Penn State (4-3) vs. La Salle (4-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 5, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: PSU 3-1, La Salle 2-1. Away Record: PSU 0-0, La Salle 2-0. Neutral Record: PSU 1-2, La Salle 0-0. Conference Record: PSU 0-0, La Salle 0-0. Series Record: La Salle leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Penn State Nittany Lions venture to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the La Salle Explorers at The Palestra.
This game will be a homecoming for Penn State's coach Patrick Chambers, who is a native of Philadelphia. His Nittany Lions come in with a 4-3 record after a 58-47 victory over Penn. PSU has alternated wins and losses since its season opening 65-58 decision over St. Francis-PA. The team has been inconsistent as it picked up promising wins over Providence and Bucknell but lost by double- digits to Akron (85-60) and Boston College (73-61). The Nittany Lions are producing only 59.1 ppg on 36.5 percent shooting from the floor while allowing opponents to net 63.4 ppg on 43.7 percent shooting.
Coach Dr. John Giannini's Explorers picked up their third win in a row and improved to 4-1 on the early season with a 63-52 decision over Rider on Thursday. La Salle began the season with a triumph over Delaware before being upset at home by Central Connecticut State. However, the Explorers recovered and took down Hartford (64-51) and Villanova (77-74) in an overtime thriller before defeating the Broncs. La Salle is scoring 70.2 ppg and holding opponents to 64.8 ppg.
This will be the fourth meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. La Salle leads the all-time series 2-1. All three previous meetings have been at neutral sites. The first meeting was part of the 1954 Final Four, and the most recent took place at the AMI Miami Classic in 1986.
PSU put together a strong defensive performance its last time out to cruise past the Quakers. Penn managed to make only 36.7 percent of its field goal attempts and was guilty of 15 turnovers. The Nittany Lions held a 35-30 advantage in the rebounding battle and rode Jermaine Marshall's 18 points to the win. Marshall has led the team in scoring in all three games since Tim Frazier suffered a season-ending injury. D.J. Newbill paces the team with 14.7 The team clearly relies on its backcourt tandem for much of its production as they are the only two players scoring in double figures.
The Explorers have shot over 40 percent from the floor in each of their past four games. They converted 22-of-48 field goal attempts their last time out to coast past Rider. Junior guard Tyreek Duren led the way with 20 points and six assists on perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the field while senior guard Ramon Galloway continued his strong play with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Jerrell Wright provided a team-best eight rebounds. La Salle recorded assists on more than half of its baskets in the contest. Duren (16.4 ppg) is leading the squad in scoring and Galloway is close behind (15.6 ppg). Wright is a consistent contributor (12.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) as well.
La Salle is playing with fire again since its early season setback to CCSU. Penn State is gaining steam as well, but it will have trouble knocking off the Explorers in Philadelphia.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: La Salle 75, Penn State 66
12/05 10:31:43 ET