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WASHINGTON - No. 13 seed Penn State advanced to the second round of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament with an overtime win over Nebraska and will face fifth-seeded Michigan State at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday on Big Ten Network.
- The winner will take on No. 4 seed Minnesota at approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals.
- With the win over Nebraska in the opening round, Penn State advanced in the tournament for the second time in three years and is 12-19 in the Big Ten tourney since it began in 1998.
- In their last appearance as the No. 13 seed, the Nittany Lions went 2-1 in 2015, advancing to the quarterfinals with wins over Nebraska and Iowa, before falling to Purdue.
- Penn State is 2-0 against the Spartans in the Big Ten tourney, and 3-0 on neutral courts after a 72-63 win Jan. 7 in The Palestra. The Nittany Lions moved their home game to the historic Philly venue for the lone regular-season matchup.
- Mike Watkins led the charge against the Huskers Wednesday, finishing his eighth career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, adding a tournament-record and career-high tying eight blocks.
- The freshman trio of Watkins (18), Lamar Stevens (16) and Tony Carr (11) combined for 45 of the team's 76 points vs. Nebraska. On the season, freshmen account for average of 36.3 ppg and over 50 percent of the team's total points.
- Nine players have now seen action in the Big Ten Tournament, led by five appearances from Shep Garner and Julian Moore. Garner averages 13.2 points per game in Big Ten Tournament play over the last three seasons.
- Penn State has one appearance in the championship game (2011).
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
- Michigan State enters the Big Ten tournament with an 18-13 record and 10-8 mark in conference play as the tournament’s fifth-seeded team.
- The Spartans split their final four games of the season, defeating Nebraska and Wisconsin by double-digits before three-point losses to Illinois and Maryland to close out the regular season.
- The Spartans are led by freshman Miles Bridges who averages 16.6 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per contest – both team highs.
- Freshman forward Nick Ward (13.6 ppg) and senior guard Eron Harris (10.4 ppg) also average double figures scoring.
- In the team’s most recent game vs. Maryland, Ward led the team with a double-double on 22 points and 16 rebounds, while Bridges added 18 points and eight boards in the three-point setback.
- Freshman guard Cassius Winston mans the point for the Spartans, averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 assists per contest.
- Michigan State leads the all-time series against Penn State 36-8, although the Nittany Lions are 3-0 when playing at a neutral site and 2-0 in the Big Ten Tournament.
- The Nittany Lions won the lone matchup this season, 72-63, Jan. 7 in the Palestra. It was the first Big Ten game played in Philly's historic basketball venue.
- Penn State’s last tourney win against the Spartans came on March 12, 2011, when PSU earned a 13-point win over Michigan State in the semifinals, 61-48.
CURRENT ROSTER VS. MICHIGAN STATE
|L. Stevens||1-1||18.0||6.0||18, vs MSU (1/7/17)|
|S. Garner||4-4||14.5||2.5||22, at MSU (2/28/16)|
|T. Carr||1-1||14.0||6.0||14, vs MSU (1/7/17)|
|M. Watkins||1-1||11.0||9.0||11, vs MSU (1/7/17)|
|P. Banks||4-2||7.0||2.5||12, at MSU (2/28/16)|
|J. Reaves||3-3||5.0||3.3||8, at MSU (2/28/16)|
|J. Moore||4-1||4.8||3.8||13, vs MSU (1/10/16)|
|I. Washington||2-0||2.5||1.5||5, vs MSU (1/10/16)|
LAST TIME AGAINST THE SPARTANS
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 7, 2017) - Lamar Stevens scored 18 points and Tony Carr had 14 to lead Penn State to a 72-63 win over Michigan State at the Palestra. The Nittany Lions pulled off a big win for the program at the famed Philly gym and beat the Spartans for the first time since 2011. They led almost the entire game and gave thousands of fans who came out in the snow a reason to bellow ''We Are!'' in the waning minutes.
LAST TIME IN THE B1G TOURNAMENT
INDIANAPOLIS (March 12, 2011) - The Nittany Lions advanced to their first Big Ten tournament final with a 61-48 win over the Spartans. Talor Battle ran off 14-straight points early in the second half on his way to 25 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes.
Tim Frazier played the best game of his young collegiate career racking a career-high 22 points, and team highs of eight rebounds and six assists while shooting 9-of-13 from the floor.
March 12, 2011 (PSU, 61-48): Penn State blew past the Spartans to reach the program’s first Big Ten tournament championship game and clinch the Lions’ first NCAA bid in a decade. The PSU backcourt of Talor Battle (25 pts) and Tim Frazier (22 pts) powered Penn State in out-scoring Michigan State 32-22 in the second half.
Feb. 1, 2009 (PSU, 72-68): Trailing by as many as 13 in the first half, Penn State rode a 29-point performance from sophomore Talor Battle to down the ninth-ranked Spartans, an eventual Final Four team, and earn the program’s first (and only) win in East Lansing, Mich.
March 9, 2001 (PSU, 65-63): Joe Crispin’s off-balance trey with little time left capped a 22-point performance and gave Penn State an upset win over No. 2 Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. This win stands as the highest-ranked opponent the Nittany Lions have defeated.