UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's basketball team continues play in the College Basketball Invitational in quarterfinal action at Siena Monday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. from the Times Union Center in downtown Albany on CBS Sports Network. Following quarterfinal action, the teams will be re-bracketed with the PSU-Siena winner facing the victor of one of the following March 24 quarterfinal games: Radford at Old Dominion, Texas A&M at Illinois State or Princeton at Fresno State.
AT A GLANCE
This is the second meeting in program history between Penn State and Siena with the Lions capturing a second-round NIT matchup in 2000.
Making its first appearance in the CBI and 20th overall in the postseason, Penn State is now 32-20 in action following the conference tournament.
With 16 wins, Penn State and head coach Patrick Chambers have reached a victory mark topped just three times in this millennium (21, 2000-01; 27, 2008-09; 19, 2010-11).
The Lions have used six starting lineup combinations this season with four of them earning wins in their first appearances. Against Hampton, 22 different combinations were used in the course of the game, a team season high in a win.
D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier were selected by both the Big Ten coaches and media to the 2014 All-Big Ten second and third teams, respectively. Newbill is second in scoring in the Big Ten (17.8 ppg) while Frazier leads the league in assists (5.4) and is in the Top 10 of scoring (15.2) and steals (1.5).
Frazier is the lone current PSU player to see action beyond the Big Ten tournament prior to this season with a NCAA appearance as a sophomore in 2011. He had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 40 minutes vs. Temple (L, 66-64).
Frazier 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
Penn State finished the regular season first in the Big Ten in two-point percentage defense (45.1) in conference action after holding eight B1G opponents to shooting percentages at or below 40%.
Frazier reached 500 points for the season (503). He is the fifth Lion to do so in multiple seasons. Frazier and Newbill are PSU's fourth duo to post 500-plus in the same season.
Newbill ranks 21st all-time in career scoring with 1,091 points and now has 587 for the season, the eighth-highest single-season total in program history.
ABOUT THE CBI
The College Basketball Invitational (CBI) is a postseason tournament comprised of a 16-team field and hosted at on-campus arenas throughout the country.
The CBI is a single-elimination tournament, up until the Championship Series. The Championship Series is a best-of-three series.
The CBI provides a meaningful opportunity for teams that are deserving of a postseason experience.
Teams are invited based upon performance during their conference and non-conference schedules, as well as how well the team is playing at the end of the regular season.
The College Basketball Invitational is produced by The Gazelle Group in Princeton, N.J.
PAST CHAMPIONS: Santa Clara (2013), Pittsburgh (2012), Oregon (2011), Virginia Commonwealth (2010), Oregon State (2009) and Tulsa (2008).
SCOUTING THE SAINTS
Siena entered the CBI with a 15-17 record after falling to Canisius in the MAAC tournament. The Saints now are 16-17 after the 66-55 win over Stony Brook in the opening round game March 18 in Albany.
Rob Poole had 20 points in the win over Seawolves and leads the team with 14.8 ppg on the season. Brett Bisping is second with 10.8 ppg and a team-leading 6.3 boards.
Nine of Siena's final 11 regular-season games were one-possession affairs with 1:10 left to play and two ended in a decision of three or fewer points.
Siena is 11-4 at Times Union Center this season, limiting opponents to fewer than 68 points on its home court.
The Saints are shooting 72 percent from the free-throw line for the season, but have increased the output to nearly 78 percent over the last nine games.
They are called for an average of 22.8 fouls per game with opponents attempting over 28 free throws per game and scoring 19.2 points from the charity stripe per contest.
Penn State and Siena have met just once before with the Nittany Lions taking a 105-103 victory in the second round of the 2000 NIT at the Bryce Jordan Center. Titus Ivory scored the game-winning bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Lions had led by eight with 1:30 to play, but the Saints hit a couple 3-pointers to pull back into the game. Joe Crispin ended the night with 28 points, Jarrett Stephens added 22 and the Nittany Lions shot 59 percent from the field, while Ivory added 18.
Penn State is 15-4 against current teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The last meeting against a conference team was vs. Monmouth, an 84-52 win for the Lions Nov. 26, 2013, in the Jordan Center.
All-time, this is Penn State's 20th appearance in the postseason and first in the CBI, now in its seventh season. The Lions have played in nine NCAA tournaments and 10 NITs.
Penn State is 32-20 in postseason, including a 9-11 record in NCAA tourney action, 22-9 mark in the NIT and now 1-0 in the CBI.
Four of Penn State's 16 wins came vs. teams in the 2014 NCAA tournament field - Ohio State (twice), Nebraska and Mount St. Mary's ... In all, the Lions had 11 games vs. tourney teams this season.
PSU faced five teams in seven games among the the NIT bracket, winning the matchup vs. top-seeded St. John's.
Among CBI teams, Penn State faced Princeton this season in the Return to Rec event at Rec Hall in December, falling in overtime.
The Lions are 13-14 all-time vs. the CBI tourney field: Fresno State, Hampton (1-0), Illinois State (0-2), Morehead State (1-0), Old Dominion (2-0), Oregon State (0-1), Princeton (8-4), Radford, Siena (1-0), South Dakota State, Stony Brook (0-1), Texas A&M (0-3), Tulane (0-2), UTEP (0-1) and Wyoming.
Patrick Chambers' 2009-10 team at Boston University advanced to the 2010 CBI Semifinals. The Terriers made the NCAA tournament the following campaign.
LAST TIME OUT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four Nittany Lions posted double figures in scoring as the Penn State men's basketball team defeated Hampton, 69-65, in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. D.J. Newbill set the pace for the Blue and White, notching a team-high 19 points while Brandon Taylor, Tim Frazier and Geno Thorpe also reached double figures. Taylor flirted with a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down nine boards, Frazier posted 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Thorpe added a career-high 10 points and five boards. With the win, Penn State (16-17 overall) advances to the quarterfinals of the CBI Tournament where it will take on Siena in a Monday night matchup at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.