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Dec. 27, 2011
Contact: Brian Siegrist Penn State Athletic Communications 814-865-1757 firstname.lastname@example.org
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., Dec. 27, 2011 - Penn State (8-5) will open its 20th season of Big Ten conference play with a pair of road games beginning Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. tip vs. Michigan (10-2) in Ann Arbor, Mich. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network or heard across Pennsylvania on the Penn State Sports Network.
Penn State brings a two-game win streak into the Big Ten campaign after posting its eighth non-conference win of the season with a 74-67 victory over Cornell on Dec. 21. Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) led the Lion with 17 points and a career-high equaling 11 rebounds in that game. It marked Frazier's fourth double-double of the season, tied for the third-most in the Big Ten on the year.
Frazier enters Big Ten play leading the conference with 7.2 assists per game and ranked fourth posting 17.2 points per game. He is the only player in NCAA Division I posting at least 17 points and seven assists per game and is the only Big Ten player in the top ten of scoring and assists in conference statistics.
Frazier has gotten consistent help from sophomore Jermaine Marshall and senior Cammeron Woodyard over the last five games. Marshall has posted six straight double-digit scoring games and is averaging 14.3 ppg over that stretch. Woodyard is coming off a 3-for-3 night from the three-point arc vs. Cornell and has posted double-digit points in four of his last five games while averaging 11.2 ppg over that stretch.
Penn State is 7-12 all-time in Big Ten season openers and will be opening the Big Ten campaign on the road for the third straight season. The Nittany Lions will begin a five-day road trip on their trek to Michigan as they will head straight from Ann Arbor to Evanston, Ill. Where they will take on Northwestern on Jan. 1. Penn State will not return to the Bryce Jordan Center until Jan. 5 when the Nittany Lions take on Purdue in an 8:00 p.m. tip.
PENN STATE (8-5; 0-0 Big Ten) vs. #18/16 Michigan (10-2; 0-0 Big Ten
THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2011 @ 7:30 P.M. (ET)
CRISLER ARENA (12,721), ANN ARBOR, MICH.
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network; Dave Revsine and Jim Jackson
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network; Local: 1450 AM; Sirius: CH 131; XM; CH 191 Steve Jones (p-by-p) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
LIVE STATS & AUDIO:
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 8-5 (1st at PSU); 50-33 (3rd Overall)
MICHIGAN: John Beilein - 77-69 (5th at UM); 628-387 (34th overall)
RPI: Penn State: #174 ; Michigan: #46
Penn State will continue a five-day road trip and two-game road swing when it takes on Northwestern on Jan. 1. The Lions will travel from Ann Arbor to Evanston on Dec. 29 and remain there until after the game. PSU leads the series 26-12 and is 10-8 in Evanston. The Lions have won six-straight and 10 of the last 11 vs. the Wildcats, including three in a row in Evanston.
Penn State will open its 20th season of Big Ten play with a pair of road games, the first at Michigan on Dec. 29. The Lions are 2-15 all-time at Michigan, but posted a 55-51 victory there in 2010. UM leads the series 25-11 and has won four of the last five meetings, including victories in a pair of games last year decided by seven points or less in which the Lions held significant leads. Penn State is 7-12 all-time in Big Ten openers, but has won four of its last five, including a victory last year at Indiana. Penn State posted eight non-conference wins to surpass the number of non-con wins from last year's NCAA Tournament team that went 7-4 in the pre-Big Ten season.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
Penn State will open the Big Ten season on the road for the third-straight season and will play back-to-back road games to open Big Ten play for the second-straight year. The Lions are 3-8 overall in road Big Ten openers. The Lions opened the 2011 Big Ten campaign with a pair of road games, winning at Indiana (69-60) in the conference opener before falling at Michigan (76-69). Penn State opened the 2010 Big Ten season with a loss at Minnesota (75-70).
Ranked #18/16 in the latest polls, the Wolverines (10-2) bring a five-game win streak into the Big Ten opener having downed Bradley (77-66) on Dec. 22. Forward Evan Smotrycz (6-9) led UM with 20 points & 10 boards in that game as the Wolverines made 10 threes and had 25 assists against just six turnovers. It marked UM's fourth straight game with 10+ threes. UM is second in the Big Ten hitting 8.9 threes per game and is posting 71.7 ppg while shooting 49 percent on the year. Tim Hardaway, Jr. leads UM with 15.4 ppg while shooting 46 percent. Freshman guard Trey Burke is posting 13.0 ppg and 5.0 apg. UM has wins over Memphis (73-61), UCLA (79-63) and Iowa State (76-66). Its losses have come to Duke (82-75) and at Virginia (70-58). The Wolverines are 7-0 at home on the year.
LAST YEAR VS MICHIGAN:
The Lions lost a pair of games to Michigan last year falling, 76-69, in Ann Arbor in the second Big Ten game of the season and, 65-62, in State College in early February. Penn State got 31 points from Talor Battle in both games and held big leads in both, but the Wolverines got hot in the second half to pull out the wins. Penn State led 36-31 at the half in Ann Arbor, and by as much as nine in the first half, but saw UM shoot 61 percent in the second half and go 14-of-14 at the foul line. Darius Morris led UM with 20 points and 10 assists in that game. Penn State held double-digit leads in both halves in State College, but UM hit 56 percent in the second half and got 23 points from Morris. PSU led 46-36 with 8:15 to play, but UM went on a 10-0 run. Cam Woodyard had a then career-best 10 points and seven boards starting in place of an injured Jeff Brooks in the game.
LEWIS & BURKE FAMILIAR FOES:
Freshman Lion Trey Lewis and freshman Wolverine Tre Burke last met in the 2011 Ohio Division I state semifinals with Burke's Columbus Northland team prevailing, 67-59, over Lewis' Garfield Heights team despite 33 points and state tournament record eight threes from Lewis at Ohio State's Value City Arena. Lewis was the runner-up to Burke, who had 15 points in the semifinal game, for 2011 Ohio "Mr. Basketball" honors. The pair earned Co-Division I Player-of-the-Year honors in Ohio and were AAU teammates for a season on All-Ohio Red.
OFFENSIVE BALANCE EMERGES IN FINAL FIVE NON-CON GAMES:
After early season scoring dominated by Tim Frazier as the only player averaging double-digits, Penn State has seen the emergence of guards Jermaine Marshall and Cammeron Woodyard and forward Billy Oliver over the final five non-conference games to give the offense more balance. Marshall has posted six-straight double-digit scoring games and Woodyard has reached double-digits in four of the last five, scoring nine in the other. Marshall (12.8 ppg) and Woodyard (11.2 ppg) have joined Frazier (13.4 ppg) in averaging double-digits over the final five non-con games, while Oliver is just behind at 9.2 ppg. Woodyard has hit 50 percent from the floor and 8-of-18 from three during the stretch, while Marshall has gotten to the foul line 29 times, making 20. Oliver has made eight threes over the stretch combing with Marshall (6) and Woodyard (8) for 22 of the Lions 31 threes over the five games.
CHAMBERS HITS 50:
One week after his 41st birthday, coach Patrick Chambers recorded his 50th victory as a head coach in the Lions 74-67 victory over Cornell. Chambers, in his third season as a head coach, posted 21 wins in each of his two seasons at the helm at Boston University.
FRAZIER NAMED COUSY CANDIDATE/ONLY D1 PLAYER POSTING 17+ POINTS & 7+ ASSISTS PER GAME:
Tim Frazier was named by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame among the candidates for the 2012 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Frazier, who is the only player in NCAA Division I currently averaging better than 17 points and seven assists per game, was one of five Big Ten players named to the list, which will be narrowed to 30 players in January and a final five on March 1. Frazier joined Trey Burke (Michigan), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Lewis Jackson (Purdue) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin) among Big Ten players on the list. Frazier posted his fourth double-double of the year with 17 points and a career-best equaling 11 boards in his last outing, a 74-67 Lion victory over Cornell (12/21).
LAST TIME OUT:
Penn State 74, Cornell 67, Dec. 21 University Park, Pa.
Penn State hit 7-of-14 from three in the second half to turn a 31-30 halftime deficit into a 74-67 victory over Cornell behind Tim Frazier's fourth double-double of the season. Frazier posted a team-high 17 points and a career-best equaling 11 rebounds. Four Lions reached double-figures, including 13 from Trey Lewis and 13 from Cammeron Woodyard (who went 3-of-3 from three in the second half) off the bench, part of a season-high 30-point bench output for the Lions. Cornell led for much of the first half. Penn State used a 9-0 run to seize the lead in the second. Cornell tied the game at 64 with 1:54 to play. Jermaine Marshall scored four straight to reclaim the lead. Drew Ferry hit 6-of-11 from three for 20 points for Cornell.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. Lady Lion Basketball season tickets are $117 for adults, $91 for faculty/staff and seniors and $52 for youth. Penn State students will be admitted for free to Lady Lion basketball games beginning this season.
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 on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
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.