Penn State (8-14, 0-10) looks to snap their 10 game losing streak and pick up their first Big 10 victory of the season in Lincoln against Nebraska (11-12, 2-8). Tipoff is at 9:00 tonight, and you can catch the game on ESPNU.
THE LAST TIME OUT
The Lions hosted Purdue on Tuesday night in the Jordan Center in what was viewed as their best chance to date to get off the snide in the league. Things started out great, and PSU methodically built a 21-12 lead. Purdue would go on a 12-4 run from that point to the end of the half to close to within just 1 point, as the Lions defense lost their edge, and shots stopped falling, again. Purdue’s star freshmen Ronnie Johnson and A.J. Hammons took over in the second half and the Boilermakers pulled away for a 58-49 win. PSU got 17 points and 7 assists from D.J. Newbill, but he was the only Lion in double figures. Jermaine Marshall struggled to 7 points on 2 for 14 shooting. Ross Travis showed signs of ending his long slump, with a renewed aggressiveness, adding 8 points on 4 for 8 shooting.
Nebraska has again struggled in their 2nd Big 10 season, and 1st under new head coach Tim Miles. One of their 2 B1G wins came over PSU last month, when PSU struggled from the free throw line down the stretch en route to a 68-64 loss. The other win came at home over Northwestern. The Huskers struggle on the offensive end, averaging 58.7 points per game, and shooting 41.5% from the field. For comparison, Penn State is at 60.7 points per game, and 38.5% . In the first meeting, Nebraska freshman Shavon Shields went off for a career high 29 points, but has struggled since, with just 24 total points in his last 4 games. Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley lead Nebraska at 13 points per game, with Brandon Ubel at just under 12.
THE MATCH UP
Penn State is yet to win a Big 10 road game under Patrick Chambers, and this could be their best shot to do so before 2014. If that is to happen, Newbill and Marshall need to have their typical offensive night, while Ross Travis, Brandon Taylor or someone else steps up as a 3rd scorer. On the defensive end, the Lions need to keep Shields (or anyone else) from going off, since they just don’t have the firepower to counter that. I expect a close game, dominated by
poor shooting good defense, and whoever executes down the stretch gets the win. I’ll be a homer and say PSU ends two streaks tonight with their first conference road win under Chambers, and their first B1G win of 2013.
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