jordan Center Sunday for a "Senior Day" match-up with Michigan. Cammeron Woodyard and Billy Oliver will be honored prior to tip-off. UM posted a 71-53 victory in Ann Arbor in the opening game of the Big Ten season and owns a 26-11 series lead and a 10-6 mark in State College. UM has won three-straight in the series, including 65-62 last year in the BJC.
Penn State will play its last road game of the year at Purdue, as Penn State looks to avoid the sixth winless Big Ten road campaign in PSU history and first since 2007. It will be the 100th game (54-45) of Patrick Chambers' three-year head coaching career. The Lions posted a 65-45 victory over Purdue in the BJC on Jan. 5, but are 2-15 all-time at Purdue and trail the all-time series 26-11. Penn State has lost five-straight in Mackey Arena, including on a buzzer beater by JaJuan Johnson, 63-62, last year. The Lions last won at Purdue, 69-60, in 2006. Penn State is 1-10 in road games on the year with its lone victory coming at Boston College, 63-54, on November 30.
6-1 ON LEAP DAY:
Penn State hasn't played on February 29th since a 61-51 victory over Kent State in Rec Hall in 1972, a span of 40 seasons, and hasn't lost on the day in over a century. The Lions are 6-1 all-time on Leap Day, which occurs once every four years, and have won their last six-straight games on the day. Penn State lost its first- ever appearance on Leap Day way back in 1908 with a 24-16 loss at Lehigh.
Other Leap Day appearances: 1918, W, 54-30 at Carnegie Tech; 1924, W, 25-19 at NYU; 1936, W, 45-43 (OT) vs. Rutgers; 1956, W, 76-66 at Carnegie Tech; 1964, W, 78-63 vs. Pittsburgh.
The Boilers (19-10) are coming off a 75-61 upset of No. 11 Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor and have won four of their last five behind the play of senior forward Robbie Hummel who has returned to his All-Big Ten form. Hummel had 17 points and nine rebounds in that game while Terone Johnson led Purdue with 22 points as the Boilers have surged to fifth in the Big Ten standings. The Boilers are 4-4 at home in the Big Ten. Hummel ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.5), rebounding (7.0) and threes per game (2.0). Ryne Smith is second in the Big Ten hitting 2.5 threes per game and D.J. Byrd stand fourth hitting 45.4 percent from the arc with 49 threes for a Purdue team that stands third in the Big Ten making 7.9 threes per game and leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.57) and making just 8.6 turnovers per game.
LAST TIME VS. PURDUE:
In its first Big Ten home game under Patrick Chambers, Penn State held Purdue to 25% first half shooting to claim a 32-28 halftime lead and cruised to a 65-45 victory behind 10-of-21 shooting from three and a career-high 21 points from Billy Oliver who hit 7-of-11 from the arc to deliver Chambers' first Big Ten win. Tim Frazier added 15 points and nine assists. Robbie Hummel had 14 points on 5-11 for a Purdue team that shot 31% in the game and was out-rebounded 38-26 as Matt Glover posted a career-high 11 rebounds. Penn State dominated the scoring in the paint, 26-8, turned seven steals in to 14 points an had 16 assists on 24 field goals.
Penn State will return 78% of its scoring and 80% or better of its rebounding, assists and steals next season. Two first-year players continued their emergence Saturday as true-freshman Ross Travis posted 10 points and a career-high nine rebounds and red-shirt freshman Jon Graham equaled a career-high 10 points, marking his third-straight game with a career high in either scoring or rebounding. Travis has 17 points (5.7 ppg) and 17 boards (5.7 rpg) over the last three games, while Graham has posted 29 points (9.7 ppg) and 19 boards (6.3 rpg) over that span. Graham has started 14-straight games while Travis has started the last four and 13 on the year. Meanwhile, sophomore Jermaine Marshall had a career-best string of seven-straight double-figure scoring games stopped, scoring eight vs. Northwestern. He has 18 such games on the year, 11 in the Big Ten.
FRAZIER FIRST WITH TOP 10 SEASONS IN SCORING, ASSISTS & STEALS POSTS FIRST-EVER 500, 150, 50 SEASON AT PENN STATE:
With 20 points at Wisconsin on Jan. 19, Tim Frazier became the FIRST PENN STATE PLAYER EVER to eclipse 500 points, 150 assists and 50 steals in the same year. He followed that with a team-high 23 points vs. Northwestern to move into the top 10 in season scoring at Penn State and become the FIRST LION EVER to post a top 10 season in scoring, assists and steals in the same year. Frazier enters Wednesday EIGHTH on Penn State's season scoring chart with 541 points, SECOND on the season assist chart with 183, and EIGHTH on the season steals chart with 63. He is THIRD among active career assist leaders in the Big Ten with 429 (Jordan Taylor, WISC, 439, Lewis Jackson, PUR, 430).
MORE FRAZIER MILESTONES:
Tim Frazier is on pace to join to join Ron Brown (1972) and Talor Battle (2010) as just THE THIRD PENN STATE PLAYER EVER to lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the same season. Brown led Penn State with 434 points (18.1), 224 rebounds (9.3), 110 assists (4.6) and 75 steals (3.1) in 1972. Battle led the Lions with 574 points (18.5), 165 rebounds (5.3), 129 assists (4-2) and 34 steals (1.1) in 2010. Frazier, who leads the Lions posting 4.8 rebounds per game, could also become just the FOURTH guard in the modern era (since 1950) to lead Penn State in rebounding, joining Battle (2010), Brown (1972) and Jeff Persson (1968).
RISING TO BIG TEN CHALLENGE:
Despite being, at times, the nearly singular focus of every opposing defense and playing in the No. 1 RPI rated conference in the nation containing the three most efficient defensive teams in the country (OSU, WISC & MSU) according to Ken Pomeroy, Tim Frazier has scored in double-digits in 19-straight games and EVERY GAME in Big Ten play. ELEVEN TIMES in Big Ten play he has exceeded his season scoring average of 18.7 ppg, which ranks second in the Big Ten, and SEVEN TIMES he has exceeded his Big Ten leading assist average of 6.3 apg. He has led the Lions in scoring in 23 games on the year, including THE LAST NINE-STRAIGHT AND 13 TIMES IN 16 BIG TEN GAMES. He is averaging 20.6 ppg while shooting 44% in eight Big Ten road games.
LAST TIME OUT:
NORTHWESTERN 67, PENN STATE 66, Feb. 25 State College, Pa.
Northwestern needed 15 three-pointers and two John Shurna free throws with three seconds to play to escape with a 67-66 victory. Trailing by as many as nine with 15:00 to play, Penn State shot 60% in the second half and dominated scoring in the paint, 40-10, in the game to retake the lead on a Cammeron Woodyard three with 8:39 to play. NU used four-straight threes to rebuild a four-point margin, but Tim Frazier completed a three-point play to give PSU a 66-65 lead with 2:48 left. The Lions couldn't capitalize on four chances to extend the lead and Jon Graham missed two at the line with 14 seconds remaining before being whistled for a foul on Shurna's shot attempt with three seconds to play. Frazier led PSU with 23 points and eight assists. Shurna had 23 for NU, which had six players make a three.
All of Penn State's games can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network throughout Pennsylvania with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action. "The Penn State Basketball Show" featuring Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers and Steve Jones airs each Thursday live from Damon's Grill in State College. Fans are encouraged to attend the live broadcast or call in their questions for the coach at 1-800-52LIONS.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
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.