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Nittany Lion Gameday #32: B1G Tourney vs. Nebraska

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March 6, 2017

RELATED NEWS
 - Carr Earns Big Ten Honors
 - Penn State Part of 2017 Legends Classic Field

PENN STATE vs. NEBRASKA
 
No. 13 Seed No. 12 Seed
14-17, 6-12 B1G 12-18, 6-12 B1G
 GAME INFO
 Wednesday, March 8 | 4:30 p.m 
Verizon Center | Washington, D.C.
Tournament Central | BUY TICKETS
GAME DAY INFO
WATCH: ESPN2 | WatchESPN
TALENT: Dave Flemming, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath
LISTEN: GoPSUnow | FOLLOW: Gametracker
STATS: Penn State | Nebraska 
GAME NOTES: Penn State  | Nebraska 

TALE OF THE TAPE PSU NEB
Points Per Game 72.3 70.0
Opponent Points Per Game 72.7 72.9
Field Goal Pct. 41.7 41.9
3-Point Field Goal Pct.
33.9 31.9
Free Throw Pct. 74.1 71.0
Rebounds 35.3 38.2
Assists 14.0 11.6
Turnovers 13.1 13.4
Steals 7.1 6.8
Blocks 5.5 3.8
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State begins play as the No. 13 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, taking on 12th-seeded Nebraska at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The game will air on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath on the call.


STORYLINES

  • The winner will take on fifth-seeded Michigan State at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the second of four second-round games.
  • Penn State is 11-19 in the Big Ten tourney since it began in 1998. The Lions were 0-1 last season, falling to Ohio State in the second round, after going 2-1 in 2015, advancing to the quarterfinals as the No. 13 seed. The Lions have one appearance in the championship game (2011).
  • Tony Carr was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, the first PSU rookie honoree since 2006, and earned an honorable mention All-Big Ten nod by league media.
  • Four players are averaging in double figures for Penn State, led by freshmen Tony Carr (13.2) and Lamar Stevens (12.5). Three freshmen are among the top five scorers and are each of top-three rebounders. Carr is averaging 16.9 points and 5.4 assists over the last 10 games.
  • A freshman leads Penn State in scoring (Carr), rebounding (Mike Watkins), assists (Carr) and blocks (Watkins).
  • Mike Watkins needs just four rebounds to break Jesse Arnelle's 65-year old freshman rebound record (254; 1952).


SETTING THE SCENE

  • Penn State is 11-19 in the Big Ten tourney since it began in 1998. The Nittany Lions were 0-1 last season, falling to Ohio State in the quarterfinals, after going 2-1 in 2015, advancing to the quarterfinals as the No. 13 seed.
  • The Lions defeated Nebraska and Iowa in 2015, before falling to Purdue in the quarterfinals.
  • Penn State has one appearance in the championship game (2011).
  • Five current players have seen action in the league tourney, led by four appearances by Shep Garner and Julian Moore over the last two years. Garner averages 13.8 points over his four appearances in league tourney action.


SCOUTING NEBRASKA

  • The Huskers are 12-18 on the season and 6-12 in Big Ten play, going 1-4 since defeating Penn State Feb. 14 in Lincoln.
  • They have lost each of their last four games and concluded the season with a 93-57 loss to Michigan at home Sunday evening.
  • Tai Webster leads Nebraska with 17.2 points and 4.0 assists per game. Ed Morrow Jr. is the leading rebounder wtih 7.4 per game.
  • The Huskers are 3-5 in the Big Ten Tournament since joining the league prior to the 2011-12 season.


SERIES HISTORY

  • The series is even 7-7 all-time with Nebraska holding a 6-5 edge as Big Ten foes after capturing the lone regular-season meeting in Lincoln Feb. 14, 82-66.
  • Penn State has won three of the last five meetings, including a 2015 Big Ten Tournament matchup as the No. 13 seed against 12th-seeded Nebraska.


CURRENT ROSTER VS. NEBRASKA

Player

GP-GS

PPG

RPG

SERIES HIGH

T. Carr

1-1

15.0

7.0

15, at NEB (2/14/17)

L. Stevens

1-1

13.0

7.0

13, at NEB (2/14/17)

S. Garner

4-4

12.8

2.8

22, vs NEB (2/25/16)

M. Watkins

1-1

8.0

3.0

8, at NEB (2/14/17)

P. Banks

4-2

4.5

2.5

7, at NEB (2/14/17)

T. Samuel

1-0

4.0

2.0

4, at NEB (2/14/17)

J. Reaves

3-2

3.7

1.3

6, at NEB (2/13/16)

I. Washington

3-0

3.3

3.3

5, 2x, last vs NEB (2/25/16)

J. Moore

4-1

2.5

2.5

4, at NEB (2/14/17)

N. Bostick

1-0

2.0

0.0

2, at NEB (2/14/17)

D. Zemgulis

2-0

1.0

1.5

2, at NEB (2/13/16)

 

LAST TIME AGAINST THE HUSKERS
LINCOLN, Neb. (Feb. 14, 2017) -
Glynn Watson Jr. and Jack McVeigh scored 15 points apiece to lead four Nebraska players in double figures, and the Cornhuskers used their best shooting half of the season to set the tone in an 82-66 victory over Penn State.

Jordy Tshimanga and Tai Webster had 12 points each for the Huskers (11-14, 5-8 Big Ten), who ended a three-game losing streak. Tony Carr had 15 points and Lamar Stevens added 13 to pace Penn State (14-13, 6-8), which lost for the first time in three games.

The Huskers shot 63 percent in the first half. McVeigh scored five points at the start of a 10-3 spurt that got them out to a 34-25 lead, and he beat the buzzer with a swish from the half-court line to make it 45-37 at half.


LAST TIME IN THE B1G TOURNAMENT
CHICAGO (March 11, 2015) - The Nittany Lions advanced to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2011 with a 68-65 victory over Nebraska. D.J. Newbill tied a single-game PSU Big Ten Tournament record with a game-high 26 points. Shep Garner joined Newbill in double figures with 19 points. Together, the duo had 45 of Penn State’s 68 points, while also combining for nine triples. Penn State finished with 16 blocks to set both a Big Ten Tournament and a PSU program record, as four different Nittany Lions recorded multi-block performances.


MEMORABLE MATCHUPS
March 11, 2015 (PSU, 68-65) - D.J. Newbill scored 26 points and Shep Garner added 19 as 13th-seeded Penn State won its Big Ten tournament opener to advance for the first time since a run to the final in 2011. Penn State also blocked a tournament-record 16 shots. 

Jan. 23, 2014 (PSU, 58-54): Led by D.J. Newbill’s 16 points, four Penn State players posted double-figure scoring efforts as the Lions snapped a six-game losing streak with a 58-54 win over Nebraska at the Bryce Jordan Center.

March 21, 1995 (PSU, 65-59): The Nittany Lions used Rahsaan Carlton’s 19 points to top Nebraska 65-59 in the NIT Second Round in Lincoln, Neb. The teams were tied at 36 at halftime, but three Lion players put up double-digits for the win. Penn State went on to finish third in the NIT that year, its second of four trips to Madison Square Garden.


CARR EARNS BIG TEN HONORS

  • Tony Carr was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media.
  • Carr is Penn State's first player on the rookie team since 2006 and just the fourth overall, joining Marlon Smith (2004), Geary Claxton (2005) and Jamelle Cornley (2006).
  • The Philly product is averaging 13.2 points per game on the season, a figure which increased to 14.6 ppg in Big Ten play. He broke the PSU freshman record for assists with 4.2 per game.
  • Over the last 10 games, Carr has averaged 16.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists, leading the team in scoring four times during that stretch.


RECORDS WATCH
A full records watch is available on Page 7 of the game notes.

  • Mike Watkins needs just four rebounds to break Jesse Arnelle's 65-year old rookie rebound record (254; 1952). Watkins has 251 with an average of 8.1 per game and is the second-leading freshman rebounder in the Big Ten.
  • Watkins' field-goal percentage (58.3) is the highest for a player since 2007 and is currently ranked No. 6 on the season shooting chart (among players with 100+ attempts). He has hit each of last nine shots over the last two games, including 8-8 showing at Iowa (3/5).
  • Shep Garner is approaching the Top 20 in career scoring at Penn State and reached the Top 5 in career 3-pointers after two against Iowa.
  • Tony Carr has already broken the freshman record for assists and field-goal attempts.
  • As a team, this 2016-17 Penn State squad has made a mark on Big Ten play with most total points, most field goals, fifth-highest scoring average, sixth-most 3-pointers, most blocks and third-most steals.


FRESHMAN LEADERS

  • Freshmen combine to average 36.0 points per game and account for 49.8 percent of the team's scoring on the season. Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens alone are responsible for nearly 36 percent of the team's points.
  • A freshman currently leads Penn State in scoring (Carr), rebounding (Watkins), assists (Carr) and blocks (Watkins)
  • A rookie has led the team in scoring 17 times this season, including 11 times in Big Ten play.


HIGH(ER)-SCORING LIONS

  • After reaching 79 points at Iowa (3/5), Penn State has scored 70 or more points 21 times this season, the most for the program since 2000-01 (24).
  • The Nittany Lions are averaged 70.1 points per game in Big Ten play, a mark that ranks fifth all-time among league scoring averages and the highest since 2000-01.
  • Penn State averaged 75.2 ppg in non-conference play, compared to 67.3 prior to league play last season.


BLOCK PARTY

  • Bolstered by 80 blocks from freshman Mike Watkins, Penn State has 169 on the season -- the second-most in a season in program history and the most since 1997-98. [MORE: Page 7]
  • The Nittany Lions had 10 against Purdue Feb. 21, tying their season high. It was the first time Penn State produced double-digits blocks against a Big Ten team, however, since  Feb. 14, 2001 against Minnesota (10).


BOARD GAMES

  • Penn State was just the sixth team to out-rebound Purdue (2/21) on the season. The Boilermakers held a +8.3 margin heading into the game and ranked No. 8 in the NCAA in the category.
  • Mike Watkins had 13 rebounds in the matchup, becoming the second player to record 10+ rebounds vs. Purdue this season, joining Iowa’s Nicholas Baer. Watkins had 10 first-half boards.
  • Penn State is 8-2 on season when outrebounding opponents.
  • Penn State has a +2.3 rebound margin in 14 games won, compared to a -7.8 spread in games lost and -3.3 on the season overall.
  • Mike Watkins leads Penn State with 8.1 rebounds per game on the season and 7.9 in Big Ten play, seventh among all league players in conference games (second among freshmen).

 

 

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