No. 14 Ohio State at PSU?men
Tipoff: Noon, Bryce Jordan Center
Records: Penn State (8-11, 0-7 Big Ten); Ohio State (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten)
Coaches: Pat Chambers is 20-31 in his second season at Penn State and 62-60 in his fourth season overall. Thad Matta is 235-69 in his ninth season at Ohio State and 337-100 in his 13th season overall.
Radio: ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM
Probable starters: Penn State - G D.J. Newbill, 6-4 So. (15.5), G Jermaine Marshall, 6-4 Jr. (15.0), F Ross Travis, 6-6 So. (7.1), F Brandon Taylor, 6-7 Fr. (6.4), C Sasa Borovnjak, 6-9 Jr. (5.5). Ohio State - G Aaron Craft, 6-2 Jr. (8.9), G Lenzelle Smith Jr., 6-4 Jr. (10.2), F Deshaun Thomas, 6-7 Jr. (20.5), F Sam Thompson, 6-7 So. (7.1), C Amir Williams, 6-11 So. (4.3).
Notes: This is Coaches vs. Cancer "Band Together Day" at the BJC. For every ticket sold, $3 dollars will go to the charity. ... This will also be a "Gray Out," as the Lions are wearing their alternate gray home uniforms and the school is asking all fans to wear gray. ... Ohio State has won 17 straight games in the series. The Lions last beat the Buckeyes (64-47) in 2004, in former coach Ed DeChellis' second game coaching against a Big Ten opponent. He went on to lose his next 16 games vs. Matta. ... In conference play, Newbill and Marshall have combined for 59 percent of PSU's scoring, 73 percent of its assists, 65 percent of its free throws made and 62 percent of its free throws attempted. ... Taylor has crashed into the rookie wall in the Big Ten. In league play, he is shooting 27 percent from the floor and arc, and 33 percent from the stripe. He has one assist against 12 turnovers. ... Ohio State is 1-3 on the road this season. But the losses were to Duke, Illinois and Michigan State.
Mirror prediction: Ohio State 73, Penn State 58
Comment: Craft, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, figures to be the latest handful for Newbill, who is gamely trying to keep the Lions competitive while playing out of position (in place of the injured Tim Frazier) at the point.
Mirror prediction record: 15-4
- Mark Brennan
DePaul at Pittsburgh men
Tipoff: 4 p.m., Petersen Events Center
Records: DePaul (10-8, 1-4 in Big East); Pittsburgh (16-4, 4-3 in Big East)
Coaches: Oliver Purnell is 21-41 in his third year at DePaul and 423-330 in his 25th year overall as a head coach. Jamie Dixon is 254-81 in his 10th year as head coach at Pittsburgh.
Radio: ESPN Radio 1430-AM
Probable starters: Pittsburgh - G Tray Woodall, 6-0 Sr. (10.7), G James Robinson, 6-3 Fr. (7.0), F Lamar Patterson, 6-5 Jr. (10.0), F Talib Zanna, 6-9 Jr. (11.7), C Steven Adams, 7-0 Fr. (6.7). DePaul Brandon Young, 6-4 Jr. (16.7), G Charles McKinney, 6-3 So. (5.4), G Jamee Crockett, 6-4 So. (9.6), F Donnavan Kirk, 6-9 Jr. (5.9), C Cleveland Melvin, 6-8 Jr. (17.6).
Notes: Pitt is attempting to win its fourth straight Big East game. This will be the first of two meetings against DePaul. The second is March 9, the final game of the regular season. Today's game is critical for the Panthers considering things get much more difficult their next two games. Pitt travels to No. 5 Louisville Jan. 28 and will host No. 3 Syracuse a week from today. Overall, four of Pitt's next six opponents after DePaul are ranked in the Top 25.
Mirror prediction: Pittsburgh 74, DePaul 62
Comment: The Panthers should be able to take care of business at home.
Mirror prediction record: 16-4
- Michael Boytim
Wagner at St. Francis men
Tipoff: 4 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Wagner (10-8, 4-3 Northeast Conference), St. Francis (1-17, 1-6)
Coaches: Bashir Mason is 10-8 in his first season at Wagner. Rob Krimmel is 1-17 in his first season at St. Francis.
Web stream: NECFrontRow.com
Probable starters: Wagner - F Jonathon Williams, 6-6 Sr. (14.1), F Josh Thompson, 6-5 Sr. (3.1), C Mario Moody, 6-7 So. (7.2), G Kenneth Ortiz, 6-0 Jr. (11.1), G Latif Rivers, 6-1 Jr. (9.8). St. Francis - G Ben Millaud-Meunier, 6-1 Fr. (8.0), G Greg Brown, 6-2 Fr. (2.1), F Earl Brown, 6-6 So. (9.5), F Ronnie Drinnon, 6-6 Fr. (5.5), G Stephon Wyatt, 6-1 So. (7.4).
Notes: St. Francis leads the all-time series, 32-28, and is 21-8 against Wagner in Loretto. ... The Seahawks are 4-7 on the road this season, and are 2-2 when visiting NEC opponents. ... Wagner is tied for fourth place in the NEC with LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis Brooklyn, while St. Francis is alone in 12th. ... Junior guard Umar Shannon was held out of Thursday's game with a lower body injury, while freshman forward Stephon Mosley was held out with a concussion. ... St. Francis hits the road next weekend for its Brooklyn swing against LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis Brooklyn.
Mirror prediction: Wagner 70, St. Francis 65
Comment: Despite being at home, the Red Flash will likely extend their losing streak to seven games. A victory certainly isn't out of the question, though.
Mirror prediction record: 15-3
- Nate Foreman
Wagner at St. Francis women
Tipoff: 1 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Wagner (2-15, 1-5 Northeast Conference), St. Francis (9-8, 4-2)
Coaches: Lisa Cermignano is 2-15 in her first season at Wagner. Joe Haigh is 9-8 in his first season at St. Francis.
Web streak: NECFrontRow.com
Probable starters: Wagner - G Veronick Fournier, 5-9 Sr. (6.3), F Stephanie Blais, 6-2 So. (9.9), G Jordyn Peck, 5-6 Fr. (10.6), F Marie-Laurence Archambault, 6-0 Sr. (10.1), F Laura Amorosa, 5-11 Jr. (4.3). St. Francis - G Brittany Lilley, 5-8 R-Sr. (4.2), G Kia Gibbs, 5-8 Sr. (11.2), G Alexa Hayward, 5-8 So. (7.6), F Alli Williams, 6-0 Jr. (19.2), F Shene Fleming, 5-11 R-Jr. (7.4).
Notes: St. Francis leads the all-time series, 37-20 - including a 20-7 mark in Loretto - and has won the last four meetings. ... The Red Flash average 22.9 turnovers per game and totaled 59 in their last two games. ... Williams leads the NEC in scoring, is second in steals and is fourth in rebounding. She ranks in the top five in the nation in steals per game, and has recorded nine double-doubles in the last 10 games, including having six straight. ... The Red Flash are tied for second in the NEC with Central Connecticut, Mount St. Mary's and Monmouth, while the Seahawks are tied for 10th with Bryant and LIU Brooklyn. ... St. Francis completes its four-game homestand with rival Robert Morris on Monday.
Mirror prediction: St. Francis 84, Wagner 60
Comment: The Red Flash should be able to dominate every facet of this game. Of course, a lot of it depends on how well they hold onto the ball. Regardless, it should be a good tune up to host the Colonials on Monday.
Mirror prediction record: 12-4
- Nate Foreman