Penn State (12-17) at Purdue (19-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 29th, 6:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mackey Arena (14,240) -- West Lafayette, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: PSU 10-6, Purdue 12-4. Away Record: PSU 1-10, Purdue 5-4. Neutral Record: PSU 1-1, Purdue 2-2. Conference Record: PSU 4-12, Purdue 9-7. Series Record: Purdue leads, 26-11.
GAME NOTES: Still in the hunt for their first conference road win of the season, the Penn State Nittany Lions give it another shot tonight as they drop in on the Purdue Boilermakers for a Big Ten bout at Mackey Arena.
Penn State has already registered five seasons without a single Big Ten road win, and is trying to avoid that dubious distinction again for the first time since 2007. Winners of just two games this month Penn State, which closes out the regular season at home against Michigan on Sunday, has lost two straight, including a 67-66 final versus Northwestern At home last Saturday night. Needless to say, with just four wins in 16 league bouts, PSU is tied with Nebraska for last place in the conference standings.
Meanwhile, the Boilermakers are locked in a fifth-place tie with Indiana at 9-7 in Big Ten play and are coming off their second straight win and the fourth in the last five games thanks to a 75-61 romp over Michigan on the road on Saturday.
The Boilermakers lead the all-time series by a 26-11 margin over PSU, taking the last five games played at Mackey Arena. However, the Lions did thump Purdue in the first meeting this season in University Park by a score of 65-45 early last month.
Penn State allowed the Wildcats to connect on 15-of-29 shots behind the three- point line on Saturday night and also watched as a pair of free throws by John Shurna in the final seconds sent the Nittany Lions to yet another conference loss. Tim Frazier tried to keep hope alive with 23 points and eight assists, while Jon Graham and Ross Travis finished with 10 points apiece. Frazier is in rare company at the moment, threatening to become only the third player in Penn State history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the same season. At this point he is putting up 18.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, has handed out 183 assists and made 63 steals, giving it is all at both ends of the floor even if the results have not been favorable this year. Jermaine Marshall chips in with 10.4 ppg as the only other double-digit scorer for the group as they post just 62.0 ppg.
Stealing away the spotlight from Robbie Hummel who scored 17 points for the Boilermakers in the win over Michigan was Terone Johnson who scored a career- high 22 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor as the team overall hit on 50 percent from the field and 7-of-15 behind the three-point line. Hummel, who is one of the nation's top scorers in the month of February, is pouring in 16.5 ppg overall this season and is not only deadly from three-point range where he has knocked down close to two triples per game, he is also the top rebounder for the Boilermakers through 29 games with seven boards per outing. Lewis Jackson chips in with 10.2 ppg and is the one who is often feeding the ball to Hummel, resulting in a team-high 122 assists. Because of the 20-point loss to PSU in the first meeting, Purdue finds itself allowing 69.6 ppg to league foes, which is exactly what the Boilermakers are putting up.
With some movement still to be made before the start of the conference tournament, the Boilermakers need to show that they are worthy of being considered one of the better teams in the league. It would also help Purdue moving forward if it can avenge the blowout loss from the first meeting of the season versus PSU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 67, Penn State 58
02/29 10:38:10 ET