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Sasa Borovnjak has posted back-to-back double-digit scoring games.
Dec. 28, 2012
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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., DEC. 28, 2012 - Riding a three-game win streak and its best offensive performances of the season, Penn State (7-4) will return from a two-day holiday break to take on Duquesne (7-6) in a 4:00 p.m. tip at the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday.
The game will be streamed live and for free on ESPN3, the networks on-line platform, 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, scoring and assist numbers of the season in its last three games as it put together wins over Army, Delaware State and New Hampshire prior to the holiday break. The Lions eclipsed 70 points in each game, sending BJC fans home happy with free Big Macs, and are shooting 48 percent and scoring 76.7 ppg over the stretch.
D. J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall share the team lead in scoring at 15.1 ppg and remain the second highest scoring tandem in the Big Ten behind only Michigan's Tre Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. They have gotten help recently from senior Sasa Borovnjak who has posted double-digit in scoring in back-to-back games and is averaging 9.3 ppg over his last four outings.
Duquesne enters Saturday's game after a 91-79 loss at Louisiana Lafayette before the holiday break. The Dukes are 1-4 on the road this year. They are led by freshman guard Derrick Colter who has posted 25 points in each of his last two games and is averaging 13.2 ppg for the year.
Penn State will open its 21st Big Ten slate on Thursday, Jan. 3 when it travels to Wisconsin. The Big Ten leads the nation with six top-20 ranked teams and four teams in the top 15.
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 (7-4; 0-0 Big Ten) vs. DUQUESNE (7-6; 0-0 A-10)
SATURDAY, DEC. 29, 2012 @ 4:00 P.M. (ET)
BRYCE JORDAN CENTER (15,261)
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.
TELEVISION: ESPN3: Tim Neverett (pxp) & Cory Alexander (analyst), on-line stream
RADIO: Penn State Sports Network: Local (1450 AM); Steve Jones (pxp) & Dick Jerardi (analyst)
PENN STATE: Patrick Chambers - 19-24 (2nd at PSU); 61-52 (4th Overall)
DUQUESNE: Jim Ferry - 7-6 (1st DU); 261-174 (15th Overall)
RPI: PSU: 132: DUQ: 137
PSU will open its 21st season of Big Ten play at Wisconsin on Thursday. It marks the fourth straight season PSU has opened the Big Ten on the road. The Lions are 10-28 all-time vs. Wisconsin and 2-16 in Madison, having not won there since 1995. The Badgers posted a 65-55 victory in Madison last year. PSU has won three Big Ten openers on the road.
Riding a three-game win streak and its three highest scoring games of the season, Penn State returns from a two-day holiday break to complete a four-game home stand to close out the non-conference season when it faces Duquesne at the BJC. The teams are meeting for the third straight year and Saturday's game marks the beginning of a new four-game home-and-home series. The Dukes posted a 66-59 victory in Pittsburgh last year to end a three-game Penn State win streak in the series. The Lions won, 77-73, in the last meeting in the BJC in 2010, have won eight straight at home in the series (with the last loss coming in 1986) and own a 24-19 lead in the series that began in 1924.
Penn State has posted its best three shooting percentages (50.9% vs. Army, 49.1% vs. Delaware State & 46.3% vs. New Hampshire), point totals (78, 80, 72) and assist totals (13, 15, 13) of the season in the last three games. The Lions are shooting 48.8% and scoring 76.7 ppg in the last three outings, an increase of nearly 20 ppg over their 58.9 ppg average over the first eight games of the year. PSU has posted five straight games shooting over 40% after shooting under 40% in the first six games of the season and scoring more than 61 points just once (65).
NOTES TO KNOW:
Penn State has gone 5-2 in the seven games since losing leading scorer and do-everything guard Tim Frazier to a season-ending Achilles injury.
Penn State brings a three-game win streak, it longest of the year, into Saturday and has won four-straight at home going 6-1 at home on the year.
Penn State is 4-0 in games decided by 7 points or less on the year and 2-0 in overtime.
Penn State's 27-point victory over New Hampshire was its largest since downing Gardner-Webb by 47 in 2009.
Penn State eclipsed 70 points for the third straight game in the win vs. UNH and had four players reach double-figure point totals for the second time on the year.
UNH's 45 points were a season low for the Wildcats and tied for the second lowest for a PSU opponent under coach Patrick Chambers. UNH's 22.6% shooting was the lowest for a PSU opponent in the last 15 years.
Penn State committed a season low seven turnovers vs. UNH and held a 23-2 scoring advantage off of turnovers, grabbing eight steals.
Big Minutes: D.J. Newbill ranks third (35.3) and Jermaine Marshall fourth (34.5) 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 vs. Delaware State.
Jermaine Marshall has posted career highs in assists (5 vs. Delaware State) and steals (5 vs. New Hampshire) in his last two games as he continues to excel in his all-around floor game while playing more minutes at point guard.
Newbill (7th, 15.1 ppg) and Marshall (7th, 15.1 ppg) are one of two sets of teammates to rank in the Top 10 in scoring in the Big Ten. They form the 2nd highest scoring backcourt in the Big Ten posting 30.2 ppg, behind only Michigan's Trey Burke (3rd, 17.4) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (5th, 15.8), 33.2 ppg.
Sasa Borovnjak posted 11 points vs. New Hampshire to go with his 14 vs. Delaware State for the first back-to-back double-digit scoring games of his career. He is posting 9.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg in the last four 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. He has 14 points in the last two games and is shooting 7-of-10 on the year.
Ross Travis has led Penn State in rebounding eight times on the year and is fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.5 rpg) and fifth in offensive rebounding (2.5).
The Dukes are 1-4 on the road this year and are coming off a 91-79 loss at Louisiana Lafayette before the holiday break. Freshman guard Derrick Colter led the Dukes in that game scoring 25 points for the second straight game and leads Duquesne on the year posting 13. 2 ppg. The Dukes are replacing four of their top five scorers from last season, but are still scoring 70.0 ppg under first-year coach Jim Ferry. Six different players have led the team in scoring. The 7-6 Dukes are giving up 71.8 ppg and committing 16.1 turnovers per game but have a +4.4 rebounding margin. DU lost at Georgetown (61-55) and vs. Pittsburgh (66-45) and defeated West Virginia (60-56) in other games vs. major conference teams on the year. Their one road win so far came at Appalachian State (73-72).
LAST TIME VS. DUQUESNE:
Penn State committed a season-high 23 turnovers and gave up a 32-29 halftime lead falling at Duquesne 66-59. Penn State saw the Dukes shoot 52 percent in the second half and use a 16-3 run to go from down two, 39-37, at the 16-minute mark to an 11-point lead, 53-42, with 10:18 to play. Penn State would get no closer than five the rest of the way. The Dukes logged 11 steals and scored 22 points off turnovers. Penn State won the rebounding battle, 39-28, but hit just 4-of-16 from three. Tim Frazier posted 15 points and Jermaine Marshall 12 for the Lions. Eric Evans went 9-of-11 at the foul line and scored 15 second half points on his way to a game-high 20 for the Dukes. Penn State led for much of the first half in a game with 10 ties and nine lead changes.
FILLING IN FOR FRAZIER:
Since losing Tim Frazier and his 21.7 ppg to injury in the fourth game of the season, Penn State has actually improved its scoring average (58.8 ppg to 66.6 ppg) and shooting percentage (35.3% to 43.6%) over the last seven games. Jermaine Marshall has made the biggest increase since the loss of Frazier improving his scoring average by 7.6 ppg (10.3 to 17.9) and his shooting percentage from 30.6% to 46.9% (22.6% to 45.5% from three) and seeing his assists rise dramatically from 0.7 apg to 2.8 apg. Freshman Brandon Taylor also has increased his scoring from 4.0 ppg to 9.1 ppg (+5.1) and Sasa Borovnjak from 1.5 ppg to 6.1 ppg (+4.6).
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, sharing duties at the point with D.J. Newbill, and generator of turnovers, leading the team with 25 steals. He logged a career high five assists vs. two turnovers in the win over Delaware State for his best floor game of the year and followed that with a career high five steals in the win over New Hampshire. He is averaging 17.9 ppg and shooting 47% from the floor, 45% from three and 34-of-46 (74%) from the foul line over the last seven games. Marshall is the Lions' leading active career scorer with 572 points.
BOROVNJAK BREAKING OUT IN FINAL CAMPAIGN:
Senior Sasa Borovnjak, who is in his fourth year in the program but has two years of eligibility remaining after redshirting the 2010-11 campaign with a knee injury, has made the decision to make this his final season of competition for the Nittany Lions and plans to graduate in May. Since discussing the decision with coach Patrick Chambers, he has played the best basketball of his career. He 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 followed with 11 points and four boards vs. New Hampshire for the first back-to-back double-digit scoring games of his career. He also had eight points and eight rebounds at La Salle three games earlier. He is averaging 9.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg and shooting 12-of-18 (66.7%) from the floor and 13-of-17 from the foul line in his last four games after averaging 1.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg in his first seven games.
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.
LAST TIME OUT: PENN STATE 72, NEW HAMPSHIRE 45, Dec. 23, 2012 Bryce Jordan Center
Penn State capitalized on its hot shooting and UNH's offensive struggles to jump ahead early and never look back putting together runs of 10-0, 12-0 and 10-0 in the opening minutes to seize a 34-8 lead. UNH hit 1-of-11 in the opening minutes while PSU was shooting at a clip over 60 percent. The Wildcats ended the game hitting just 22.6%, the lowest for a PSU opponent in the last 15 years, while PSU hit 55 percent in the first half and 46 percent for the game. Jermaine Marshall's 15 points led four Lions in double-figures and 10 Lions that scored. He added a career high five steals as Penn State held a 23-2 lead in points of turnovers. No UNH player reached double-figures. The Lions lead 39-14 at the half and built as much as a 34-point second half lead. The 27-point margin of victory marked the largest under coach Patrick Chambers and the most since a 47-point win over Gardner-Webb in 2009.
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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