Lions And Wildcats Collide Sunday

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Freshmen Donovon Jack scored eight points in the win over Delaware State.


Freshmen Donovon Jack scored eight points in the win over Delaware State.

Dec. 20, 2012

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., DEC. 20, 2012 - Penn State (6-4) will look to continue its recent hot shooting when it takes on the New Hampshire Wildcats (4-6) in a Sunday matinee double-header with the Lady Lions. General admission tickets to attend both games are just $5 as fans can watch the Nittany Lions tipoff at 11 a.m. and then watch the Lady Lions take on NJIT in a 1:30 p.m. tip at the Bryce Jordan Center.

The Nittany Lions' game will be televised live by the Big Ten Network and can be heard across the Penn State Sports Network with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action.

Penn State has posted its best shooting percentages of the season in its last three games, including back-to-back games with season high scoring outputs as the Nittany Lions' offense has begun to click behind the direction of guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall. The pair make up the second highest scoring tandem in the Big Ten with Newbill ranking seventh in the conference posting 15.6 ppg and Marshall eighth at 15.1 ppg.

 

 

Newbill led the Lions in scoring for the second straight game in a victory over Delaware State last Saturday as he tied a career high with 22 points. The guards are getting help from the big men as well, particularly senior Sasa Borovnjak who broke out for 14 points and eight rebounds vs. the Hornets in the best statistical game of his career.

The Wildcats (4-6) are coming off a close, 61-59, loss at Boston College on Sunday. B.C. downed the Lions, 73-61, at the Jordan Center earlier this year. New Hampshire was led by Ferg Myck who had 21 points in the game. The 6-6, senior forward leads UNH posting 15.7 ppg and shooting 37.8% (17-45) from three on the year.

Single game tickets for men's basketball are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting GoPSUsports.com/tickets or Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets for Nittany Lion games are $24 for lower bowl seats between the baselines, $18 for the lower bowl behind the baskets and upper level between the baselines and $15 for upper level behind the basket seats for adults and seniors. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $10, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5.

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist (@PSUSTRETCH) and the official Penn State men's basketball handle (@PennStateMBB) on Twitter and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.

PENN STATE (6-4; 0-0 Big Ten) vs. NEW HAMPSHIRE (4-6; 0-0 America East)

SUNDAY, DEC. 23, 2012 @ 11:00 A.M. (ET)

BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.

GAME INFO

TELEVISION: BTN: Tom Werme & Dan Bonner

RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)

Sirius/XM: 137/--

LIVE STATS:

GAMETRACKER | ALL-ACCESS AUDIO

COACHES:

PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 18-24 (2nd at PSU); 60-52 (4th Overall)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bill Herrion - 87-130 (8th at UNH); 324-299 (22nd Overall)

RPI: PSU: 154; UNH: 264

NEXT UP:

PSU completes a four-game home stand to close out the non-conference season Saturday, Dec. 29 when it faces Duquesne. The teams are meeting for the third straight year. The Dukes posted a 66-59 victory in Pittsburgh last year to end a three-game PSU win streak in the series. The Lions won, 77-73, in the last meeting in the BJC in 2010 and own a 24-19 lead in the series that began in 1924.

THE GAME:

Penn State will look to continue its first winning streak of the season Sunday when New Hampshire comes to town in the third game of a four-game home stand to close out the non-conference season. The game is part of a double-header tilt with the Lady Lions tipping at 1:30 p.m. vs. NJIT. Penn State holds a 3-0 lead in the series with the Wildcats, posting a 70-50 victory in the last meeting in 2008. All of the games in the series have been held in University Park. Patrick Chambers posted a 4-1 mark vs. UNH in five meetings during his time in the America East Conference with Boston University. Penn State is closing out the non-conference season with three weekend games in the span of 21 days at home after starting the season with nine games in 30 days, with four away from the BJC.

NOTES TO KNOW:

• Pittsburgh transfer guard John Johnson (6-1, Philadelphia, Pa.) arrives on campus Friday and will begin practice immediately. He will be eligible to begin play late next December.

• Penn State posted back-to-back wins for the first time on the year with a win vs. Delaware State and has won three-straight at home going 5-1 at home on the year.

• Penn State improved to 2-0 in overtime games on the year with the 80-76 OT win over Delaware State. The Lions are 4-0 in games decided by 7 points or less on the year.

• Penn State has posted season bests in shooting (50.9% vs. Army & 49.1% vs. Delaware State) and points (78 vs. Army and 80 vs. Delaware State) in back-to-back games. The Lions are shooting 50% and scoring 79.0 ppg in the last two outings. PSU has posted four straight games shooting over 40% after shooting under 40% in the first six of the season.

• Penn State has posted season highs in assists in three-straight games posting 11, 13 and 15 respectively, helping to result in its three highest shooting percentages on the season in those games shooting 44%, 50.9% and 49.1%.

• Penn State's 80 points vs. Delaware St. marked just the third game over 80 points under Patrick Chambers and the first since posting 82 in a loss to No. 12 Indiana last January 8.

• Big Minutes: D.J. Newbill ranks second (35.6) and Jermaine Marshall third (35.4) in minutes played in the Big Ten as the pair serve as the primary ball handlers and scorers for Penn State and rarely leave the floor, Marshall playing 42 minutes last game.

D.J. Newbill led the Lions in scoring for the third time this season and for the second straight game equaling a career high with 22 in the win vs. Delaware State. He is shooting 53.6% while scoring 20.5 ppg in his last two outings, taking just four threes.

Jermaine Marshall posted a career high five assists vs. Delaware State to go with seven rebounds and 15 points in his best all-around game of the year.

• Newbill (7th, 15.6 ppg) and Marshall (8th, 15.1 ppg) are one of two sets of teammates to rank in the Top 10 in scoring in the Big Ten, both are posting 16.9 ppg since the injury to Tim Frazier. They form the 2nd highest scoring backcourt in the Big Ten posting 30.7 ppg, behind only Michigan's Trey Burke (3rd, 18.0) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (5th, 15.7), 33.7 ppg.

Sasa Borovnjak's 14 points and 8 rebounds vs. Delaware State marked the best statistical game of his career. He is posting 8.7 ppg and 6.3 rpg in the last three outings.

• Freshman Donovon Jack had the best game of his young career posting eight points and three rebounds vs. Delaware State, while shooting 4-of-5 from the floor.

Ross Travis has led Penn State in rebounding seven times on the year and is second in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and fourth in offensive rebounding (2.7).

D.J. Newbill has scored in double-digits in 9-of-10 games on the year and is scoring 16.9 ppg since taking over point guard duties for Tim Frazier. A natural off-guard, Newbill has taken over the bulk of point guard duties while Jermaine Marshall has also seen time at the point and the Lions have turned to Ross Travis to bring the ball up the court on occasion.

• Freshman Brandon Taylor made his first career start in the win vs. Bucknell, posting 16 points. He posted double-digit scoring in four of the last seven games since taking on a larger role in the absence of Frazier. Taylor leads PSU shooting 38% (13-34) from three. His 13 threes are second only to Jermaine Marshall's 19.

SCOUTING NEW HAMPSHIRE:

The Wildcats (4-6) are coming off a close, 61-59, loss at Boston College on Sunday. B.C. downed the Lions, 73-61, at the Jordan Center earlier this year. UNH was led by Ferg Myck who had 21 points in the game. The 6-6, senior forward leads UNH posting 15.7 ppg and shooting 37.8% (17-45) from three on the year. He is one of four Wildcats averaging double-figures and his 7.4 rpg are second only to 6-10 center Chris Pelcher who posts 7.6 rpg while posting 12.4 ppg and shooting 60.7% from the floor. The Wildcats are 1-5 away from home on the year, having posted a wint at Dartmouth (72-58). They also lost, 61-53, at UConn ealier this season. They are holding opponents to 62.9 ppg, 37.2% shooting overall and just 22% from three on the season. UNH posted a 13-16 mark last year and was 7-9 in the America East.

LIONS WELCOME TRANSFER JOHNSON:

University of Pittsburgh transfer guard John Johnson (6-1, Philadelphia, Pa.) arrived on campus on Dec. 21 and began practice with the team. A sophomore, he will be eligible to begin competing next December at the end of the 2013 fall semester. A three-time PIAA first team pick as well as a New Jersey All-state prep selection, Johnson scored 2,314 points in his prep career and was ranked the No. 69 recruit in the nation by Bob Gibbons. He played in all 39 games, starting two, in his freshman season at Pittsburgh, posting 4.2 ppg and shooting 38.4% from three. He is the fourth player from the Philadelphia area Patrick Chambers has added to the roster.

MARSHALL EMERGES:

Junior Jermaine Marshall led Penn State in scoring in four straight games following the injury to Tim Frazier and emerged as not only one of Penn State's main weapons, scoring 15.1 ppg, but a primary ball handler as he shares duties at the point with D.J. Newbill. He logged a career high five assists vs. two turnovers in the win over Delaware State for his best floor game of the year. He is averaging 18.3 ppg and shooting 46% from the floor, 43% from three and 34-of-46 (74%) from the foul line over the last six games. Marshall is the Lions' leading active career scorer with 557 points.

BOROVNJAK BREAKS OUT:

Senior Sasa Borovnjak tied a career high with eight rebounds for the second time in three games vs. Delaware State and added 14 points, one shy of a career high, on a career best 8-of-10 from the foul line for the best statistical game of his career. He also had eight points and eight rebounds at La Salle two games earlier. He is averaging 8.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg and shooting 8-of-11 (72%) from the floor and 10-of-13 from the foul line in his last three games after averaging 1.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg in his first seven games.

TRAVIS GETS AGGRESSIVE:

Ross Travis has asserted himself offensively posting back-to-back double-digit scoring outings for the first time in his career with 12 points at La Salle and 14 vs. Army, one shy of his career high. Travis scored eight of the Lions first 14 points at La Salle, as he started 3-of-4 from the floor, and seven of Penn State's first nine in a 3-for-3 start vs. Army. He posted a career high in field goals (6) at La Salle and career highs in field goal attempts (11) in both games while shooting 11-of-22 (50%) combined. Travis logged his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 boards vs. Army and is averaging nearly a double-double (9.1 ppg & 8.7 rpg) in seven games since Tim Frazier went down with injury.

NEWBILL ON POINT:

D.J. Newbill, a natural off-guard, has taken over point guard duties since the injury to Tim Frazier in the fourth game of the season. He is logging big minutes at the position playing 35.4 per game to rank second in the Big Ten. Working through growing pains at the position, he has posted seven-straight double-digit scoring games (including two 20-point outings) since taking over and is averaging 16.9 ppg and 4.8 apg since moving to the point. The bulk of his turnovers have come in the first half as he adjusts to running the offense. He had six in the first half vs. B.C. and none in the second. On the year he has 27 first half turnovers and just nine second half.

LAST TIME OUT: PENN STATE 80, DELAWARE STATE 76 OT, Dec. 15, 2012 • Bryce Jordan Center

Penn State came out hot, jumped to an 18-point first half lead and then survived a gut check as Delaware sent the game to overtime and posted its first lead of the game with 3:06 left in the extra period. Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill responded, Marshall hitting a big three with the Lions trailing by three with 1:07 remaining to tie the game and Newbill driving for the game winning layup with 30 seconds to play. Newbill led the Lions with a career high tying 22 points while Marshall had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 42 minutes. Sasa Borovnjak had his best game of the season with 14 points and a career high tying eight rebounds. The Lions shot 59% in the first half to lead 37-29 at the break, but saw the Hornets shooting 50% in the second half and tie the game for the first time on a Tyshawn Bell three with 12 seconds to play. Casey Walker led DSU with 24 points, including five threes. Penn State shot 49% for the game and had a season high 15 assists.

For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.

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