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November 14, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State is midway through its four-game opening week homestand and plays host to Montana on Wednesday, November 15. The first-ever meeting between the two programs tips off at 7 p.m. on BTN.
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Montana's two-game trip to Pennsylvania began with an overtime victory against Pittsburgh 83-78 Monday night for its first win over a Power-5 program since 2010. Four Grizzlies were in double figures with Michael Oguine scoring 29 points and Ahmaad Rorie adding 18, including six in overtime. It was Montana's first over an Atlantic Coast Conference School since 1966.
FIRST MEETING WITH MONTANA
Wednesday's contest is the first-ever meeting between Penn State and Montana on the basketball court. Penn State is 0-2 all-time against the current members of the Big Sky Conference, falling to Montana State in 1930 and to Idaho in 1979.
NATIONAL RANKINGS RELEASED
The NCAA posted national statistical rankings for the first time in 2017-18 and those figures include Penn State ranked in the top 10 of four statistical categories and in the top 50 for eight.
|Statistical Rankings Category||Stat||National Ranking||Big Ten Ranking|
|Steals Per Game||13.0||7||1|
|Free Throws Made||50||11||3|
|Free Throw Attempts||63||20||4|
|Offensive Rebounds Per Game||16.50||33||2|
Individually, sophomore guard Tony Carr laid claim to three of the top spots in the Big Ten rankings in free throws made (22-2nd nationally), free throws (24-7th nationally) attempted and total assists (14-13th nationally). He is second in the Big Ten with 26.5 points per game (27th nationally) and in assists per game (7.0-30th nationally). Josh Reaves is first in the Big Ten in total steals (7) and steals per game (3.50), good for 12th and 34th in the nation, respectively.
THE 500 MARK
Sophomore guard Tony Carr finished his freshman season with 436 points and already tacked on 53 points in Penn State's first two games this season. The Philadelphia, Pa., native, who had a career-best 33 points in the opener vs. Campbell, is now just 11 points shy of 500 career points with 489.
MINUTE BY MINUTE
An injury at the end of 2016-17 sidelined sophomore guard Nazeer Bostick for the remainder of the season, just as his minutes on the floor were increasing. The Philadelphia, Pa., native provided some spark as the first off the bench in both the Campbell (14 min) and Fairleigh Dickinson games (20 min). He scored four points with two rebounds and two steals against the Camels and had a career-best 12 points against FDU.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Penn State became the first Big Ten team to record a win in the 2017-18 season with a late afternoon tipoff time vs. Campbell.
CENTENNIAL FOR SHEP
Senior guard Shep Garner played in his 100th game as a Nittany Lion in the season opener November 10.
Mike Watkins contributed 90 blocked shots to Penn State's record team total of 182 in 2016-17. His 90 blocks in his rookie year set the freshman season record and put him ninth on the career list. With three blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson, he passed Brandon Taylor (2012-16) for eighth place with 93 and has his sights on Carvin Jefferson whose 99 total is good for seventh. Donovan Jack is next on the list with 100 for sixth place.
MBB LEADS BIG TEN; POSTS FIFTH-STRAIGHT YEAR WITH 100% GSR
Penn State student-athletes continue to graduate well above their peers nationwide, delivering a record-tying academic performance, according to data recently announced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Last week's release of the NCAA's annual graduation rates study of institutions across the nation revealed Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent to tie the school's all-time record, previously set in the 2010 NCAA report. Nittany Lion students posted a 90 percent graduation rate compared to the 86 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2007-08 through the 2010-11 academic year.
The NCAA data revealed student-athletes from nine Penn State squads, including men's basketball, earned a Graduation Success Rate of 100 percent, an increase of two from last year's seven teams and up four from the 2015 total of five squads.
The men's basketball team had a perfect GSR score of 100 percent for the fifth consecutive year and its graduation figure was 22 points higher than the Division I average (100 to 78 percent).
Single-game tickets are available for all Penn State home games, including Wednesday's contest vs. Montana. Visit gopsusports.com/tickets/m-
ENHANCED SECURITY MEASURES AT BJC
Enhanced security measures implemented last year at the Bryce Jordan Center for concerts and other events at the facility are being extended to Penn State men's basketball games. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, metal detectors are being added at entry points, in addition to enforcement of Intercollegiate Athletics' bag policy.