Nittany Lions Look For Third-Straight Big Ten Road Win At No. 11 Michigan State
March 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 3, 2010 - The Nittany Lion basketball team (11-17; 3-13 Big Ten) will look to set a program record with its third-straight Big Ten road win Thursday when they take on No. 11/12 ranked Michigan State (22-7; 12-4 Big Ten) in East Lansing, Mich., before a live national television audience on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
The Nittany Lions have produced a balanced offensive attack that has seen them shoot 51.5 percent from the floor and score 70.5 ppg while winning three of their last four games, including road dates at Northwestern and Michigan.
Coming off a 79-60 drubbing of Northwestern at home on Sunday, Penn State will look to duplicate their 72-68 upset of No. 9 Michigan State last year in East Lansing, the Nittany Lions' first ever win at Michigan State in 17 trips. Talor Battle had 29 points in that game and scored 30 in the first meeting between the teams earlier this season, a 65-54 Spartan victory at the Jordan Center. Battle, who has posted three-straight 20-point or better games against the Spartans, is averaging 26.3 ppg and 5.0 rpg while shooting a sizzling 16-of-31 (51%) from three in his last three games against Michigan State.
Fellow juniors David Jackson, Andrew Jones and Jeff Brooks have upped their production over the Lions' last four games with all averaging better than nine points and four rebounds per game over that span. Meanwhile, sophomore Chris Babb has been hot from three hitting a team-best 11-of-21 (52%) in the last four games while averaging 11.3 ppg and 3.2 apg.
The Spartans posted a 53-44 win at Purdue on Sunday to remain tied for the Conference lead with a 12-4 record. MSU (22-7) got 16 points and 11 boards from Raymar Morgan and 12 points and 11 boards from Draymond Green in that game. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas leads the team with 15.1 ppg and 3.9 apg. Four Spartans average double-figures as Durrell Summers (10.4 ppg) joins Morgan (10.5 ppg) and Green (10.2 ppg). MSU is the third highest scoring team in the league (73.3 ppg), ranks second shooting 47.7 percent and leads the league pulling down 39.1 rpg. They have won three of their last four games after a three-game skid.
Michigan State leads the all-time series 27-5, but Penn State has won two of the last five games, its best-ever five-game stretch against the Spartans.
- Nittany Lions -