Penn State Closes Campaign at MSU

<B>Penn State @ No. 12 Michigan State <P>The Breslin Center <P>Game Time:</B> <B>8 p.m., Saturday.</B>

Records: Penn State 7-21, 1-14; Michigan State 21-5, 12-3.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 16-40 in his second season at Penn State and 121-132 overall. Tom Izzo is 228-90 in 10 years at Michigan State.

Series: The Spartans lead, 21-3.

Last meeting: MSU mauled Penn State 84-58 at the Jordan Center Jan. 5.

Last time out: PSU fell to Minnesota (73-69) at the BJC Wednesday. Michigan State beat Northwestern (69-58) in Evanston the same night.

TV: ESPN-Plus via WPSX locally (Craig Coshun, Greg Kelser). Other Clearances.

Radio: Penn State Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi).

Next up: The Lions are in action in the 11/6 game at the Big Ten tournament in Chicago Thursday. The game, against an opponent to be determined, tips off at 5:05 p.m. and can be seen on espn2. Michigan State is locked into second place in the conference standings and gets a first-round bye at the tourney. The Spartans face the winner of the 7/10 game at 6:40 p.m. Friday.

Probable Starters:

Penn State - G Ben Luber, 6-0 So. (5.7 ppg), G Danny Morrissey, 6-2 Fr. (7.6 ppg), F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Fr. (12.6 ppg), F Aaron Johnson, 6-8 Jr. (12.3 ppg), F Travis Parker, 6-5 Jr. (11.1 ppg).

Michigan State - G Shannon Brown, 6-4 So. (10.7 ppg), G Chris Hill, 6-3 Sr. (10.9 ppg), F Maurice Ager, 6-5 Jr. (13.7 ppg), F Alan Anderson, 6-6 Sr. (13.1 ppg), C Paul Davis, 6-11 Jr (11.9 ppg).

Quick Quiz: What is the closest Penn State has ever come to beating Michigan State in East Lansing?

Penn State Notes:

• Penn State has lost 31 straight Big Ten road games. Including conference tournament action, the Nittany Lions have dropped 34 consecutive league outings away from the BJC. Penn State's last Big Ten road win was at Iowa (78-73) in the next to last game of the 2000-01 regular season.

• DeChellis is 0-6 all-time against his friend Izzo. That includes two games when DeChellis was head coach at East Tennessee State.

• Stat watch: Penn State is 0-13 all time at Michigan State.

Michigan State Notes:

• This is senior night for the Spartans, so the starting lineup may change. Expect the players listed above - along with freshman guard Drew Neitzel - to see the bulk of the action, though.

• Hill, Torbert, Anderson and Davis all have more than 1,000 career points for MSU. Penn State hasn’t had a 1,000-point scorer on its roster since 2000-01 (Joe Crispin, Titus Ivory and Gyasi Cline-Heard).

• Once Purdue's Gene Keady retires following this season, Izzo will be the only Big Ten coach with more than six years of tenure at his current school. And to think at one point the league had Keady, Bob Knight, Jud Heathcote, Lou Henson and Tom Davis all coaching at the same time.

• Stat Watch: The Spartans are outscoring opponents by 15 points per game and outrebounding them by eight boards per game. That's a good recipe for success.

Quiz Answer: The Lions lost 16-14 in the first game between the two teams, back in 1929. The average losing margin in the last three games at East Lansing has been 26 points.

FOS Prediction: Michigan State 75, Penn State 55.

Comment: Izzo will keep his starters fresh for Big Tens, which will keep this from getting too out of control.

FOS Prediction Record: 21-7.


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