The Nebraska Cornhuskers kick off a two-game road-stand tomorrow night with a trip to State College to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. The game was originally scheduled for Monday, Feb. 28, but was moved up a day to accommodate rescheduling the trip to Columbus now on the calendar for March 1.
Nebraska enters the game on a short turnaround having fallen to Iowa in a hard fought battle just last night at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The loss moved the Huskers to 7-21 overall, 1-16 in the Big Ten. The game came a day after Athletic Director Trev Alberts announced that head coach Fred Hoiberg will be returning next season for a fourth year despite the team’s struggles.
Penn State will enter the game also coming off a short turnaround having defeated Northwestern 67-60 at the Bryce Jordan Center last night. With that win, the Nittany Lions have now won two of the last three games, including a 62-58 home win over then No. 19 Michigan State. PSU is 12-13 on the season and 7-10 in the Big Ten overall.
A win tomorrow over Nebraska is badly needed by Penn State to have a shot at keeping a bye on the table for PSU in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament a week and a half away. With games remaining against No. 15 Illinois and at Rutgers, the Nittany Lions really need a victory tomorrow to stay ahead of Northwestern who currently sits right on their heels at 6-12 in Big Ten action at the time of publication.
Penn State is led by first-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry. Shrewsberry spent the previous two seasons as the associate head coach at Purdue and prior to that was an assistant for the Boston Celtics from 2013 to 2019. The Nittany Lions squad was coached by an interim head coach last season following the sudden resignation by Pat Chambers prior to the season starting and this year’s squad returned two starters from a team that went 11-14 last season. PSU is 10-4 at home this season and has won four of its last five at home down this final stretch of the season beginning with a Jan. 31 double overtime win over Iowa.
The Nittany Lions feature a balanced offensive attack with four players averaging between 10.7 and 12.9 points per game. Jalen Pickett leads Penn State in scoring with 12.9 points per game and adds 4.2 assists per game, good for ninth in the Big Ten in helpers. Seth Lundy’s 12.3 points per game and Sam Sessions’s 11.6 points per game also add double figures in scoring. John Harrar is a monster for the team on the glass, ranking second in the league with his 10.2 rebounds per game while also adding 10.7 points per game. He leads the Big Ten with 90 total offensive boards. As a team, Penn State averages 8.2 three-pointers per game with four players averaging at least one three-pointer per contest.
Friday night’s matchup marks the 24th meeting all-time between the conference foes. The series dates back to 1980 when UNL played in a home-and-home series in 1980 and 1981 with Penn State. The only other matchup prior to Big Ten play came in the second round of the 1995 NIT. Since joining the league, the Huskers have gone 9-11 but last year’s victory at Penn State was the first by Nebraska since the 2012-13 season.
When: Sunday, Feb. 27 at 6:00 p.m. CST/7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Bryce Jordan Center (15,261) - State College, Pennsylvania
Announcers: Jason Horowitz (play-by-play), Jess Settles (analyst)
Radio: Huskers Radio Network
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen
Broadcast Stations: KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KKCD (105.9 FM) in Omaha, KHYY (106.9 FM) in Scottsbluff, and KAMI (1580 AM) in Lexington
Also available on Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
Line: Penn State -10.5
Penn State Nittany Lions
2021-22 Record: 12-13 (7-10 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Micah Shrewsberry
Record at Penn State: 12-13 (1st year)
Career Record: 27-61 (3rd year)
2021-22 Record: 7-21 (1-16 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 21-66 (3rd year)
Career Record: 136-122 (8th year)
All-Time: Penn State leads 13-10
Big Ten action: 9-11
In State College: Nebraska is 2-7 all-time