Penn State vs. Rutgers Preview

Audio/Story posted February 19, 2016 in CommRadio, Sports by Tom Shively


David Arroyo,Tom Shively, Jon Grss, and Joe Murphy preview this weekend's matchup between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Penn State Nittany Lions.


Coming off a 79-75 shocker over No. 4 Iowa, the second top-five win in the Pat Chambers era and the second win over a ranked opponent in as many home games, Penn State looks to string together back-to-back conference victories for the first time this year.  The Nittany Lions (13-13, 4-9 Big Ten) will avoid the THON weekend festivities as they head east to face Rutgers (6-20, 0-13), the only remaining winless team in the Big Ten.

Brandon Taylor continues to shine for Penn State, scoring 18 points in the upset win on Wednesday to push his team-leading scoring average up to 16.5 ppg.  He has scored in double figures in every conference game this season.

Donovon Jack had the game of his career against Iowa, scoring 19 points on 8 of 9 from the field as well as registering two blocks.

The Scarlet Knights will have to find alternate ways to score without leading scorer Corey Sanders, who was suspended for two weeks following a violation of team rules.  Second leading scorer and leading rebounder DJ Foreman has also missed most of the season, only playing in seven games due to a violation of team rules as well.

Mike Williams is the leading eligible scorer at 12.2 ppg.  Freshman Jonathan Laurent has stepped up as well, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 boards in a loss at Illinois.

Rutgers got the better of Penn State last year in Piscataway 50-46 for one of their only two conference wins of the season.  The Lions returned the favor three weeks later with a blowout win at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Three-point shooting will be at a premium in this matchup as Penn State and Rutgers are the two worst teams in the Big Ten when it comes to the long ball.  Rutgers shoots at a 30.5 percent clip while Penn State comes in at 29.5 percent.  The Lions were able to get their three-pointers going early against Iowa as they hit eight in the first half and 10 on the game, which really contributed to confidence down the stretch.

The Scarlet Knights have been torched on defense all season, giving up a conference-worst 80.1 ppg including over 100 twice at home.  They have yielded under 70 points only once in conference play, an 11-point loss at Michigan.

Prediction: Penn State 55, Rutgers 45

The Lions are riding high after a win over Iowa, and the momentum will continue into a relatively painless win over the Scarlet Knights.  The shooting woes will continue for both teams, but Penn State will make a few more shots in crunch time.  Brandon Taylor and Shep Garner will both score in double figures, and the Nittany Lions will force 20+ turnovers from a Rutgers team that carries a 13.6 turnovers per game average.

Tip off is set for 1 PM and can be seen on ESPNU.

Tom Shively is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism.  You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter @t_shives.


About the Contributors

Jonathan Gross's photo

Jonathan Gross

Senior / Broadcast Journalism, International Politics

Jon Gross is a senior from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey double-majoring in broadcast journalism and International Politics. Gross currently serves as a Sports Director for Penn State’s CommRadio, where he has also broadcasted for ten Penn State sports teams. During the summer of 2018, Gross was the Director of Broadcasting for the Saugerties Stallions of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. He was also the radio play-by-play voice of the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team for the 2017 season. Gross has interned in the sports departments of WCBS-TV (New York) and WTAJ-TV (Altoona-Johnstown-State College).

You can contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and follow his twitter @j_gross31.

Tom Shively's photo

Tom Shively

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Tom Shively is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia. He is one of the CommRadio sports directors for the 2018-19 school year. He serves as the women’s volleyball and men’s basketball producer and has broadcasted several Penn State sports including the 2018 NFL Draft as well as hosting a talk show airing weekly on CommRadio. Tom also works for, doing feature-style coverage of women’s volleyball and women’s basketball. Last summer, he interned at Blue Lion Multimedia, a local film company in the Washington, DC area. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter @t_shives.

David Arroyo's photo

David Arroyo

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo currently serves as one of two General Managers for CommRadio. David is a former arts & entertainment director, social media director and editor for the station. He has produced for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David most recently interned at WPVI-TV, 6abc in Philadelphia during the summer of 2018. While at 6abc he was a programing intern and helped in the production of their weekly show “FYI Philly.” David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Joe Esquivel-Murphy's photo

Joe Esquivel-Murphy

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Joe Esquivel-Murphy is a senior from Bay Head, NJ, majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. He has done play-by-play and beat writes for almost all the sports from CommRadio.  His two talk shows, Murph’s Lounge and Road to Russia, covered various different topics as the later previewed the qualification process to the World Cup with the former discussing relevant sports events. Joe also had an internship for Shore Sports Network (an affiliate of Town Square Media) before his junior year. To contact Joe, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).