Lions Face No. 6 Michigan In Big Ten Tournament
March 12, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., MARCH 12, 2013 - Penn State (10-20; 2-16 Big Ten) and No. 6-ranked Michigan (25-6; 12-6 Big Ten) will meet for the third time in three-and-a-half weeks Thursday in Chicago, Ill., as the Nittany Lions and Wolverines square off in the first round of the 16th Big Ten Tournament. The game will tip at approximately 2:30 p.m. (ET) in a sold out United Center (19,087) and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Gus Johnson and Shon Morris calling the action.
All sessions of the Big Ten Tournament are sold out and the conference has begun selling standing room only tickets for the event which will feature five top-25 ranked teams and four in the top 10. Indiana earned the regular season conference title and is the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Hoosiers enter the tournament ranked No. 3 in the nation and a probable No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State, the No. 12 seed in the tournament, is coming off a heartbreaking near upset of No. 22-ranked Wisconsin in the regular season finale in the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday. The Badgers, who are the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and would be the next opponent for the winner of the Penn State vs. Michigan clash, pulled out the win, 63-60, on a buzzer beating three from Traevon Jackson.
Jermaine Marshall (23) and D.J. Newbill (22) combined to score 45 points in that game. The pair both earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors on Monday from the conference coaches and voting media. They nearly led a Lion team that is playing its best basketball at the end of the year to a second Top 25 upset at home. Marshall's 25 points and Newbill's 17 led Penn State to an 84-78 upset of then No. 4-ranked Michigan in the teams' last meeting on Feb. 27.
The Wolverines are coming off a heartbreaking loss of their own after falling, 72-71, to Indiana on Sunday in Ann Arbor. A victory in that game would have given Michigan a share of the Big Ten regular season title. The Wolverines are led by Big Ten Player of the Year Trey Burke who ranks second in the Big Ten scoring 19.2 points and leads the conference with 6.8 assists per game.
The teams split the season series with Michigan posting a 79-71 win in Ann Arbor behind 29 points from Burke. He had 18 in the Lions' victory in State College. Penn State holds a 2-0 record vs. Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament having twice defeated the Wolverines in first round meetings in 2000 and 2001.
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 (10-20; 2-16 Big Ten) vs. No. 6/7 MICHIGAN (25-6; 12-6 Big Ten)
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013 @ 2:30 (ET)
UNITED CENTER (19,087)
TELEVISION: BTN: Gus Johnson (p-by-p), Shon Morris (analyst) & Stephanie White (sideline)
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
Compass Media: Drew Bontadelli & Mike Wozniak
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 22-40 (2nd at PSU); 64-68 (4th Overall)
MICHIGAN: John Beilein - 116-83 (6th at UM); 667-401 (35th Overall)
RPI: PSU:182; MICH:12
The winner of Thursday's first round game will face No. 4 seed Wisconsin on Friday. UW pulled out a 63-60 victory over PSU on a buzzer beating three by Traevon Jackson in the regular season finale in State College. UW leads the series 30-10 and has won the last four meetings. PSU's last series win came 36-33 in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament.
FIRST ROUND GAME:
Penn State will be the No. 12 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and play a first round game Thursday vs. No. 5 seed Michigan. The teams will meet for the third time in 3 1/2 weeks and just 15 days after the Lions upset the No. 4-ranked Wolverines, 84-78, in State College on Feb. 27 for one of the biggest upsets in college basketball this season. The teams split the season series with Michigan winning 79-71 in Ann Arbor on Feb. 17. UM leads the series 28-12. The teams have met twice in the Big Ten Tournament, both in the first round at the United Center in Chicago, with Penn State winning both meetings, the last an 82-80 win in 2001. The Lions reached the semifinals in 2000 and 2001 after beating Michigan in the first round.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT:
Penn State has a 9-15 record in the Big Ten Tournament as it enters the 16th annual tournament. The Lions are 4-7 in Tournament games played at the United Center, going 2-5 in first round games there and twice reaching the semifinals (2000 & 2001). The Lions are 5-10 in first round Tournament games overall, last winning in 2011 as they downed Indiana, 61-55, on their way to reaching their first Tournament final. PSU has won two of its last four first round games. PSU was the No. 12 seed last year and fell to No. 5 Indiana, 75-58, despite 26 points from Tim Frazier. PSU has never won when seeded lower than No. 9 in the Big Ten Tournament.
NOTES TO KNOW:
Jermaine Marshall has scored 20 or more points in three of his last five games and is averaging 19.2 ppg while shooting 48.6% (17-35) from three over that span. He is posting 23 ppg and 45% (11-24) from three in his last three outings vs. Michigan.
Penn State will plays its sixth game vs. an AP Top 10 team vs. Michigan and the ninth against an AP Top 25 team this season. The Lions' schedule is ranked No. 3 nationally in the Sagarin Ratings, facing 13 Top 50 opponents and eight in the Top 25 of the Sagarin Ratings.
Penn State has won two of its last four games and four of its last five losses have been by eight points or less in its last seven games of the regular season.
Penn State has won the rebounding battle in four of its last six games.
Penn State is posting 65.0 ppg while shooting 42.8% from the floor over the last seven games. The Lions averaged 54.8 ppg and 35.3% in its first 11 Big Ten.
Three Lions are shooting better than 44% from three over the last seven 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.
PSU has shot 43% or better in five of the last six games after breaking 40% just twice in its previous 11 B1G games, including 48.9% at Northwestern, a high in B1G play and its best in a road game since 2011, in its last game outside of the BJC.
PSU has posted its four best percentages from three on the year in its last seven games. Penn State has 45 threes on 39% shooting in the last seven games after posting 41 threes on 23.6% in the first 11 B1G games.
Sasa Borovnjak posted his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Northwestern. He has logged double-digit scoring in four of his last seven games (he had five previous in his career) and is posting 11.9 ppg and 61% shooting over the span.
D.J. Newbill posted his ninth 20-point game of the season (22) vs. No. 22 Wisconsin and is riding a career-best string of 14-straight double-digit scoring games.
Newbill (4th, 16.4 ppg) and Marshall (5th, 16.2 ppg) are the 2nd highest scoring tandem in Big Ten games (32.6 ppg) behind Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. (34.3). They are the highest scoring pair of Penn State players since Joe Crispin (19.2) and Gyasi Cline-Heard (16.8) helped lead the Lions to the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16.
The Wolverines have climbed as high as the No. 1 ranking. They are coming off a 72-71 loss to Indiana on Sunday in Ann Arbor in which they had a chance to gain a share of the regular season Big Ten title. National Player of the Year candidate Trey Burke led UM with 20 points in that game. He had 29 in UM's meeting with PSU in Ann Arbor and leads UM and is second in the Big Ten posting 19.2 ppg and leads the Big Ten with 6.8 assists per game. Tim Hardaway Jr., ranks seventh in the Big Ten posting 14.8 ppg and freshman Nik Stauskas (11.6) and Glenn Robinson III (10.9) also average double-figures in the starting line-up. Three UM players have 57+ threes led by Stauskas' 69 and Burke's 63. UM commits just 9.3 turnovers per game and scores 75.4 ppg.
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-BIG TEN:
Penn State's explosive backcourt tandem of junior Jermaine Marshall and sophomore D.J. Newbill were both named 2012-13 All-Big Ten Men's Basketball Team honorable mention on Monday by both the Big Ten coaches and voting media. The second highest scoring tandem in the Big Ten this season and the highest scoring Nittany Lion duo since the 2000-01 season, Newbill finished fourth in scoring (16.4 ppg) and fourth in assists (4.2 apg) in Big Ten conference games while Marshall ranked fifth in scoring (16.2 ppg) and ninth in three-pointers per game (2.0). Newbill posted his ninth 20-point game of the season with 22 points in Sunday's last second loss to No. 22 Wisconsin, 63-60, in the Jordan Center. He ranks third in the Big Ten in number of 20-point games and is riding a career best string of 14-straight double-digit scoring games while posting double-digits in 27 of 30 games overall. He has led the Lions in scoring 12 times on the year and is Penn State's second leading rebounder (5.0 rpg) and ranks second in the Big Ten playing 36.4 minutes per game. Marshall led Penn State with 23 points vs. Wisconsin for his fifth 20-point game of the season and his 14th time leading the Lions in scoring on the year. Marshall has posted 20 or more points in three of the last five games and has been hot posting 19.2 ppg and shooting 48 percent form three over the final five regular season games. He led Penn State with 25 points in the 84-78 upset of No. 4 Michigan in late February and leads Penn State in steals (45) and threes (58) while ranking second in assists (2.4 apg) and third in rebounding (4.5 rpg).
D.J. Newbill (16.1) and Jermaine Marshall (15.5) are the second highest scoring tandem (31.6 ppg) in the Big Ten this season behind only Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (34.0). They are the highest scoring pair of Penn State players since first team All-Big Ten guard Joe Crispin (19.2) led the Big Ten in scoring and forward Gyasi Cline-Heard (16.8) finished fourth and combined for 36.0 ppg while helping the Lions to the 2001 NCAA Sweet 16. Newbill and Marshall are the Lions' highest scoring backcourt since Crispin and third team All-Big Ten guard Titus Ivory (15.1) combined for 34.3 ppg in 2001.
Penn State's average home attendance of 7,672 for its 17 home games this season is an increase of more than 700 per game over last year's average of 6,937. It is Penn State's highest average attendance mark since averaging 8,150 per game in 2009-10. The Lions had a high of 11,212 fans vs. Ohio State this season.
CLOSE LOSSES/CHALLENGE TOP 25:
The Lions 63-60 loss to No. 22 Wisconsin on a buzzer beater in the regular season finale was just the latest in a string of close losses at the end of the season. Nine of Penn State's 16 Big Ten losses have been by single digits, four of those to teams currently ranked in the Top 25. Six of the last eight losses have been by single digits. Among those PSU also has a two-point loss to Iowa, a five-point loss at Illinois, and an eight-point loss at No. 4 Michigan. The Lions have lost three games by 20 points or more in the Big Ten. Three teams have more 20+ point losses in Big Ten play.
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 seven 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 44% or better from three over the last seven games: D.J. Newbill (48.0%, 12-25), Nick Colella (8-18, 44.4%) and Jermaine Marshall (20-45, 44.4%). No Lion with more than five attempts was shooting better than 30% over the first 11 Big Ten games. The Lions are making 6.4 threes per game over the stretch, well above the 4.8 prior to the string.
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 seven games after having no more than two in the first 11 Big Ten games PSU is scoring 65 ppg, over the last seven, 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 39% 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 12.3 assists per game compared to 8.2 in the first 11 Big Ten games Three Lions are averaging better than 11 pts per game over the span: Jermaine Marshall (18.1), D.J. Newbill (17.3) and Sasa Borovnjak (11.9).
LAST TIME OUT: WISCONSIN 63, PENN STATE 60, March 10, 2013 Bryce Jordan Center
In a game that saw 18 lead changes and six ties, Traevon Jackson hit a 25-foot three at the buzzer to give Wisconsin a 63-60 victory in the regular season finale. Jermaine Marshall (23) and D.J. Newbill (22) combined for 45 points both shooting 9-20 to lead PSU, which won the rebounding battle, 31-28, and committed just six turnovers. Both teams shot 43 percent, but Wisconsin's 50 percent in the second half overcame a slim 25-24 PSU halftime lead. Four Badgers posted double-figures led by Jackson's 15 on 3-of-3 from three. Jarred Berggren has 12 points and 10 boards. UW led by nine, 14-5, early after a slow offensive start for PSU, but the Lions tied the game at 18 after a Marshall three-point play on a dunk and neither team led by more than five the rest of the way. PSU led 52-51 with 5:45 to play after a Newbill jumper. Jackson pushed UW's lead to 58-54 with a three but a Newbill layup and then a jumper with :05 to play tied it at 60.
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.