Nittany Lions Host Maryland In ACC/Big Ten Challenge Wednesday
Nov. 30, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Dec. 1, 2010 - It's an early Holiday gift for area basketball fans Wednesday as defending ACC co-Champion and coach Gary Williams venture west for a nationally televised meeting with the Nittany Lions at 9:15 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Terrapins coming off their 24th NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth ACC title and having won a national title (2002) and appeared in two Final Fours (2001 & 2002) in the last decade, represent the best non-conference program to venture into the Bryce Jordan Center since it opened in 1996. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest will be televised live on ESPN2 and can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action. Jones and Jerardi's call can also be heard on Sirius radio channel 127 and XM radio channel 196.
It will be a White House game with fans encouraged to wear white and receiving rally towels at the door while supplies last. It will also be a "Subway Full Court Four Pack" game with fans able to get four tickets, four drinks and four Subway subs for $40. Damon's will host a pre-game tailgate for fans from 6:30 to 8:30 featuring Pittsburgh Pirate Garrett Jones. The $10 all you can eat buffet features ribs, wings, chicken fingers and other appetizers and includes soft drinks.
The Nittany Lions (5-1) will be looking to continue their Big Ten Conference record run of three-straight Challenge victories and continue its host shooting after knocking down a season-high 63.2 percent (12-19) from the arc on Sunday in a victory over Furman. It was the Lions' best performance from three since 2005. In the game, Talor Battle became just the third Big Ten player ever to log at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists on a career joining Steve Smith of Michigan State and Evan Turner of Ohio State. He enters Wednesday standing third all-time at Penn State in scoring (1,636) and needing six assists to pass Titus Ivory (443) for 6th all-time in career assists. Battle has hit 8-of-13 (61.5%) from the arc in his last two games and is one of three Nittany Lions ranked in the top 25 in the Big Ten in scoring. Battle is third (18.3) overall followed by Jeff Brooks (9th, 16.0) and David Jackson (24th, 11.7).
Maryland (5-2) has won five-straight games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and is led by 6-10 forward Jordan Williams who has posted five double-doubles in the team's first seven games. Williams averages 17.4 ppg and 11.9 rpg on the season. The Terrapins return two starters and seven lettermen from a team that went 24-9 and claimed a share of the ACC Championship last season. The Terps were a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost a close, 85-83, game to No. 5 seed and eventual Final Four participant Michigan State in the second round. The Terps lost games to No. 4 Pittsburgh (79-70) and No. 13 Illinois (80-76) in the 2K Sports Classic earlier this season and defeated Delaware State (73-54) and Elon (76-57) in their last two outings. The Terps are scoring 80.4 ppg and shooting 48.5 percent from the floor while pulling down 42.3 rebounds per game and averaging 5.9 blocks per game. Terp coach Gary Williams brings more than 650 wins in 33 seasons into Wednesday.
This will be the first meeting between the two programs since Penn State claimed an 80-78 victory in Rec Hall in the second round of the 1990 NIT. It will be the 17th meeting between the two programs with the series tied at 8-8. Penn State is 4-5 all-time in Challenge Games (2-2 at home) and 19-44 vs. ACC teams. The Lions have won at Virginia (69-66), at Georgia Tech (85-83) and vs. Virginia Tech (66-61) in their last three Challenge games.
Nittany Lion Basketball season tickets are available by calling 814-865-5555. Season tickets are $220 for adults, $190 for seniors for a 19-game home schedule and $59 for students. PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.