Men’s Basketball Completes Two-Game Road Trip at Nebraska Tuesday
Credit Source: Penn State University Athletics
Nittany Lions hold an 11-10 edge in overall series
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Penn State men’s basketball team (7-12, 4-11) completes its two-game road trip in the Midwest with an 8 p.m. ET game at Nebraska (5-15, 1-12) on Tuesday, Feb. 23. This is the second meeting between the two teams in a little over a week’s span. The game from Pinnacle Bank Arena will be broadcast by Big Ten Network.
The Nittany Lions hold an 11-10 edge in the overall series, but the two teams’ Big Ten series meetings are tied at nine wins each.
Coach: Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State, 1995)
Nebraska Record: 12-30 (Second season)
Career Record: 127-96 (Seventh season)
2020-21 Record: 5-15, 1-12 Big Ten
#00 Teddy Allen, Jr., G – 16.5 ppg
#45 Dalano Banton, So., G – 6.5 rpg
#45 Dalano Banton, So., G – 4.5 apg
Penn State Record: 7-12 (First season)
Career Record: 321-277 (20th season)
#0 Myreon Jones, Jr., G – 14.9 ppg
#12 Izaiah Brockington, Jr., G – 13.5 ppg
#21 John Harrar, Sr., F – 8.5 rpg
#5 Jamari Wheeler, Sr., G – 3.4 apg
PENN STATE LAST GAME STARTERS
F — 21 – John Harrar – Sr. | 8.9 ppg | 8.5 rpg
Note: Averaging nearly a double-double with 10.1 points, 9.6 rebounds over last 12 games; Leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (3.63) and ranks 12th nationally in that category
G – 0 – Myreon Jones — Jr. | 14.9 ppg | 2.8 rpg
Note: Leading scorer in 10 games this season, 19 career; Has 10+ points in all but two games this season
G — 2 – Myles Dread – Jr. | 7.5 ppg | 2.2 rpg
Note: Inserted into starting lineup for Nebraska game (2/14) and made third start of 2020-21 vs. No. 11 Iowa; Has at least 2 treys in each of the last 5 games
G – 5 – Jamari Wheeler — Sr. | 5.7 ppg | 4.3 rpg | 3.4 apg
Note: Floor general dictates pace; Has 308 career assists, 2 shy of tying former Nittany Lion Josh Reaves for the No. 15 spot on PSU’s all-time list
G – 12 – Izaiah Brockington — Jr. | 13.5 ppg | 4.6 rpg
Note: Team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder and averages most minutes on the floor at 31.0 per game; shared team-high scoring honors with Jones with 11 at No. 11 Iowa and was top rebounder with 7
Twelve of Penn State’s games have been decided by eight points or less. Seven of the losses have been by six points or less, most of any Power 5 program. The Nittany Lions’ last five outings have been decided by a combined 24 points.
According to kenpom.com calculations, Penn State’s current strength of schedule rating is now +20.08, second overall nationally. Of the top 10 SOS ratings, nine are held by Big Ten teams.
Penn State won at Lincoln for only the second time in the series in the teams’ only meeting in 2019-20 (76-64, 2/1/2020).
The Nittany Lions connected for 11 3-point field goals for back-to-back games with double-digit treys. Penn State recorded three-straight games with at least nine treys for the first time this season (Nebraska, #4 Ohio State and at #11 Iowa).
Senior forward John Harrar leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (3.63) with 50 of his 69 total offensive rebounds since Penn State’s restart (4.16 per game over last 12 games).
SERIES vs. NEBRASKA
The Nittany Lions hold an 11-10 edge in the all-time series against the Huskers, but in Big Ten play, they are tied with nine wins each. In the six “double-play” seasons since 2011-12, the Feb. 14 game at Penn State marked only the second time the visiting team had won.
Series streak: Nebraska, W1
Last game: University Park, Pa.
Nebraska 62, Penn State 61, 2/14/21
Overall series: PS leads 11-10 (PS A: 2-8)
Ferry vs. Nebraska & Hoiberg: 0-1
NET & KENPOM.COM
The Feb. 22, 2021 NCAA NET ranking has Penn State at 40, one of nine Big Ten teams in the top 40. Penn State is one of 10 Big Ten teams in the kenpom.com top 35, moving up to No. 34. The Nittany Lions are only team among those top 40 lists at or below .500
Feb. 22, 2021
NCAA NET – 40
Kenpom.com – 34
ON THE DEFENSIVE
In four of their last five games, the Nittany Lions have kept their opponents significantly below their scoring averages coming into the game. Listed below are six games, five in B1G play, where the difference has been at least 9.0 points.
|Opponent||Incoming PPG||Score vs. PSU||Difference|
|at Virginia Tech||74.5||55||19.5|
|at Michigan State||72.2||60||12.2|
Penn State is averaging 8.8 3-point field goals per game, good for second in the Big Ten. Penn State has connected for at least nine 3-point field goals in 11 games this season and has seven games in double figures.
Over the last five years, the 3-point field goals made per-game average has increased. The highest final team average in the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten era is 8.4 (278 in 33 games) by the 2000-01 Sweet Sixteen squad.
SOLID AS A BROCK
Junior guard Izaiah Brockington, Penn State’s second-leading scorer at 13.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game shared top honors in scoring at No. 11 Iowa (11 points) and was the top board-getter with seven.
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his dunks have been rated as SportsCenter top-10 plays twice this season. He has led the Nittany Lions in scoring column seven times this year and has appeared three times as the leader in assists, blocks and steals. He had his career-high, which was also a game- and Penn State individual season high seven assists (with no turnovers) vs. No. 4 Ohio State.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 – The Nittany Lions now have double-digit totals in steals in four Big Ten games this season.
Penn State ranks second behind Rutgers (7.9) in the Big Ten with a 7.8-per-game average this year.
12 – Twelve of Penn State’s games this season have been decided by eight points or less.
16 – The Nittany Lions forced No. 11 Iowa into a season-high 16 turnovers. The Hawkeyes came into Sunday’s game averaging 9.5 turnovers a game.
20 – In the last two games, four Nittany Lions have combined for 20 treys. Dread, Jones, Lundy and Wheeler all have five 3-pointers in those contests.
Wheeler and Lundy have the top 3-point FG percentages in the last two outings at 62.5 and 55.6 percent, respectively.
82 – Penn State’s 82 points vs. No. 4 Ohio State marked its second-highest scoring total in a Big Ten game in 2020-21 and its highest in a regulation game.
No. 11 Iowa overcame its second-half scoring drought to lift the Hawkeyes to a 74-68 win over Penn State. Penn State’s swarming defense held Iowa 13 points below its scoring average and forced 16 turnovers, a season high for the Hawkeyes.
Scoring droughts for both teams marked the second half with Iowa going without a field goal for two four-minute spans and Penn State unable to make a shot for seven minutes. With the game tied at 54 at 12:10, neither team could make a basket until Hawkeye center Luka Garza ended the Iowa stretch with a layup at the 8:18 mark for a 56-54 score.
After the under-eight-minute timeout, the Hawkeyes put together a 14-4 run to take a 70-61 lead with 4:05 left in the game. Despite struggling with its shooting over a stretch of seven minutes, Penn State scored eight points, all from the free throw line, and made defensive plays that kept it in the game.
A trey by Myreon Jones at the 4:58 mark kept Penn State in the hunt, down by only six, 67-61. The last two free throws, by Jones, pulled the Nittany Lions within five points, 70-65. A Seth Lundy triple found the bottom of the net as Iowa finished the game with a couple of free throws and a layup for the 74-68 final.
The Nittany Lions held a five-point lead at the break, 41-36, and John Harrar extended it to seven with two quick free throws to start the second period. Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp scored eight-straight points in the first 2:04 to pull the Hawkeyes within one, 43-42.
Jamari Wheeler countered with two 3-pointers to put the Nittany Lions up 49-42 at 17:10 before both teams had scoring droughts of four minutes.
Iowa made two field goals to take a 51-49 lead before Izaiah Brockington, who shared the team scoring lead with Jones, hit a jumper to tie the game at 51. Hawkeye Patrick McCaffery and Jones traded 3-pointers for a deadlock at 54 near the 12-minute mark. Iowa extended its lead to 11 at 67-56 with five minutes remaining but a 9-3 Penn State run cut the deficit to five with 1:19 to play.
Jones and Brockington led the Nittany Lions with 11 points. Brockington had the high rebound total with seven while Harrar had six. Senior forward Luka Garza led all scorers with 23 points and he and Wieskamp had a game-high tying 11 rebounds. Garza became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer in the second half of Sunday’s matchup. Wieskamp and Garza combined for 22 of Iowa’s 38 second-half points with 11 each.
The Hawkeyes came out of the gate firing, as CJ Fredrick knocked down a pair of triples in the game’s first five minutes and added another bucket to give Iowa an early 13-4 advantage. Trailing by 13 with 13:40 to play, the Nittany Lions hit their next six shots to pull within one after a Myles Dread 3-pointer.
Iowa pushed its lead back to four, but a 5-0 run led by a Trent Buttrick triple gave Penn State its first lead of the game at 26-25. With Iowa leading 33-30, Dread propelled a Nittany Lion 9-0 scoring run with a pair of triples and a free throw to give Penn State its largest lead of the half at 39-33.