Penn State vs Delaware State Game Notes
With the holiday break just around the corner, the Penn State Nittany Lions (5-4) return to action Saturday when they host the Delaware State Hornets (5-5) at the Bryce Jordan Center. The meeting marks just the third time the two programs have faced one another, and the first time since 1993. The Nittany Lions won each of the two previous contests, and the Hornets are winless in their 13 previous match-ups against Big Ten opponents.
Penn State continues to adjust to life without all-conference point guard Tim Frazier. Sophomore D.J. Newbill, a traditional scoring guard, has been handed the reigns in place of Frazier and continues to show improvement at the point guard position. He led all Penn State scorers in last Saturday’s 78-70 victory over Army while also distributing five assists.
The Army game may have also served as a coming out party for sophomore forward Ross Travis. Known for his athleticism and ability to crash the offensive boards, Travis showed for the first time last weekend the mid-range game that head coach Pat Chambers alluded to over the offseason.
Travis knocked down his first three jump shots of the game and finished with 14 points on 5-11 shooting. Travis also grabbed 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
On the other side, Delaware State is riding a two-game winning streak after a 73-67 overtime win over in-state rival Delaware on Dec. 8. Sophomore center Kendall Gray’s 35 blocks ranks fifth in all of college basketball and his length presents quite the match-up problem for the Nittany Lions, who lack a true presence at the center position.
Offensively, the Hornets are led by sophomore guard Tahj Tate. Tate leads the team in scoring at just under 16 points per game and is coming off of a season high 24 points against Delaware. At 6’4, Tate resembles Newbill in his ability to penetrate and score inside. He’s also prone to turnovers, averaging nearly four a game, which Penn State will look to capitalize on.
The Bryce Jordan Center has served as a safe haven for the Nittany Lions thus far this season. Penn State is 4-1 in games played at the BJC and just 1-3 away from State College. Saturday is the first of the team’s final three non-conference opponents before kicking off the Big Ten schedule Jan. 3 in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers.
Penn State and Delaware State tip off at 2:00 pm and can be heard live on ComRadio. Coverage starts at 1:30 with the ComRadio Penn State Men’s Basketball Pregame Show.
Matt Lawrence is sophomore majoring broadcast journalism. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com.