Hoops du Jour
PSU at Illinois men
Tipoff: Noon., State Farm Center
Records: Penn State (10-16); Illinois (10-16)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers is 123-137 in his eighth season at Penn State and 165-165 overall. Brad Underwood is 24-34 in his second season at Illinois and 133-61 overall.
Radio: ESPN 1430, PSU Sports Network (Steve Jones, Dick Jerardi)
Notes: Penn State dominated Nebraska, 95-71. Lamar Stevens scored a season-high 29 points in the win. Josh Reaves reached 1,000 career points with 10 against the Cornhuskers… Illinois was on an impressive three-game win streak before falling to Maryland. Trent Frazier leads the Illini with 14.4 points per game… This will be the first of two matchups between these teams in 15 days.
Mirror prediction: Penn State 74, Illinois 69
Comment: Even though Illinois has had some good wins this season, the matchup favors the Lions.
Mirror prediction record: 16-10
— Paddy Cotter
LIU Brooklyn at SFU men
Tipoff: 1 p.m., DeGol Arena
Records: Saint Francis (15-11, 11-4 NEC); LIU Brooklyn (12-15, 6-9).
Coaches: Rob Krimmel is 94-119 in his seventh season at Saint Francis and overall. Derek Kellogg is 30-32 in his second season at LIU Brooklyn and 207-190 in 11 seasons overall.
Online video: NECFrontRow.com
Radio: Online at sfuathletics.com
Notes: This could be a historic day for the Red Flash, who have won eight games in a row and can clinch at least a share of the NEC regular-season title with a victory here. It would be just the second NEC regular-season crown in program history, the other coming in 1990-91, when Mike Iuzzolino and Co. went to the NCAA Tournament. … SFU has a two-game lead over FDU and Robert Morris with three games left. With a win today, the Flash almost certainly would be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament, although there could be some tiebreakers involved that might favor FDU if Saint Francis were to falter down the stretch and the teams finished even. … Saint Francis won the first meeting on the road at LIU, 74-67, back on Jan. 10, with Keith Braxton going for 16 points and 13 rebounds. … SFU has a 73.2 percent chance to win, according to ESPN’s matchup predictor. The Flash are favored by 51⁄2 points.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 82, LIU Brooklyn 73
Comment: Given where the program was several years ago, winning a conference championship would be a tremendous accomplishment for the Flash and Rob Krimmel.
Mirror prediction record: 19-7
— Cory Giger
LIU Brooklyn at SFU women
Tipoff: 4 p.m. at DeGol Arena
Records: LIU Brooklyn (3-21 overall, 2-11 Northeast Conference); Saint Francis (12-13, 9-4).
Coaches: Susan Robinson-Fruchtl, returning on an interim basis, is 85-94 in her sixth year at Saint Francis and is 111-188 in her 10th year overall; Stephanie Del Preore is 18-65 in her third season at LIU Brooklyn..
Internet stats: www.sidearmstats.com/francis/wbball
TV: NEC Front Row
Leading scorers: Saint Francis — G Jess Kovatch, 5-9 Sr. (21.8); LIU Brooklyn — G Jeydah Johnson, 5-10 So. (13.6).
Notes: The game marks senior day as Kovatch, Courtney Zezza, A.J. Timbers, Aunesha Williams and Jill Falvey will be honored pregame. It also is the Think Pink game where the team will wear pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness … Saint Francis is in a second-place tie with Sacred Heart and St. Francis Brooklyn — three games behind Robert Morris. Meanwhile, LIU Brooklyn is in last place out of 10 teams … The Red Flash lead the all-time series 50-17 … SFU led from start to finish in the previous meeting — an 80-66 win … The Terriers two NEC wins have come in their last games as they defeated Mount St. Mary’s (71-61) and Sacred Heart (69-64) … LIU freshman Brandy Thomas was named the NEC Rookie of the Week this past week for the fifth time this season … While Saint Francis is one of four teams to already clinch a playoff spot, the Blackbirds are still very much alive with five games to go as they are just one game out of the eighth spot.
Block party (Courtney Zezza’s spot on SFU’s all-time blocked shots list): 1. Zezza, 284; 2. Cheril Meier (1982-86), 278; 3. Vesna Drazetic (1988-92), 194.
Bombs away (where Kovatch ranks all-time in 3-point field goals made in NCAA Division I women’s history): 1. Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State (2015-18), 497; 2. Kovatch, 446; 3. Katelynn Flaherty, Michigan (2015-18), 410.
Mirror prediction: Saint Francis 84, LIU Brooklyn 68
Comment: The Red Flash will use the emotions of the day to their advantage as they take care of the Blackbirds.
Mirror prediction record: 19-6
— Nate Ritchey