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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Ruben Rodriquez (12,000) -- Bayamon, Puerto Rico Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: PSU 1-0, Providence 2-0. Away Record: PSU 0-0, Providence 0-0. Neutral Record: PSU 0-1, Providence 0-1. Conference Record: PSU 0-0, Providence 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: After losses in their opening-round games, the Penn State Nittany Lions and Providence Friars will face off in a consolation game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Providence won its first two games of the season at home against NJIT (64-63) and Bryant University (81-49), before traveling to Puerto Rico to take on UMass in the opening round of this event. The Friars climbed back from 11 points down to eventually take a three-point lead late in the game, but the Minutemen scored the final five points of the game, including a game-winning basket on a tip-in in the waning moments, as they fell in a 77-75 final.
Penn State managed to reduce its deficit to just seven points in the second half of its opening-round matchup with the sixth-ranked NC State Wolfpack, but that's as close as it would get down the stretch as it eventually fell, 72-55. The loss comes on the heels of a home-opening win against Saint Francis last Friday, 65-58.
These two squads have only met twice before with each winning once. Penn State won the most recent encounter during the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
The Nittany Lions could find very little momentum offensively against NC State as they drained just 31.7 percent of their field goal attempts, including a lowly 3-of-19 effort from three-point range. For the second straight game, Tim Frazier scored 23 points to lead the team, and although he made just 6-of-20 field goal attempts, he went nearly perfect at the free-throw line (10-of-11). Frazier now has 20 career games with 20 or more points, and he became the 30th player in school history to join the 1,000-point club. D.J. Newbill chipped in with 13 points, and Jermaine Marshall tallied 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block, although he didn't have much luck from beyond the arc, making just one of his seven long-range attempts. Jon Graham scored just four points but he ripped down a career-high 10 boards.
After shooting just 42.4 percent from the field in the first half, Providence got back in the game against UMass by shooting 57.1 percent after intermission, but it proved futile. The Friars are still having difficulty knocking down three-pointers, and after a 5-of-19 effort from beyond the arc last night, they are just 16-of-55 (.290) through three games. Bryce Cotton continued his outstanding start to the season with 23 points, which included a perfect 8-of-8 effort from the free-throw line. Cotton, who also added a team- high five assists, is the team's leading scorer with 22.7 ppg. Kadeem Batts was also effective as he narrowly missed a double-double with 19 points and nine boards while also adding three assists and a blocked shot. LaDontae Harris registered 13 points and 11 boards, while Josh Fortune chipped in with 12 points.
Providence's psyche may be damaged a bit after dropping a heartbreaker, but it will only give it more motivation to come out strong against Penn State. The Lions have some scorers that can sway the game in their favor, but figure the Friars to utilize their depth to pull out a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Providence 80, Penn State 71
11/16 10:37:30 ET
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