Dec. 20, 2013
|Penn State (8-4) vs. Mount St. Mary's (3-7)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men’s basketball team closes out its non-conference schedule with Mount St. Mary’s at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bryce Jordan Center. The game, which will be shown live on the Big Ten Network and can be heard across Pennsylvania on the Penn State Sports Network, is the latter half of a doubleheader with the Lady Lions, who take on Alcorn State at 11 a.m. in the BJC. A $5 general admission ticket will give fans entrance to both games.
LIMITED BAG POLICY
Penn State has implemented a limited bag policy at all home athletic events this season. One clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag per person will be permitted for medical needs, child care needs and general items as needed. Items that can fit in a pocket should remain in patrons' pockets (i.e. keys, cell phone, wallet, glasses, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, make-up). General items of this nature, including those that don't fit in patrons' pocket, can also be placed in a clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag. All clear bags will be inspected through the bag and article check stations as in prior years.
AT A GLANCE (TEAM)
- The Lions are searching for their ninth non-conference win of the season, which would be the most in the regular season for a Patrick Chambers-led PSU squad and the most overall since the 2008-09 team went 11-2 through pre-Big Ten play.
- The Nittany Lions have four players scoring in double figures after 12 games with the team averaging 80.3 ppg, the fourth-highest scoring clip among conference teams and nearly 15 points more than the average in non-conference games last season (65.5).
- The Nittany Lions have the third-highest field-goal percentage among Big Ten teams (.472), up over 8 percent from a year ago. As a unit, the starting five are all shooting at a higher clip than last season, by an average of nearly 9 percentage points.
- With Allen Roberts’ team-leading 15 points at Duquesne, six different PSU players have led the team or tied for the lead in scoring through the first 12 games of the year: Frazier (6 games), Newbill (3 games), Jack, Travis, Roberts and Brandon Taylor (1 game).
- As a team, the Lions are shooting 75.1 percent from the free-throw line, the second-best showing among Big Ten teams ... Five PSU players are shooting 70 percent or better from the FT line, led by Brandon Taylor’s 85 percent showing (17-20), among players with at least 20 attempts.
- The 6-1 start was its best under head coach Patrick Chambers and overall since 2008-09 when the Nittany Lions opened 7-1.
- The loss to Ole Miss snapped a five-game winning streak, the longest for the program since the start of the 2008-09 campaign when the Lions won their first five games.
AT A GLANCE (PLAYERS)
- The NCAA granted the waiver request for Jordan Dickerson to be eligible to play this season, beginning with the Mount. St. Mary's game Sunday.
- Sunday marks the first game John Johnson is eligible to participate for the Nittany Lions after transferring from Pitt in Dec. 2012.
- D.J. Newbill (19.0 ppg) and Tim Frazier (18.4 ppg) are ranked first and second, respectively, in the Big Ten and make up the highest-scoring backcourt duo in the nation.
- Tim Frazier has the most assists of any NCAA Division I player (91) to start the week and is second in the country in assists per game (7.6) ... He is atop the conference in helpers per game (7.6), besting Michigan State’s Keith Appling in second by 2.6 per game ... Frazier currently is the only player in the country averaging at least 18 points and 7 assists per game ... Only B1G player in the Top 5, let alone Top 10, of scoring (18.4, 2nd), assists (7.6, 1st) and steals (1.9,5th).
- Newbill passed 1,000 career points at Duquesne (1,025), including 293 scored at Southern Mississippi ... He needs 268 more points to enter the PSU records books ... Newbill has emerged as one of the Lions’ top 3-point scoring threat, tallying 20 on 47 attempts (.426)
LAST TIME OUT: Lions Fall to Princeton in Overtime at Rec Hall, 81-79
D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier combined for 48 points Dec. 14 but their efforts proved not enough as the Lions fell to Princeton, 81-79, in overtime at Rec Hall in the Return to Rec, presented by AAA, event. The contest marked the first time that the Lions have played at Rec Hall since 1996.
Penn State will open its 22nd season in the Big Ten with a New Year’s Eve matinee against the No. 5 team in the country - Michigan State - at 5 p.m. in the Jordan Center. Tickets are available through GoPSUsports.com, by calling 1-800-NITTANY or visiting the BJC ticket office.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
Mount St. Mary’s is 3-7 on its season after defeating Loyola Maryland, 70-58, Dec. 7 in the last game for the Mount before a 15-day break. Rashad Whack led the way with 18 points while Julian Norfleet added 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Mountaineers’ victory over the Greyhounds. The Mount used a 17-4 run to close the first half, taking a 32-27 lead into the break and did not trail for the rest of the contest.
For the season, Norfleet is leading the charge with 18.6 ppg and 5.4 apg, while Whack is second in team scoring with 14.6 ppg. The Mountaineers are 0-6 on the road this season with losses coming at West Virginia, Villanova, BYU, UMBC, UMES and Michigan State. The Mount is allowing 90.2 points per game on the road, compared to 65.0 at home, where they defeated Bucknell, 69-64, Nov. 26.
The Mount is coached by Jamion Christian, who is 21-21 in second season at the helm.
This will be the eighth all-time meeting between the Mount and Penn State in the series controlled by the Lions (7-0) since 1992. Four of the seven matchups have been decided by seven points or fewer, although the last meeting - Dec. 18, 2011, was a 29-point decision. Led by a 15-point, 8-assist performance from Tim Frazier, Penn State downed Mount St. Mary’s, 72-43. In the closest matchup of the series in 2010, the Nittany Lions used a 30-footer from Talor Battle to break a 53-53 tie with 1.3 seconds remaining. After a turnover, PSU sealed the win with a free throw for a 57-53 victory.