CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
Penn State (22-10) vs (24) Purdue (22-9)
Friday, March 13th, 9:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By John Agovino, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Conseco Fieldhouse (18,345) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: BTN. Home Record: Penn State 15-3, Purdue 15-3. Away Record: Penn State 5-6, Purdue 5-5. Neutral Record: Penn State 2-1, Purdue 2-1. Conference Record: Penn State 10-8, Purdue 11-7. Series Record: Purdue leads, 21-10.
GAME NOTES: The final quarterfinal matchup in the Big Ten Conference Tournament will pit the Penn State Nittany Lions against the third-seeded Purdue Boilermakers, as the two schools will collide on the hardwood at the Conseco Fieldhouse.
The Nittany Lions had no trouble in their first round matchup, as they disposed of the Indiana Hoosiers, 66-51. It was the fifth win in the last seven games for Penn State, which closed out the regular season with a 10-8 league mark. Penn State, which is playing as the sixth seed, has been terrible in this tournament, posting a meager 5-11 all-time mark.
As for the Boilermakers, they have also had trouble in this event, losing 11 of their 15 matchups. The Boilermakers finished the regular season with a respectable 11-7 mark in conference action, but closed out their schedule with three losses in their last four games.
Purdue used a 61-47 victory over Penn State back in February to push its lead in the all-time series to a comfortable 21-10 margin.
The Lions put forth a tenacious defensive effort in their recent win over Indiana, limiting the Hoosiers to just 51 points on a meager 36.7 percent shooting effort. Throughout the season Penn State has been solid defensively, holding teams to just 61.6 ppg. Opponents are shooting a mediocre 42.8 percent against Penn State, but the Lions have done well against the three-point shot, allowing only a 32.0 percent success rate. Offensively, the team has leaned on Talor Battle. Battle, who was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team, has done everything for PSU, netting 16.8 ppg, to go along with 5.5 rpg and 4.9 apg. Jamelle Cornley is contributing 14.2 ppg, to go along with a team-best 6.2 rpg, while Stanley Pringle is posting 13.0 ppg. In the win over Indiana the Lions were led by Cornley's 22-point effort. Pringle added 16 points, but Battle was held to just three points, but did dish out six assists.
Defense comes first for the Boilermakers, and it showed throughout the campaign, as the team put forth a stingy effort, limiting the opposition to a mere 59.0 ppg, on a weak 38.8 percent shooting display. Purdue also racked up 224 steals on the season, and is forcing 15.6 turnovers per matchups, which is tops in the Big Ten. Not to be overlooked is Purdue's play offensively, as the team is averaging 69.3 ppg, behind a healthy 44.9 percent shooting effort. E'Twaun Moore has been the top option throughout most of the season and is currently pacing the squad with 14.0 ppg Moore, who was selected on the All- Big Ten Second Team, also is collecting 4.8 rpg, and has dished out 92 assists. JaJuan Johnson is contributing 13.2 ppg on the year and has recorded a team-high 69 blocks, while Robbie Hummel is chipping in 12.3 ppg, to go along with a team-best 6.6 rpg.
Penn State was able to defeat Purdue earlier this season, but the Boilermakers were not at full strength, so this time around expect Purdue to put forth a much stronger showing, en route to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Purdue 67, Penn State 54
03/13 10:25:59 ET