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January 23, 2014

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska at Penn State

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Nebraska Cornhuskers

at Penn State Nittany Lions
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 - 7 p.m. CT
TV: ESPNU / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Penn State Nittany Lions (9-10, 0-6 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 6
Last Game: Lost to Purdue 65-64
G Tim Fraizer (averaging 16.4 ppg and team-high 6.4 apg) Sr. 6-1 170
G D.J. Newbill (leads team with 17.3 ppg) Jr. 6-4 205
G Geno Thorpe (true freshman averaging 3.0 ppg) Fr. 6-3 180
F Ross Travis (scoring 10.7 ppg with team-high 7.7 rpg) Jr. 6-6 225
F Donovon Jack (averaging 7.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg) So. 6-9 210

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (9-8, 1-4 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Ohio State 68-62
G Tai Webster (had nine points in upset over Ohio State) Fr. 6-4 194
G Ray Gallegos (had just 2 points against OSU) Sr. 6-2 182
G/F Terran Petteway (has led team in scoring in 11 games this season) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (broke out of slump with 18 points and 9 rebounds vs. OSU) So. 6-7 219
F Walter Pitchford (held scoreless in 20 minutes vs. Buckeyes) So. 6-10 234

Handle PSU's backcourt

Despite sitting in last-place of the Big Ten Conference standings and still winless in league play, Penn State features one of the most explosive backcourts in the conference with senior Tim Frazier and junior D.J. Newbill. The duo is accounting for roughly 34 of the Nittany Lions' 77 points per game this season and is without a doubt the key to PSU's entire offense. Frazier has the ability to win games almost by himself, and if he and Newbill are both able to get hot, they are extremely difficult to cool off. They will clearly be NU's top priority defensively.
Keep working the offense

Nebraska looked like a completely different team against Ohio State offensively than it did during its five-game losing streak, as the Huskers attacked the rim from the opening tip and didn't let up the entire night. That must remain their approach the rest of the season, as that aggressiveness opens up so much for the Huskers' offense in terms of putting stress on defenses, creating good perimeter shots and getting to the free-throw line. It will be especially important for NU's guards to attack Fraizer and Newbill and try to get them in early foul trouble.
Move on from OSU

As great as Nebraska's upset win over No. 17 Ohio State was, the Huskers can't afford to bask in the glory of the win any longer. This program has been plagued with the reoccurring theme of following up big victories with disappointing losses the very next time out, and that could very well happen again on the road against a Penn State team hungry for its first Big Ten win. Maybe the best thing possible for NU is that it only had two days after the Ohio State game before returning to action, so it won't have any extra time to sit back and get overconfident.

Nebraska head coach Tim Miles on Penn State being better than its 0-6 Big Ten record:

"The one thing that Coach (Pat) Chambers does a wonderful job of is you're going to get the same product out of them regardless of their record. Regardless of if they're 6-0 or 0-6 or 3-3, those guys comes with high energy, great attitudes, and they just play every game the same. I think that is a compliment to him and his leadership, and those young people who come out and concentrate just on playing with enthusiasm and energy every day. They're really tough, and they remind me a lot of us."
Sophomore wing Terran Petteway on not enjoying the Ohio State victory too long:

"We're trying to get more and more (wins). Like Coach said, we're trying to rack up like five or six wins in a row. That's what we're trying to do. It was a good win, but we've got to move on now."

Nebraska 67-63

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