Lions Take On No. 22 Wisconsin On Alumni Day

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Sasa Borovnjak is averaging better than 13 ppg over the last six games.


Sasa Borovnjak is averaging better than 13 ppg over the last six games.

March 9, 2013

SUBWAY FULL COURT 4-PACK GAME

ALUMNI DAY

HALFTIME PERFORMANCE BY RED PANDA

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., MARCH 9, 2013 - Penn State (10-19; 2-15 Big Ten) will welcome back more than 50 Nittany Lion basketball lettermen for Alumni Day when the Lions close out the regular season vs. No. 22 Wisconsin (20-10; 11-6 Big Ten) Sunday in a noon tip at the Bryce Jordan Center. The last time the Lions were on the BJC floor they left with a court storming after knocking off No. 4 Michigan.

It will be a Subway Full Court 4-Pack, with fans able to get four tickets to the game and vouchers for four drinks and four six-inch subs for just $40. Fan favorite Red Panda will also perform her dazzling unicycle tricks at halftime. Penn State will introduce more than 50 returning basketball alumni at halftime, including two members of the 1954 NCAA Final Four team and five of the Nittany Lions all-time top 10 scorers, including Joe Crispin, Pete Lisicky, Geary Claxton, Jarrett Stephens and Titus Ivory. Ivory, who suffered a life-threatening stroke in October, will serve as the honorary captain for the game and will toss a ceremonial opening tip.

The Badgers will be Penn State's eighth Top 25 ranked opponent of the year. The Nittany Lions' schedule ranks as the fourth toughest in the nation in the Sagarin Rankings.

 

 

Penn State has won two of its last three games, including the team's first Big Ten road win under Patrick Chambers on Thursday at Northwestern and a defeat of No. 4 Michigan in their last game in the BJC. Penn State is averaging 78 ppg and shooting 48 percent from the floor in its last two home games while riding an offensive surge at the end of the season.

Guards Jermaine Marshall, D.J. Newbill and Nick Colella are all shooting better than 45 percent from three over the last six game, with Marshall leading the Lions over that stretch posting 17.3 ppg and hitting 18-of-40 from three. Senior Sasa Borovnjak has balanced the offense with his strong play of late. He is coming of his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Northwestern and is posting 13.2 ppg over the last six games while shooting 63 percent.

The Last Meeting
Penn State51
Wisconsin60
January 3, 2013
Madison, Wisc.
Lions Fall In Close One At Wisconsin, 60-51
Penn State trailed by just one with under three minutes to play, but couldn't pull of its first win in Madison since 1995 despite a game high 19 points from junior Jermaine Marshall.

Wisconsin has dropped its last two games and is coming off a 58-43 loss at Michigan State on Thursday. The Badgers posted a 60-51 win over Penn State in the Big Ten season opener for both teams back on Jan. 3 in Madison. Jared Berggren leads Wisconsin posting 11.4 ppg and leads the Big Ten blocking 2.0 shots per game. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten giving up just 55.9 ppg.

Penn State will head to the 16th Big Ten Tournament at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. March 14-17. The Lions will be the No. 12 seed in the tournament and will play in the No. 5 vs. No. 12 game at approximately 2:30 p.m. (ET) on Thursday. A Penn State victory on Sunday vs. Wisconsin would send the teams to a rematch in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

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 (10-19; 2-15 Big Ten) vs. No. 22 WISCONSIN (20-10; 11-6 Big Ten)

SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013 @ NOON

BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.

GAME INFO

TELEVISION: BTN: Eric Collins & Sean Harrington

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)

Sirius/XM: 92/191

LIVE STATS:

GAMETRACKER | ALL-ACCESS AUDIO

COACHES:

PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 22-39 (2nd at PSU); 64-67 (4th Overall)

WISCONSIN: Bo Ryan - 288-111 (12th at UW); 571-214 (29th Overall)

RPI: PSU:177; WIS: 42

NEXT UP:

PSU will head to the 16th Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and will play in the #12 vs. #5 game at approximately 2:30 p.m. (ET). The Lions are 9-15 all-time in the tournament, having reached the finals for the first time in 2011. PSU was the #12 seed last year and lost to #5 Indiana, 75-58. PSU is 5-10 all-time in first round BTT games. The Lions have made three semifinal appearances.

THE GAME:

Penn State returns to the Jordan Center to close the regular season vs. Wisconsin Sunday on Alumni Day. The Badgers posted a 60-51 victory in Madison in the Big Ten opener and lead the series 29-10. Penn State is 7-11 vs. UW in State College. Wisconsin won in its last trip to the BJC, 52-46, last season and has won the last three meetings. Penn State's last win vs. UW came 36-33 in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament. A Penn State victory would send the teams to a rematch in the No. 12 vs. No. 5 game in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.

ALUMNI WEEKEND:

Penn State is expecting more than 50 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 Rudy Marisa) and five of the Lions Top 10 all-time scorers, including first-team All-Big Ten guard Joe Crispin (No. 3, 1,986), career three-point leader (332) Pete Lisicky (No. 4, 1,605), fourth all-time rebounder Geary Claxton (No. 7, 1,542), first-team All-Big Ten forward Jarrett Stephens (No. 9, 1,372) and Titus Ivory (No. 10, 1,369), who joined Crispin as a key cog on the 2001 team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and downed No. 2-seed North Carolina in what is widely considered one of the greatest wins in program history. Ivory, who is recovering from a life-threatening stroke suffered in October, will be an honorary captain for the game and this year's honored alumni at the post-game event.

NOTES TO KNOW:

Patrick Chambers and Bo Ryan both hail from Delaware County Pa. and were born and raised approximately 12 miles from each other about 20 minutes outside Philadelphia.

• Penn State has played five games vs. AP Top 10 teams and this will be the eighth against a Top 25 team this season. The Lions' schedule is ranked No. 4 nationally in the Sagarin Ratings with PSU facing 13 Top 50 opponents and nine in the Top 25 of the Sagarin Ratings.

• Penn State ended a 19-game road losing skid and a 17-game Big Ten road losing skid Thursday at Northwestern, recording the first Big Ten road win in coach Patrick Chambers' two season and first since a victory at Minnesota on March 6, 2011.

• Penn State has won two of its last three games and three of it four losses have been by seven points or less in its last six games.

• Penn State is posting 66.0 ppg while shooting 42.7% from the floor over the last six games. The Lions averaged 54.8 ppg and 35.3% in its first 11 Big Ten.

• Three Lions are shooting better than 45% from three over the last six 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.

Sasa Borovnjak posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Northwestern. He has four double-digit scoring games in his last six outings, after entering the stretch with five on his career. He is posting 13.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg over the last six games while shooting 63% from the floor.

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.

• PSU shot 48.9% at Northwestern, a high in B1G play and its best in a road game since shooting 56.5% at Northwestern in 2011. PSU has shot better than 43% in four of the last five games after breaking 40% just twice in its previous 11 B1G games.

• PSU has posted its four best percentages from three on the year in its last six games. Penn State has 42 threes on 40% shooting in the last six games after posting 41 threes on 23.6% in the first 11 B1G games.

• PSU is posting 78 ppg and shooting 48.6% from three in its last two home games.

Jermaine Marshall is 8-14 (57%) from three in his last two home games.

• Newbill (4th, 16.1 ppg) and Marshall (5th, 15.8 ppg) are the 2nd highest scoring tandem in Big Ten games (31.9 ppg) behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. (34.5).

SCOUTING WISCONSIN:

The Badgers stand fifth in the Big Ten at 11-6 (20-10 overall) and have lost their last two outings vs. Purdue (69-56) and at Michigan State (58-43). Wisconsin shot 29% (4-23) from three and committed and uncharacteristic 17 turnovers in its loss at MSU on Thursday. Forward Jared Berggren leads UW posting 11.4 ppg and 70 rpg. Guard Ben Brust is averaging 11.2 ppg and led the team with 10 at MSU. He also has a team high 68 threes (39%), while freshman Sam Dekker leads the team shooting 44% (46-104) from three. Ryan Evans ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.7) and Berggren leads the league blocking 2.0 bpg. UW leads the Big Ten giving up just 55.9 ppg and is second with a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. They rank third in the nation committing just 9.7 turnovers per game.

HEATING UP FROM THREE:

Penn State has posted a season-best in number of threes and its best four three-point percentages in four of the last six games. The Lions 10 threes vs. Michigan marked a season-best as did their 50% (10-20) from the arc, equaling the best ever under Patrick Chambers. The Lions 47.1% (8-17) vs. Iowa, 42.1% (8-19) at Illinois and 41.2% (7-17) at Northwestern are the next best marks on the season in percentage. Three Lions are shooting 45% or better from three over the last six games: D.J. Newbill (47.8%, 11-23), Nick Colella (8-17, 47.1%) and Jermaine Marshall (18-40, 45.0%). No Lion with more than five attempts was shooting better than 30% over the first 11 Big Ten games. The Lions are making 7.0 threes per game over the stretch, well above the 4.8 prior to the string.

OFFENSIVE SURGE:

Penn State is experiencing an offensive surge to close out the season with three or more players scoring in double-figures in five of the last six games after having no more than two in the first 11 Big Ten games • PSU is scoring 66 ppg, over the last six, well above its average of 54.8 ppg in the first 11 Big Ten games

• The Lions 48.9% shooting at Northwestern marked its best in a road game since 2011

• The Lions have out-shoot opponents 40% to 30% from three, and shot well above their season average of 29% from the arc. • PSU posted season bests of 17, 15 and 15 assists in the stretch and 13.2 assists per game compared to 8.2 in the first 11 Big Ten games

• Three Lions are averaging better than 13 pts per game over the span: Jermaine Marshall (17.3), D.J. Newbill (16.5) and Sasa Borovnjak (13.2).

ROAD VICTORY:

Penn State's 66-59 win at Northwestern on March 7 marked the first Big Ten road win under second year coach Patrick Chambers and ended a 19-game road losing skid and 17-game Big Ten road skid that dated to a win at Minnesota on March 6, 2011. PSU shot 48.9% in the game, its best performance in a Big Ten road game since hitting 56.5% at Northwestern in 2011. The Lions grabbed 10 steals, their most since posting 11 vs. Providence in the third game of the season.

EAST COAST COACHING CONNECTION:

Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan both hail from Delaware County Pennsylvania. Ryan was born and raised in an area approximately 12 miles from Chambers and about 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia in Chester, Pa. and coached high school basketball in Pennsylvania at Brookhaven and Sun Valley, both near Philadelphia. Chambers and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery were both born in Philadelphia, Pa. and have deep coaching ties to the city. Chambers played at Philadelphia University and later coached at Episcopal Academy (HS) and Villanova. McCaffrey played at Penn and was later an assistant coach for the Quakers before becoming head coach at Lehigh, about an hour north of the city. Northwestern's Bill Carmody also has strong east coast ties having been born in Spring Lake, N.J. and coached at Princeton and Providence (assistant) as does Michigan's John Beilein who was born in Burt, N.Y. and made several coaching stops around western New York and the east coast including at Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia, LeMoyne and Nazareth.

LAST TIME OUT: PENN STATE 66, NORTHWESTERN 59, March 7, 2013 • Evanston, Ill.

Penn State ended a nearly two year drought in Big Ten road games with a 66-59 victory at Northwestern to mark the first Big Ten road win under Patrick Chambers. PSU dominated the start to each half opening the game on a 12-0 run and the second half on a 7-0 run to stake double-digit leads in both halves. PSU shot 48%, won the rebounding 38-23 and got 10 steals while dominating the paint scoring 28-12. Jermaine Marshalll and D.J. Newbill each scored 18 points and Sasa Borovnjak posted his best game as a Lion with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Lions led 34-30 at the half and built a 12-point second half lead before NU got five second half threes from Alex Marcotulio, who led NU with 22 points, to take a 54-53 lead with 6:15 to play. Borovnjak and Newbill responded for PSU, which rebuilt a 59-54 lead and never trailed again. PSU led for virtually the entire game, building 12-point leads in each half before NU runs tightened the game.

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.

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