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Marshall (4-4) at Penn State (6-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Bryce Jordan Center (15,261) -- University Park, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: MU 4-1, PSU 4-1. Away Record: MU 0-3, PSU 1-1. Neutral Record: MU 0-0, PSU 1-1. Conference Record: MU 0-0, PSU 0-0. Series Record: Penn State leads, 5-0.
GAME NOTES: The Marshall Thundering Herd will try to avoid their third consecutive setback as they square off with the Penn State Nittany Lions in a non-conference bout at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Marshall dropped to 4-4 overall and 0-3 in road games on Wednesday with a 69-67 loss at Vanderbilt. Coach Tom Herrion's team is now on a two-game losing slide and will face West Virginia for an in-state battle at Charleston its next time out. The Thundering Herd have been efficient on the offensive end to average 85.8 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting from the floor. They are allowing 78.4 ppg and limiting the opposition to 28.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Nittany Lions will also be looking to snap a two-game slide after falling, 78-69, at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Penn State has playing well despite the undesired results. It defeated St. John's, 89-82, in overtime before losing to Ole Miss by three points in its two prior outings before tangling with the Panthers. Penn State, which is in its third season under coach Patrick Chambers, is 6-3 through its first nine games.
This will be the sixth meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. Penn State has won all five previous encounters. The Nittany Lions' last decision over the Thundering Herd came on Jan. 16, 1992 in Huntington.
Marshall trailed the Commodores by as many as 13 before its late rally came up just short. Freshman point guard Kareem Canty had a strong showing with 18 points and four assists while Elijah Pittman posted 17 points and six rebounds in the loss. Shawn Smith provided a spark off the bench with 15 points on 4- of-6 shooting from the field. Pittman has been the key to the Herd's offense en route to 22.9 ppg on 49.6 percent efficiency from the field. Canty is adding 17.1 points and 6.9 assists per tilt. Ryan Taylor, who is third on MU in scoring, did not play versus Vandy and his status is unknown for Saturday's contest.
The Nittany Lions lost their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup to the Panthers despite a stellar performance by Tim Frazier, who netted 27 points and four rebounds. D.J. Newbill chipped in 18 points. PSU averages 80.8 ppg on 47.3 percent shooting from the field. Newbill has scored in double figures in 24 consecutive outings. Penn State was held to 69 points and made only 41.8 percent of its field goal attempts against the Panthers. Frazier and Newbill are both averaging just over 19 ppg. Brandon Taylor and Ross Travis are also scoring in double figures consistently. At least two Nittany Lions have reached double digits in every game this season.
The Thundering Herd are a dangerous team due to their one-two punch of Canty and Pittman. However, PSU has been much more impressive overall this season and its homecourt advantage will be very difficult for the Herd to overcome. Frazier should have no problem against MU's inexperienced backcourt.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn State 76, Marshall 65
12/07 10:33:00 ET