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Dec. 9, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., Dec. 9, 2011 - Penn State (6-4) will look to win its second-straight road game Saturday when the Nittany Lions travel to Pittsburgh to face Duquesne (5-4) at the Consol Energy Center in a 7:00 p.m. tip. The game can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network or followed via Gametracker at GoPSUsports.com or via twitter through @PSUSTRETCH.
It will mark just the third trip for a Big Ten school to face Duquesne in Pittsburgh and the first in 40 years to the day since Iowa posted a victory at the Civic Arena in 1971.
Penn State posted a 62-54 victory at Boston College in its last road foray, but dropped a pair of close games at home to Mississippi (72-70) and Lafayette (61-57) in its last two games. The Nittany Lions have struggled shooting in their four losses on the year averaging 33 percent from the floor in those games and 24 percent from three.
The Lions downed Duquesne 77-73 last year in the Jordan Center behind 31 points from Talor Battle. The Dukes hit 14 threes in that game and continue to score at a high pace this year posting 75.4 ppg. Tim Frazier, who entered the Lafayette game leading the Big Ten in scoring before going 0-of-12 for three points in that contest, posted seven points vs. Duquesne last year and is the Lions' top returner from that game. With a Big Ten leading 7.3 assists per game average through approximately 1/3 of the season, Frazier is well on pace to shatter the Lions' season assist record of 189 set by Talor Battle in 2008-09.
Redshirt sophomore Jermaine Marshall has provided a scoring spark posting his second 20-point game of the year with a game-high 20 points and career-best nine rebounds in the loss to Lafayette. Marshall is averaging 12.3 ppg in the Lions' last six games. Freshman Ross Travis also posted career highs of 12 points and eight rebounds vs. Lafayette, a team Penn State out-rebounded 47-26. The game marked the Lions' most prolific rebounding output since posting 52 boards in a victory over UMBC in December of 2009. Penn State also piled up 20 offensive boards in the game and continues to lead the Big Ten in offensive rebounding at 14.6 per game.
The match-up with the Dukes will be Penn State's last for eight days as the Lions take next week off for final exams. Penn State will return to the Jordan Center on Sunday, Dec. 18 to face Mount St. Mary's in a 4:00 p.m. tip.
PENN STATE (6-4; 0-0 Big Ten) @ DUQUESNE (5-4; 0-0 A-10)
SATURDAY, DEC. 10, 2011 @ 7:00 P.M. (ET)
CONSOL ENERGY CENTER (19,000) PITTSBURGH, PA.
Lions look to snap two-game skid, second straight road win
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network; Local: 1450 AM; Sirius: CH 128; XM; CH - Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dave Baker (analyst)
WEB: Gametracker & Audio at: GoPSUsports.com
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 6-4 (1st at PSU); 48-32 (3rd Overall) DUQUESNE: Ron Everhart - 88-76 (6th at DU); 262-250 (18th Overall)
RPI: Penn State: #134; Duquesne: #144
Penn State will take next week off for finals before returning to the court on Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. Mount St. Mary's, which lost a close game at Maryland on Wednesday. PSU is 6-0 all-time vs. The Mount, winning 57-53 last year in the Jordan Center. This will be the fourth meeting since 2005 for the teams. The previous two have both been decided by five points or less.
Penn State will head to Pittsburgh Saturday to take on Duquesne at the Consol Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be the 43rd meeting between the schools with Penn State holding a 24-18 lead in the series and a 7-12 record at Duquesne. The Lions posted a 77-73 victory over the Dukes last December in the BJC. It was the first meeting since 1994 between the programs that first met in 1924. Penn State will look to end a two-game losing skid after falling in a pair of games both decided in the closing minute and by four points or less. The Lions will be looking for their second-straight road win after beating Boston College, 62-54, in their last road foray. Penn State is 116-131 all-time vs. A-10 teams, having fallen earlier this year at St. Joe's. Penn State was a member of the A-10 for nine years (1982-91) winning the A-10 Tournament in 1991. Penn State is looking for its seventh non-conference win, which would equal the total from last year's NCAA Tournament team.
LAST TIME VS. THE DUKES:
Penn State shot 55% and got 31 points from Talor Battle to post a 77-73 victory in the BJC in 2010. Tim Frazier had seven points, leading Lion returners. Duquesne hit 14 threes and was led by 23 points from Damian Saunders. The Dukes got 14 points from returner B.J. Monteiro on 3-of-5 from three. The Lions' largest lead was eight.
The Dukes (5-4) are coming off a 64-60 home loss to Robert Morris on Tuesday in which they shot a season-low 38 percent and posted a season-low point total. They entered the game have shot 50 percent or better in five of their previous six games. Eric Evans led the Dukes with 16 points in the game. Junior guard Sean Johnson (6-2) leads the Dukes posting 16.3 ppg while shooting 52 percent. He is one of four players averaging double-figures for a Duquesne team that is scoring 75.4 ppg while shooting 47 percent on the year. The Dukes have been out-rebounded by an average of nearly nine boards per game, but are posting a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Two of their losses on the year have come to ranked teams falling 67-59 at No. 16 Arizona in the season-opener and vs. No. 17 Pittsburgh, 80-69, in an earlier appearance this year at the Consol Energy Center. The last win came 77-67 over Tennessee Tech at home. They have scored more than 80 points in four games on the year.
MARSHALL PROVIDING SCORING SPARK; 12.3 PPG OVER LAST SIX:
Redshirt sophomore Jermaine Marshall has been a scoring spark early this season. He is averaging 12.3 ppg over the last six games, including two 20-point outings. Now ranks second on the team scoring 8.9 ppg. Has posted four double-digit scoring outings in PSU's last six games, three coming against Big Six conference opponents. Led Penn State with 20 points and a career-high nine rebounds in his last game, a loss to Lafayette (12/7) at the BJC. Hit a career-best 9-of-11 at the foul line in the game. Made first career start vs. Ole Miss (12/4). Scored 15 first half points, including the Lions' last 10 of the half, on his way to a career-high 22 points and eight rebounds in Penn State's win at Boston College (11/30). Marshall hit 8-of-16 from the floor and a career-best 3-of-6 from three in the game. Posted eight first half points on his way to 14 in Penn State's victory over USF (11/20). Returned to practice on Nov. 10 after being suspended prior to the start of pre-season practice.
FRAZIER SERVING ASSISTS AT RECORD PACE:
Approximately 1/3 of the way through a minimum of 32 Penn State games this season, Tim Frazier is on pace to obliterate the Lions' single-season assist record of 189 set by Talor Battle in 38 games in 2008-09. Frazier's Big Ten leading 7.3 apg is fully one assist per game higher than the PSU record season average of 6.1 set by Freddie Barnes (1992) and Tom Wilkinson (1978) and two ahead of his team leading 5.1 apg last year. At his current pace he would log at least 233 assists by season's end. Frazier has posted career-best assist totals in three games this year, posting at least 10 on each occasion, and has logged five games of 9+ assists. He had a career-best 11 assists vs YSU (11/23). Frazier's 173 assists last year rank as the fifth best season mark in PSU history. He ranks 12th on the PSU career assist chart, 31 shy of entering the Top 10.
TRAVIS POSTS CAREER HIGHS:
Freshman Ross Travis has been referred to by coach Patrick Chambers as his "junkyard dog" for the energy level he brings to the court and his willingness to mix it up and sacrifice his body. Posted career highs of 12 points and 8 rebounds vs. Lafayette (12/7). Has started four games Team's second leading rebounder, leading the team on the boards in three games on the year. Scored all of his then career high point total in the second half vs. Kentucky, hitting a pair of threes on his way to 10 points and eight rebounds to lead the Lions on the boards. Struggling hitting 4-of-20 at the foul line.
Penn State has held six opponents to less then 40 percent shooting on the year and four to 55 points or less.
Penn State has lost its last two games both by four points or less. PSU had the lead or was within two points in the closing minute of both games. The Lions led Ole Miss 70-69 with 46 seconds to play before falling 72-70 after Cam Woodyard's three with three second to play was off the mark. The Lions were within two of Lafayette four times in the final four minutes, but couldn't get over the hump in a 61-57 loss.
Penn State leads the Big Ten posting 14.6 offensive rebounds per game, posting season highs of 20 vs. Lafayette and 18 vs. Kentucky. The 20 offensive boards were the Lions most since posting 20 vs. Maryland in 2010. Penn State posted a season-high 47 rebounds vs. Lafayette, surpassing 40 boards in a game for the second time on the season. It was their highest total since logging 52 rebounds in a win over UMBC in December of 2009. Penn State out-rebounded the Leopards 47-26. The Lions have won the rebounding battle in EIGHT games, going 6-2 in those games with the losses coming in their last two games to Ole Miss (72-70) and Lafayette (61-57).
Penn State is shooting a combined 32.8% from the floor, 23.7% from three and 53.1% from the foul line in its four losses on the year, shooting less then 30% from the floor in two games and less than 32% from three in all four. The Lions are shooting 10% better in every category, 42.2% from the floor, 34.8% from three and 63.3% from the foul line, in six wins.