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MBB Closes 2017 with Three-Game Homestand

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December 18, 2017

PENN STATE vs. BINGHAMTON
 
9-3, 1-1 B1G 8-4, 0-0 AE
 GAME INFO
Tuesday, December 19 | 7 p.m ET
Bryce Jordan CenterUniversity Park, Pa.
GAME DAY INFO
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
NOTES: Penn State  | Binghamton

TALE OF THE TAPE PS B
Points Per Game 78.2 72.4
Opponent Points Per Game 65.3 66.6
Field Goal Pct. 46.3 48.0
3-Point Field Goal Pct.
35.6 38.4
Free Throw Pct. 70.6 60.0
Rebounds 37.3 33.8
Assists 14.0 13.2
Turnovers 13.8 12.8
Steals 9.8 5.7
Blocks 5.8 5.5
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's basketball team returns home to the Bryce Jordan Center for three games to close 2017. The Nittany Lions meet Binghamton for the first time in program history on Tuesday, December 19. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

GAMEDAY
Binghamton (8-4, 0-0 America East)
at Penn State (9-3, 1-1 Big Ten)
Tuesday, December 19
7 p.m. ET
Bryce Jordan Arena (15,261)

WATCH:
BTN+ ($) and BTN2Go

LISTEN: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (pxp) and Dick Jerardi (analyst)
2017-18 Affiliates and free online at GoPSUsports.com/lionvision

FOLLOW: Twitter @PennStateMBB & @Coach_Chambers | Facebook | Instagram @PennStateMBB.

TICKETS:
Tickets are available for all Penn State home games, including the three nonconference games to close out 2017: Binghamton (Tuesday, Dec. 19), Rider (Friday, Dec. 22) and Coppin State (Saturday, Dec. 30). Please note the Coppin State game time has moved to 1 p.m. Visit gopsusports.com/tickets/m-baskbl-tickets.html for more information.

BINGHAMTON BEARCATS
RECORD: 8-4, 0-0 America East
Coach: Tommy Dempsey (6th year at Binghamton)
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/0 
2017-18 Leading Scorer: 
#33 J.C. Show, Jr., G -- 16.0 ppg
2017-18 Leading Rebounder:
#32 Thomas Bruce, Jr., C - 9.3 ppg

PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
RECORD: 9-3, 1-1 Big Ten
Coach: Patrick Chambers (7th year at Penn State)
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/0 
2017-18 Leading Scorer: 
#10 Tony Carr, So., G - 20.0 ppg / 4.4 apg
2017-18 Leading Rebounder:
#24 Mike Watkins, RSo. F - 8.4 rpg

NITTANY LION PROBABLE STARTERS

# / Name / Pos. / ELG. / Pts / REB / STAT / NOTES 
11 / Lamar Stevens / F / So./ 14.5 / 6.9 / 2nd ppg/rpg | First car dbl-dbl at George Mason 23pts/12 reb
24 / Mike Watkins / F / R-So. / 12.7 / 8.4 / 39 blks | 10th career dbl-dbl at George Mason
10 / Tony Carr / G / So. / 20.0 / 5.1 / ppg 2nd in B1G | 19 pts vs. George Washington 12-9
23 / Josh Reaves / G / Jr. / 10.8 / 4.0 / B1G steals T-1st | Nationally ranked for steals & A:T ratio
33 / Shep Garner / G / Sr. / 10.6 / 2.0 / 248 career 3s | Tied 15th on PSU all-time scoring list 1,310 pts

OPENING TIP
Penn State has an overall ranking of 38th in the kenpom.com rankings and has moved up to 12th in the adjusted defense category, its highest ranking ever in that statistic. The Nittany Lions were 40th in the preseason kenpom.com ranking.

FIRST MEETING VS. BINGHAMTON
This is the first meeting between Penn State and Binghamton in men's basketball, however, coach Patrick Chambers has a 4-0 record vs. the Bearcats from his two-year tenure as coach at Boston University.

SIX UNDER UNDER 60
George Mason, scoring 54 points, became the sixth team in 2017-18 to be held to fewer than 60 points by the defensive-minded Nittany Lions. Penn State allowed George Mason only 18 points in the first 20 minutes of the game, the lowest offensive output in a half by a Nittany Lion opponent in 2017-18.

Penn State is 7-1 in 2017-18 and was 11-0 in 2016-17 when keeping its opponents below 70 points.

WHEELER GRABS CAREER-BEST 6 STEALS
Freshman guard Jamari Wheeler grabbed six steals against George Mason for his career best, the team-high total for the year, AND tied for a spot on Penn State's single-game steals list. The Live Oak, Fla., native joined seven other Nittany Lions tied for sixth on the chart with his six. Wheeler is now tied with junior guard Josh Reaves with 25 this season to lead the Big Ten and rank 23rd nationally.

GARNER EARNS SPOT AMONG NITTANY LIONS' TOP 15 SCORERS
With three three-pointers at George Mason, Shep Garner moved to 1,310 points for his career, a total which ties him for 15th on Penn State's all-time scoring list. The senior guard tied John Amaechi who was a three-year letterwinner for the Nittany Lions after transferring from Vanderbilt.

STEVENS & WATKINS DOUBLE UP GEORGE MASON
Forwards Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins each had double-doubles and Fairfax, Va., native Josh Reaves added 13 points as Penn State defeated George Mason 72-54 at EagleBank Arena on December 17. Stevens recorded his first career double-double in leading the Nittany Lions with 23 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Watkins was 5-5 from the floor at the half and finished the night with 14 points and 12 boards for his 10th career double-double.

The last time Penn State had two players register double-doubles in a regulation game was with Tim Frazier (19 pts/10 reb) and D.J. Newbill (17 pts/10 reb.) against Purdue (1/28/2014). Watkins (12 pts/11 reb) and Carr (23 pts/14 assists) both had double-doubles in the three-overtime game at Indiana (2/1/2017). Using information available since the 1976-77 season, and including the Stevens/Watkins double-doubles vs. George Mason, the NIttany Lions' have had 32 games in which two players have registered double-doubles.

FROM NITTANY LION TO WALKING CARPET
When Nittany Lion basketball student-athlete Joonas Suotamo included in his profile information that his dream job would be "any part of the movie industry," he probably would have not believed he'd be playing one of the most recognizable roles of all time. When looking to cast for Chewbacca, Disney contacted the Finnish basketball team and found the perfect fit in Suotamo. The former Penn State forward will be in two franchise movies in the next year, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which earned its status as the second-best movie opening ever last weekend, and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" opening May of 2018.

Check out this USA Today article to learn five things about Joonas Suotamo: gopsu.info/USAToday5ThingsAboutJoonas. The 2008 Penn State film studies graduate was also featured in this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article gopsu.info/PPG_walkingcarpet.

ALUMNI WEEKEND FESTIVITIES PLANNED FOR FEBRUARY 2-4, 2018
The Penn State men's basketball program will celebrate alumni weekend Friday-Saturday, February 2-4, 2018. Mitch Stover, who has served as the equipment manager for the Nittany Lion basketball program for 23 years, has been selected as the honorary captain for the Penn State-Iowa game on February 3. All former Penn State men's basketball student-athletes and their families are invited back to campus for this fun-filled weekend. For more information or to register, contact Wendy Miller at 814-865-5494.

 

 


 

 

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