Penn State looks for fourth conference win in rematch against Maryland

posted February 13, 2015 in Sports, CommRadio by Mandy Bell

Only ten days after traveling to College Park, Penn State (15-10, 3-9 B1G) will host the No. 19 Maryland Terrapins (20-5, 8-4 B1G) at the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday night. 

Since their last meeting, Penn State has picked up a win against Nebraska and dropped one to Ohio State. After a substantial loss to the Buckeyes and disappointing results thus far in the conference season, the Nittany Lions are desperately looking for a win against the Terrapins.

Maryland has had a steady performance throughout its B1G schedule sitting at a comfortable four games above .500 entering the conference game on Saturday. Since defeating the Nittany Lions at the beginning of the month, the Terrapins surrendered to the unranked Iowa Hawkeyes by 16 points and knocked off the Indiana Hoosiers by a bucket. 

This being said, the Nittany Lions need to play the way they did against Nebraska last Saturday by spreading out the offensive production amongst the whole team to take down the Terrapins this time around. Last time Penn State and Maryland met, the Nittany Lions only had D.J. Newbill and Geno Thorpe scoring in double digits with Newbill leading the team with 18 points. 

Maryland’s biggest threats are freshman guard Melo Trimble, junior Jake Layman and senior Dez Wells who all average north of thirteen points per game. Having three scoring options allows Maryland to work the ball around on offense while Penn State, as always, relies on Newbill to essentially carry the team. 

The Terrapins rank 97th in points scored per game while the Nittany Lions rank 167th. Newbill averages over ten more points per game than the next highest scorer on the team, Brandon Taylor. 

On the other end of the court, Penn State has been dependent upon Ross Travis (6.2 rebounds per game) and Taylor (5.7 rebounds per game) to bring down the boards. Travis and Taylor are both similar in size to Maryland’s leading rebounder, Jake Layman. The Terrapins average one more rebound per game and allow about two less points per game than the Nittany Lions.

Close games have been a pattern for the Nittany Lions this season, however the past two games have been decided by more than ten points. The last time these two played, Penn State lost by six and had their share of chances down the stretch.

This time around, the Nittany Lions need to play a complete game in order to knock off a ranked team for the first time this season. In the previous game, Penn State had been tied with Maryland with only five minutes left in the game before the Terrapins pulled away with a late rally.There is no doubt that those final five minutes of the last contest will be in the back of Penn State’s mind entering the game on Saturday.

Tipoff at the Bryce Jordan Center will be at 8:30 p.m. and can be heard live on ComRadio. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. with The ComRadio Basketball Pregame Show.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Mandy Bell is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism.  To contact her, email amb6857@psu.edu.