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March 5, 2014
|PENN STATE (14-15, 5-11 B1G) vs. NORTHWESTERN (12-17, 5-11 B1G)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State closes out the regular season with back-to-back road games, beginning at 7 p.m. ET Thursday against Northwestern in Welsh-Ryan Arena and on ESPNU. The Lions are coming off a 71-66 setback to No. 14 Wisconsin Sunday.
AT A GLANCE
- Penn State is 14-15 on the season and 5-11 in the Big Ten, currently in a three-way tie with Purdue and Northwestern for 10th in the conference.
- Tim Fazier is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, given annually to one student-athlete with notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. VOTE: bit.ly/Vote4Frazier
- After the win over Ohio State last Thursday, Penn State has the highest 2FG% defense in the Big Ten (in league action) at 44.3 (kenpom.com). The Lions held the Badgers to just 18 points in the paint Sunday and 28 total points from two-point field goals.
- The Lions' four road wins to date are the most since 2008-09 when they won six. They have won two of their last four away games. Penn State last won three Big Ten road games in 2010-11.
- At 14-15 and 5-11 in the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions have the most overall and conference wins under a Patrick Chambers-led team at Penn State (12-20, 4-14 in 2011-12).
- Penn State has had six one-possession games in Big Ten play, the most of any conference team. Nine of Penn State's last 16 league games have been decided by a combined 25 points (average of 2.8).
- With a 23-point outing vs. Wisconsin March 2, D.J. Newbill became Penn State's 31st 1,000-point scorer and now ranks 30th all-time in career scoring with 1,020 points.
- Newbill also reached 500 points for the season vs. the Badgers, becoming the fourth Penn State player to reach 500-plus points in multiple campaigns after scoring 504 in 2012-13.
- Newbill has the most total points (516) and field goals (178) of any Big Ten player this season.
- With three rebounds Sunday, Tim Frazier became just the second Big Ten player in league history to reach 1,000 points (1,492), 600 assists (621) and 500 rebounds (501).
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Northwestern sits at 12-17 overall with a 5-11 mark in the conference after losing each of its last six games. The Wildcats split their first 10 games of Big Ten play 5-5 before the losing skid. Their five wins include victories at Indiana and at Wisconsin.
NU is coming off a 54-47 loss to Nebraska last Saturday, despite Alex Olah putting up 20 points, more than 11 greater than his season average of 8.8. Drew Crawford, who will be one of three seniors honored prior to the game in Evanston Thursday, leads the Wildcats with 15.5 ppg and 16.5 rpg.
Chris Collins is in his first season as head coach of the Wildcats, one of two first-year Big Ten coaches. The Lions will face the other, Richard Pitino, for the second time this season Sunday.
D.J. Newbill is the leading scorer in the series with Northwestern, averaging 19 ppg in two meetings last season. In six career meetings, Tim Frazier produces 12.3 ppg with a current series-high vs. the Wildcats Feb. 25, 2012, a 67-66 loss in the BJC.
Penn State owns a 27-15 advantage in the all-time series, including wins in seven of the last 10 games, and an 11-9 margin when playing in Evanston. Five games in the series have gone to at least one overtime period, the most for Penn State vs. any Big Ten foe. The Lions are 3-2 in those contests with the last coming in 2004.
The last trip to Welsh-Ryan Arena (March 7, 2013) ended in a 66-59 win for the Lions, Patrick Chambers' first Big Ten road win at Penn State.
NORTHWESTERN VS. PENN STATE - LAST MEETING
EVANSTON, ILL. (March 7, 2013) - Sasa Borovnjak posted his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Penn State used dominating starts to both halves to post a 66-59 victory over Northwestern. The win, Penn State's second in three games, marked the first Big Ten road win under second-year head coach Patrick Chambers.
Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill led Penn State with 18 points each as the Lions shot 48 percent from the floor and collected a 10 steals on Northwestern's senior night. Wildcat senior Alex Marcotullio hit 6-of-9 from three for 22 points to lead Northwestern which shot 34 percent. Penn State started the game with a 12-0 run and began the second half on a 7-0 run to out-score Northwestern 19-0 in the first five minutes of both halves.
OTHER NOTABALE GAMES
Feb. 25, 2012 (NU, 67-66): The Lions held a one-point lead for much of the final 2:48 until a foul call sent John Shurna to the free throw line with :03 to play. Shurna hit both to seal the win for the Wildcats, who hit 15 free throws in the contest.
Feb. 28, 2010 (PSU, 79-60): Talor Battle had 16 points to lead Penn State to what was the Lions' largest margin of victory since 2007. They shot 68 percent in the first half and ended the night at 57 percent.
Jan. 28, 2004 (PSU, 63-61 (ot)): The last of five overtime games between the teams went to Penn State when Marlon Smith posted 23 points and Ndu Egekeze converted on a lay-up with :01 remaining in the extra period.
LAST TIME OUT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (March 2, 2014) - Despite being outshot and outrebounded, No. 14 Wisconsin made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 7:45 and held on for a 71-66 victory over Penn State Sunday in the final regular-season home game at the Bryce Jordan Center.
D.J. Newbill had 23 points for Penn State, which dropped to 2-5 against ranked teams this season. The redshirt junior became Penn State's 31st career 1,000-point scorer. He leads the Big Ten this season with 178 field goals.
The Nittany Lions were 28 for 58 from the field, while the Badgers were 22 for 50. The Badgers were 8 for 24 from 3-point range and held PENN STATE to 1 for 13 shooting from behind the arc.
The Nittany Lions close out the 2013-14 regular season at Minnesota Sunday in a 5:15 p.m. ET contest on BTN. Mike Couzens and Ariel McDonald will have the call from historic Williams Arena.
Penn State will look to avenge its 68-65 loss to the Golden Gophers from Jan. 8 at the Bryce Jordan Center. It was the first of three one-possession losses in Big Ten play. The teams have split the last four meetings, 2-2, with Minnesota holding an all-time 30-10 advantage.