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March 5, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., MARCH 5, 2013 - Penn State (9-19; 1-15 Big Ten) will look to rebound in its final road game of season Thursday when the Lions travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern (13-16; 4-12 Big Ten) in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip on ESPNU.
The Lions, who fell 73-44 at Minnesota on Saturday, will be looking for their first road win of the season on the lone Big Ten opponent's court in which Penn State holds a winning record. Penn State is 10-9 all-time in Evanston and leads the overall series 26-15. Northwestern, however, has won the last three meetings, including a 70-54 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center in January.
Penn State had a four game offensive surge halted in its loss at Minnesota, a game in which Penn State shot just 27 percent and 3-of-14 from three. Penn State had been riding a wave of good shooting prior to that contest hitting 43 percent from three and scoring 71.5 ppg over a four-game stretch to close February.
D.J. Newbill (9-20, 45%), Nick Colella (6-13, 46.2%) and Jermaine Marshall (15-33, 45.5%) are all shooting better than 45 percent from three over the last five games. Newbill enters Thursday ranked third in assists (4.2) and fourth in scoring (15.9 ppg) in Big Ten games and the only Big Ten player in the overall conference rankings for scoring, rebounding and assists.
Northwestern has suffered numerous roster losses this season and has dropped its last six games. Former walk-on Reggie Hearn leads the Wildcats posting 13.5 ppg and had 14 in the first meeting in State College. Dave Sobolewski led Northwestern with 18 points in that game and leads the team with 44 threes.
Penn State will return to the Jordan Center to close out the regular season on Sunday when it takes on No. 22/21 Wisconsin in a noon tip on the Big Ten Network. It will be Alumni Day with Penn State welcoming back more than 50 basketball lettermen.
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 (9-19; 1-15 Big Ten) at NORTHWESTERN (13-16; 4-12 Big Ten)
THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2013 @ 7:00 P.M. (ET)
WELSH-RYAN ARENA (8,177)
TELEVISION: ESPNU: Dan Gutowsky & Sean Harrington
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 21-39 (2nd at PSU); 63-67 (4th Overall)
MINNESOTA: Bill Carmody - 192-207 (13th at NU); 284-234 (17th Overall)
RPI: PSU:184; NU:142
PSU will return to the BJC to close the regular season vs. Wisconsin on Alumni Day Sunday. The Badgers posted a 60-51 victory in Madison in the Big Ten opener and lead the series 29-10. PSU is 7-11 in State College. UW won in its last trip to the BJC, 52-46, last season and has won the last three. PSU's last win came, 36-33, in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State will continue a two-game road swing at Northwestern on Thursday. Northwestern is the only Big Ten series Penn State leads (26-15) and only Big Ten opponent it has a winning record at (10-9). The Wildcats have won the last three meetings, including a 70-54 win in State College in early January. Northwestern posted a 68-56 win in Evanston last year, ending a string of six straight Lion wins in the series. Penn State will look to end a 19-game road losing skid, dating to a victory at Boston College in November 2011, and a 17-game Big Ten road losing skid dating to a victory at Minnesota on March 6, 2011.
Penn State will close out the regular season on Sunday vs. Wisconsin in the BJC and is expecting a large number of Nittany Lion basketball alumni to return for Alumni Weekend events, which begin Saturday. Among those expected to return are two members of the 1954 NCAA Final Four team (David Edwards and Ruddy Marisa) and five of the Lions Top 10 all-time scorers, including Joe Crispin (No. 3, 1,986), Pete Lisicky (No. 4, 1,605), Geary Claxton (No. 7, 1,542), Jarrett Stephens (No. 9, 1,372) and Titus Ivory (No. 10, 1,369). Ivory, who is recovering from a stroke suffered in October, will be the honored alumni for this year's events.
NOTES TO KNOW:
Penn State has played five games vs. AP Top 10 teams this season. The Lions' schedule is ranked No. 3 nationally in the Sagarin Ratings with PSU facing 13 Top 50 opponents and nine in the Top 25 of the Sagarin Ratings.
Three Lions are shooting better than 45% from three over the last five games (Marshall, Newbill and Colella) after no Lion (with more than five attempts) shot better than 30% from the arc over the first 11 Big Ten games.
Ross Travis ranks 5th in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.1) on pace for the highest B1G finish and average by a PSU player and since Geary Claxton finished 2nd (8.0) in 2007. It will mark the seventh time in the last eight seasons a player 6-6 or under has led the Lions in rebounding.
PSU shot better than 43% in the final four games of February, its longest such string since doing so in four straight games Dec. 5-Dec. 23.
PSU posted a season-best 10 threes & 50% shooting (10-20) from the arc vs. Michigan. The Lions posted their three best marks for number of threes and shooting percentage from the arc in three of the last five games. Penn State has 35 threes on 39.8% shooting in the last five games after posting 41 threes on 23.6% in the first 11 Big Ten games.
PSU's 84 points vs. Michigan equaled its most ever under coach Patrick Chambers, tying the 84 scored vs. Duquesne in Dec. It was the most points in a Big Ten game since an 85-76 victory over No. 8/7 Michigan State on Feb. 2, 2008.
Penn State is posting 66.0 ppg while shooting 41% from the floor over the last five games. The Lions averaged 54.8 ppg and 35.3% in its first 11 Big Ten.
PSU has out-scored its last two opponents at the foul line after being out-scored at the line in the first 14 Big Ten games. PSU has had seven B1G opponents record 30+ attempts at the foul line and 11 record 25+.
Jermaine Marshall posted back-to-back 20-point games vs. Michigan (25) and Illinois (20), logging a career-best in threes in two straight games including six (6-10) vs. Michigan.
D.J. Newbill ranks third in assists and fourth in scoring in B1G conference games and is the ONLY Big Ten player to appear in the conference's overall statistical rankings in scoring (5th), rebounding (19th) and assists (4th).
Sasa Borovnjak is posting 12.8 ppg while shooting 63.4% from the floor in his last five.
D.J. Newbill ranks third in the Big Ten with 190 free throw attempts trailing only Aaron White (212) and Cody Zeller (212).
Newbill (4th, 15.9 ppg) and Marshall (5th, 15.6 ppg) are the 2nd highest scoring tandem in Big Ten games (31.5 ppg) behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. (34.0).
The Wildcats have suffered huge personnel losses the season most recently losing Jared Swopshire, their leading rebounder and fourth leading scorer (9.7) to a knee injury. Swopshire had 17 points in NU's win in State College. Leading scorer Drew Crawford (shoulder) and one of the team's top returners JerShon Cobb (suspended before the season) have also been lost. The Wildcats have won four Big Ten games, but have lost their last six since downing Purdue 75-60 in Evanston to fall to 13-16 on the season. Former walk-on Reggie Hearn leads the team posting 13.5 ppg, he had 14 in the first meeting. Dave Sobolewski led NU with 18 in the win in State College and leads the team with 44 threes. NU makes 7.6 per game and is scoring 55.2 ppg in Big Ten play to rank last.
NEWBILL LONE PLAYER TO APPEAR IN THREE BIG TEN RANKINGS:
D.J. Newbill is riding a career best double-digit scoring string of 12 straight games and now stands third in Big Ten games posting 4.2 assists per game. He stands fifth in the Big Ten in scoring (15.9), fourth in assists (4.1) and 19th in rebounding (5.3) making him THE ONLY BIG TEN PLAYER to appear in the rankings of those three categories in the conference. During his 12-game double-digit scoring run he has three of his eight 20-point games on the year (including season highs of 27 points vs. Michigan State and 26 vs. Iowa) and posted a career-best 3-of-5 (60%) from three vs. Iowa.
NEWBILL ON POINT:
D.J. Newbill, a natural off-guard, has taken over point guard duties since the injury to Tim Frazier in the fourth game of the season. He is logging big minutes at the position playing 36.2 per game to rank second in the Big Ten.
Is shooting 9-20 (45%) from three the last five games.
He posted his best floor game with just one turnover and six assists to go with 15 points in 39 minutes vs. Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1/26).
He has posted double-digit points in 25 of 28 games, including a current career-best string of 12 straight, with EIGHT 20-point outings, including a career high 27 vs. Michigan State (1/16) and 26 vs. Iowa (2/14).
He has led the Lions in scoring 11 times since Frazier's injury with career highs on four occasions, 23 points and 12 rebounds vs. Duquesne for his first double-double at PSU and seventh career.
LAST TIME OUT: MINNESOTA 73, PENN STATE 44, March 2, 2013 Minneapolis, Minn.
Emotionally and physically drained after a huge upset of No. 4 Michigan in the previous game, Penn State missed its first 11 shots and didn't score until a D.J. Newbill jumper at the 8:42 mark of the first half as Minnesota took a 16-0 lead and never looked back. The Gophers led 34-12 at the half and extended the margin to as much as 35 in the second half as Penn State's offense never got on track. The Lions shot 27 percent from the floor and 3-of-14 from three, while being out-rebounded 46-30. Minnesota had five players reach double-figures and shot 50 percent. Newbill led Penn State with 15 points, but shot just 2-of-16. Jermaine Marshall, who drew his third foul early in the first half and had foul trouble all day, scored 10. Trevor Mbakwe led the Gophers with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Andre Hollins added 11 on 3-of-4 from three. Penn State trailed by double-digits for 33 minutes and by 20 or more the entire second half.
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.