UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s basketball team travels to Milwaukee, Wis., for its quarterfinal National Invitation Tournament game on Tuesday, March 20, vs. No. 2 seed Marquette in the Al McGuire Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
WATCH: ESPN, ESPN International and WatchESPN
Eric Frede (pxp) and Dino Gaudio (analyst)
LISTEN: Penn State Sports Network, Steve Jones (pxp) and Dick Jerardi (analyst)
2017-18 Affiliates or online at GoPSUsports.com/lionvision
FOLLOW: Twitter @PennStateMBB & @Coach_Chambers | Facebook | Instagram @PennStateMBB.
DIGITAL PROGRAM: NIT Digital Program
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
RECORD: 23-13, 9-9 Big Ten
Coach: Patrick Chambers (7th year at Penn State)
2017-18 Leading Scorer:
#10 Tony Carr, So., G - 19.5 ppg
2017-18 Leading Active Rebounder:
#11 Lamar Stevens, So. F - 6.1 rpg
2017-18 Assists Leader:
#10 Tony Carr, So., G - 4.7 apg
MARQUETTE GOLDEN EAGLES
RECORD: 21-13, 9-9 Big East
Coach: Steve Wojciechowski (4th year at Marquette)
2017-18 Leading Scorers:
#00 Markus Howard, So., G - 20.4 ppg
#30 Andrew Rowsey, RSr., G - 20.2
2017-18 Leading Rebounder:
#10 Sam Hauser, So., G/F - 5.8 rpg
2017-18 Assists Leader:
#30 Andrew Rowsey, RSr., G - 4.3 apg
Penn State is participating in its 11th National Invitation Tournament and is 24-9 overall with a 5-0 record in quarterfinal games. Its last appearance was in 2009 when Penn State defeated Baylor 69-63 at Madison Square Garden for the championship.
The Nittany Lions’ complete NIT history is on page 98 of the 2017-18 media guide.
SERIES RECORD VS. MARQUETTE
It’s been more than two decades since these two teams faced each other and the last meeting came in the semifinals of the 1995 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden. Marquette came away with the 87-79 win before losing to eventual NIT champion Virginia Tech in the finals.
The first of Penn State’s two wins in the series came in the first round of the 1990 NIT. The Nittany Lions advanced to the semifinals, but lost to Vanderbilt before taking the third-place game vs. New Mexico in overtime.
Streak: Marquette, W1
Overall series: Marquette leads 3-2
at Marquette: Tied 1-1
• Following all games completed March 18, Penn State is one of only six NCAA Division I teams that hasn’t lost a game by more than 12 points in 2017-18. Other teams in its company include Duke, Purdue and Villanova.
• Total number of wins over the last five years (2013-2018), most of any five-year span since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992-93. As a fourth-year senior, Shep Garner has been a part of 72 wins in his career, tied for tops with the seniors who played from 1997-2001 and 2007-2011.
• Senior guard Shep Garner, with 107 3-point field goals in 2017-18, is one shy of tying Penn State’s single-season record, held by Joe Crispin (108, 2001).
• Even with Penn State’s top rim protector Mike Watkins out since the Feb. 21 game vs. Michigan, the Nittany Lions have broken the team single-season record for blocked shots with 185.
• Graduate student Julian Moore now owns the Penn State record for most games played in a career with 138. He ranks 21st among all active NCAA Division I players.
• Tony Carr, recently honored as USBWA All-District and NABC District 7 first team, broke Talor Battle’s sophomore scoring record (2009, 635 points) and has 664 to date. The total ranks fourth on Penn State’s top 10 for single-season scoring.
DOUBLE TRIPLE THREAT
Penn State’s duo of senior Shep Garner and sophomore Tony Carr ranks eighth nationally with a combined 190 3-point baskets made in 2017-18.
Here’s how they compare to other top duos, including the three combinations of Golden Eagles also ranked:
228, Rowsey (119), Howard (109), Marquette
221, Stephens (126), Martin (95), Nevada
218, Magee (148), Hoover (70), Wofford
211, Rowsey (119), Hauser (92), Marquette
211, Mykhailiuk (110), Graham (101), Kansas
201, Howard (109), Hauser (92), Marquette
199, Pipkins (107), Pierre (99), UMass
199, Nelson (104), Flavors, Jr. (95), Fairfield
194, Nunn (134), Daniels (60), Oakland
190, Garner (107), Carr (83), Penn State
187 Robertson (105), Barnett (82), Missouri
183, Cole (109), Williams (74), Howard
PENN STATE 23-13, 9-9 B1G vs. MARQUETTE 21-13, 9-9 Big East
NIT GAME INFO
Tuesday, March 20 | 7 p.m ET
Al McGuire Center | Milwaukee, Wis.
NIT GAME DAY INFO
WATCH: ESPN & WatchESPN
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
STATS: Penn State | Marquette
NOTES: Penn State | Marquette
TALE OF THE TAPE
Points Per Game 74.2 81.4
Opponent Points Per Game 66.5 78.3
Field Goal Pct. 45.6 47.6
3-Point Field Goal Pct. 38.1 36.3
Free Throw Pct. 69.9 80.4
Rebounds 35.8 31.9
Assists 13.5 15.8
Turnovers 12.0 12.3
Steals 7.4 6.2
Blocks 5.1 3.6
Marquette no slouch at steals, either, and shoots 80% at the line. That’s third in the country in free-throw shooting.
A Marquette game that deserves mentioning is the 73-60 Marquette victory at a packed Rec Hall in 1978. Marquette was ranked No. 3 and was on the ropes, and though the final score was not that close, that game was often cited during the Harter era when discussing the difficulty getting anyone to visit State College (particularly in the few years as an Independent). Pre fire safety, the track was packed. It was a year before I got there, but people talked about it all the time.
The “top duos” 3-point shooting list above has the whiff of "can’t spell a certain secondary tournament without ‘us’ " (couldn’t bring myself to type the real thing). Shep and Tone are great from three, but it’s having three of those dudes that makes Marquette dangerous and distinctive.
I wonder if replacing Mike Watkins as leading rebounder with Lamar as “leading active rebounder” is why the ESPN announcing crew never mentioned Mike Saturday. Mike is a 12.1 ppg / 8.9 rpg man (according to ESPN - as @tom points out, you can’t get to our stats on Penn State’s web site). These crews aren’t plugged in - this needs to be pointed out to them.
I prefer this photo from the ND game.