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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 9:15 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bryce Jordan Center (15,261) -- University Park, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: BC 2-1, PSU 2-0. Away Record: BC 0-1, PSU 0-0. Neutral Record: BC 0-2, PSU 1-2. Conference Record: BC 0-0, PSU 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 6-6.
GAME NOTES: The Penn State Nittany Lions and Boston College Eagles will meet for the second year in a row in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as the two teams square off in University Park on Wednesday.
Patrick Chambers' Nittany Lions have already been struck a huge blow with the season-ending injury to Wooden Award candidate Tim Frazier. The explosive guard suffered an Achilles' heel injury against Akron two games ago and is lost for the season. Penn State will need to find new leadership the rest of the way and pull together, like in the 60-57 victory against Bucknell last time out, the first game without Frazier in the lineup.
Steve Donahue's Eagles haven't suffered any team-altering injuries to speak of, but BC has still struggled with losses in four of the last five games, including a 56-54 setback to Bryant this past weekend. With the loss, Boston College fell to 2-4 on the season.
Penn State won last year's matchup in Chestnut Hill, 62-54, to pull the series even at 6-6.
Not much has changed from last year, when Boston College sported one of the youngest lineups in the nation. This season, the team boasts of three sophomores and two freshmen in the starting five and the group has struggled to find consistency at either end of the floor, resulting in a -2.8 scoring margin. Forward Ryan Anderson has been far and away the top performer thus far, averaging a double-double with team-highs of 15.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Freshmen guards Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon have provided perimeter support with 12.5 and 10.5 ppg, respectively.
Despite grabbing 40 rebounds in the game, the Eagles came up just short on the scoreboard against Bryant last time out, falling by two points at the Conte Forum. Hanlan finished with a season-high 19 points, while Rahon added 11. Anderson and center Dennis Clifford combined for just 10 points, but both pulled down double-digit rebounds, with 14 and 10 caroms, respectively.
The effects of losing Frazier will last the entire season and certainly were apparent in the first half against Bucknell, as Penn State trailed 22-16 at the half against the Bison. To PSU's credit, the Nittany Lions caught fire after the break, converting 65 percent from the floor, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc to earn the narrow victory. Jermaine Marshall led the way with 17 points. Brandon Taylor poured in 16, while D.J. Newbill added 10.
Replacing everything Frazier did for the team is an impossible task, but the Nittany Lions must try to move on. To do so, players like Newbill (13.6 ppg) and Marshall (11.6 ppg) will need to take their games to new heights. Other role players that will need to step up include Ross Travis (7.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Taylor (6.4 ppg). Scoring is at a premium with Penn State, which enters this contest averaging just 59.0 ppg, while shooting a troubling .360 from the floor, weighed down by a .231 effort from long range.
It would be hard to find another team that relied more on one player than Penn State did with Frazier. Without him in the lineup, the team will definitely struggle. The Eagles aren't a juggernaut by any stretch, but possess enough at both ends of the floor to earn a road win here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 67, Penn State 62
11/28 10:37:46 ET
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