Penn State looks to snap five-game skid as season draws to a close

Story posted March 4, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Anthony Solis

Coming off an 81-77 overtime loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes this past Saturday, the Nittany Lions men’s basketball team seeks a rebound performance to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Bryce Jordan Center will host this season’s second meeting between Penn State (15-14, 3-13 B1G) and the No. 23 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (21-8, 10-6 B1G), who ride a two-game win streak into Happy Valley.

With another subpar season coming to an end, Penn State has dropped seven of their last ten games.

Though many believe head coach Pat Chambers should be on the hot seat, Penn State’s Athletic Director Sandy Barbour has announced that Chambers will indeed return to coach the Nittany Lions next season.

Chambers holds an overall record of 68-128 in his four seasons as head coach.

Although losing in overtime on Saturday, Chambers was able to get his team to come firing out of the gate early. The Nittany Lions began the game with high intensity as freshman guard Shep Garner started things off by draining his first four three-pointers, which would contribute to an early 20-5 run.

“He’s really played well the last two games against Northwestern and Iowa,” said Chambers this week of his freshman point guard.

In addition, senior forward Ross Travis, along with freshman Julian Moore and Jordan Dickerson combined for 19 total rebounds, nine of which were offensive.

When asked how the team stays motivated heading into the B1G Tournament, despite a disappointing season, Chambers answered, “We’re all 0-0 come the B1G [Tournament]…the ball has to start bouncing our way sooner or later.”

Despite the rough season, the Nittany Lions have been able to radiate glimpses of competitive basketball, a trend they look to continue heading into the final two games and the B1G Tournament.

Wednesday’s matchup against the Buckeyes will mark the traditional Penn State senior night, a night that honors the graduating seniors as they play their final game at the BJC.

Among those graduating is guard D.J. Newbill, the team’s most respected leader.

Newbill is on pace to reach the prestigious milestone of scoring 2,000 points in his collegiate career, a mark he can reach Wednesday with his home fans surrounding him at the Bryce Jordan Center.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment to get it in his last home game, it’s the cherry on top for him,” said Chambers. “For him to surpass 2,000… I think it’s amazing.”

Traveling to Happy Valley for the first time since being upset as the 22nd ranked team in the nation last year, Ohio State looks to ride their current hot streak to three straight wins.

The last time these two teams met was on February 11 in Columbus, Ohio, where the Nittany Lions were routed by 20 points in a 75-55 loss, one of their worst of the season.

Coming off a 65-61 win over Purdue this past Sunday, the Buckeyes seek to finish out the season undefeated as they take on Penn State and first place Wisconsin, at home.

After being down by 12 points heading into the game’s final minutes, the Buckeyes were able to retake the lead, one they would not relinquish.

Behind freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who is averaging 19 points per game, Thad Matta’s club will certainly pose a major threat to extending Penn State’s five-game slide.

Action from the Bryce Jordan Center begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. ComRadio’s coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with the ComRadio Basketball Pregame Show.

Anthony Solis is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email anthonybrsolis@gmail.com.