Nittany Lion Basketball Takes On St. Joe's In Philadelphia's Palestra Saturday
Nov. 30, 2007
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., Nov. 30, 2007 - The Nittany Lion basketball team (3-3; 0-0 Big Ten) will look to build on its Big Ten/ACC Challenge win over Virginia Tech on Wednesday when it takes on St. Joseph's in Philadelphia's Palestra Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Before the game, the Chester County Chapter and the Penn State Alumni Association will co-sponsor an alumni mixer from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Cavanaugh's Restaurant, 39th and Sansom streets.
The game can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network (WMAJ 1450 AM & WBUS 93.7 FM in State College) with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action and will be streamed to www.GoPSUsports.com. A webcast is available through All-Access on GoPSUsports.com.
Senior Mike Walker led Penn State with 17 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three in Wednesday's 66-61 victory over the Hokies. Penn State started three freshman (Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, Andrew Jones) in that game.
St. Joseph's (3-2; 0-0 A-10) is coming off a 70-65 overtime loss to No. 19 Gonzage Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Hawks are led by 6-10 Pat Calathes who averages 18 points a game and have four men averaging in double-figures.
NOTES ON THE GAME
Series At A Glance:
Penn State leads the all-time series 13-8 and won the last meeting, 65-61, in a tight game in the Jordan Center last season. Penn State went 95-113 in nine seasons (1983-91) as a member of the A-10 and is 18-14 vs. the conference as a non-member.
Penn State: Ed DeChellis - 45-79 (5th at PSU); 150-172 (12th Overall); St. Joseph's: Phil Martelli - 243-141 (12th at St. Joe's); same overall
Penn State Sports Network: Steve Jones (p-by-p), Dick Jerardi (analyst). Flagship: WMAJ (1450 AM), WBUS (93.7 FM)
Audio and Gametracker links at GoPSUsports.com.
Penn State will get a week off before playing Seton Hall at home next Saturday, Dec. 8 in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game will end a string of six straight games against top non-conference competition for the Lions. Penn State lost at Seton Hall, 69-59, last year but leads the all-time series 4-1. PSU is 3-0 at home with SHU's last trip to State College coming in 1972.
Old A-10 Rivals Collide:
Penn State spent nine seasons as a member of the Atlantic-10 from 1983-91 posting a 95-113 record in the conference and capturing the 1991 A-10 championship. The Nittany Lions and Hawks met twice a year in the regular season over the last eight years of that run with Penn State winning the last 11 regular season meetings but losing three times to St. Joe's in the A-10 tournament in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Return To The Palestra:
Penn State will play its first game in Philadelphia's Palestra since falling to Pennsylvania, 62-37, on Nov. 23, 2002. Jan Jagla led Penn State with 16 points and 11 rebounds in that game. In its last meeting with St. Joseph's in the Palestra, Penn State posted a 61-59 victory in a regular season match-up on Jan. 30, 1988.
Scouting St. Joe's:
The Hawks are coming off a 70-65 overtime loss to No. 19 Gonzaga in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Pat Calathes led St. Joe's with 24 points, 13-of-13 from the free throw line, and added seven rebounds in 41 minutes of action in that game. The Hawks played six men more than 20 minutes in the game, but no one else more than four. Darrin Govens, St. Joe's top three-point threat with 17 on the year, made just 2-of-9 in the game and St. Joe's was 5-of-23 from the arc on the night while shooting just 31 percent (19-60) from the floor. St. Joe's is 3-2 on the year and has wins over Farleigh Dickinson (86-66), Boston Univ. (57-48) and Ball State (74-63) on the year with its other loss coming on a last second three-pointer by Johnny Flynn at Syracuse (72-69) on Nov. 13. Calathes leads the Hawks averaging 18.4 ppg while four men average double-digits. Ahmad Nivins, a 6-9, forward leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per game. Iowa State transfer Tasheed Carr has 12 steals and 36 assists on the year vs. 13 turnovers and is shooting 43 percent (6-14) from three.
Last Year vs. SJU:
Jamelle Cornley posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Danny Morrissey added 15 on three treys and Brandon Hassell had 14 as Geary Claxton played just 19 minutes with a brace on his broken right hand and had six points. Claxton used the hand to make a big block on Ahmad Nivins late in the game and preserve a 65-61 PSU victory at the Jordan Center. The play drew a technical foul from SJU coach Phil Martelli. PSU led 31-28 at the half and shot 47 percent for the game. SJU was led by Pat Calathes with 16 points. Nivins had 15 points and eight boards. SJU shot 44 percent from the floor but just 4-of-16 from three. The game was tied three times in the final eight minutes.
Lions Post First Big Ten/ACC Challenge Win Since 1999:
With its 66-61 victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday, Penn State posted its first win the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since 1999 and just its second in seven appearances. The ACC won ninth installment of the Challenge which began in 1999, 8-3. Penn State is 2-6 in Challenge games
Returning To Philly:
Freshman Andrew Jones played his high school ball at Abington Friends in Philadelphia and was an All-City pick as a senior in 2005-06.
Penn State's bench produced 39 points (59%) in a 66-61 win over Virginia Tech on Nov. 28 led by 17 from Mike Walker. Penn State's bench has produced seven double-digit scorers on the season, has scored more than 30 points in four gamess and is averaging 34 points per game. Junior Jamelle Cornley (10.0 ppg) has bolstered that production coming off the bench in each of his four games after a preseason knee injury.
Claxton Moves To Sixth All-Time In Scoring/Posts 20th Career Double-Double:
Geary Claxton has led Penn State in scoring in five of six games on the season and moved his way into the top 10 on both the Penn State career scoring and rebounding charts. Claxton moved up to sixth all-time at Penn State in scoring (1,376) passing Titus Ivory (1,369, 1997-2001) and Jarrett Stephens (1,372, 1996-2000) on Wednesday vs. Virginia Tech. He has also moved into 10th all-time in rebounding (672), 20 behind Randy Meister (692, 1973-75) in ninth. He posted 63 points and 26 rebounds at the Old Spice Classic averaging 21 ppg and 8.7 rpg for the tournament. He had a pair of 20-point games (23 vs. Rider, 22 vs. UCF), the 19th of his career, and his 20th career double-double (23-12 vs. Rider).
Strong Student Support:
Penn State is sending two student buses to the St. Joseph's game at the Palestra with around 83 students expected to arrive via the buses and several more via their own transportation for the game. Nearly 4,000 Penn State students filled the "Nittany Nation" student section for Penn State's nationally televised (ESPN2) victory over Virginia Tech on Nov. 28 creating an electric and loud environment for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State's two new faces at the point-guard position (freshman Talor Battle and junior transfer Stanley Pringle) have combined to post a sterling 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio (41-to-21) in Penn State's first six games. Battle leads Penn State averaging 4.0 apg and has posted a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio while playing 27 minutes per game. Pringle leads Penn State with 12 steals and has a stellar 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio while averaging 2.8 assists per game. Meanwhile, senior guard Mike Walker has eight assists and just one turnover while posting three double-digit scoring games, including 17 to lead Penn State vs. Virginia Tech.