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Game 11: New Hampshire Preview

In the midst of the schedule's winter lull, Penn State will attempt to string together three wins for just the second time under Pat Chambers.

New Hampshire's Chris Pelcher (44) is the Wildcats' biggest hope to stifle Sasa Borovnjak wait what
New Hampshire's Chris Pelcher (44) is the Wildcats' biggest hope to stifle Sasa Borovnjak wait what
Who: New Hampshire Wildcats (4-6)
When: Sunday, 11:00 AM
Where: Bryce Jordan Center

The Lions are coming off a sweaty overtime victory against Delaware State, a game which seemed well in hand...until it wasn't. Despite big games from D.J. Newbill and Sasa Borovnjak and eight second half points provided by freshman Donovon Jack, the Hornets were able to stage a comeback and force bonus basketball. And while Penn State played relatively well offensively, the perimeter defense left something to be desired, just as it has all season (DSU shot 10-30 from three).

New Hampshire is coming off of an overtime loss to Boston College, who defeated Penn State by double digits at the BJC earlier this season. The Wildcats boast a fantastically-named forward in senior Ferg Myrick. The Philly native missed the second half of last season with a knee injury, but has recovered nicely and leads the team in scoring at 16 ppg.

Bill Herrion's squad is laden with upperclassmen, who are responsible for 97% of the team's scoring. Chris Pelcher, Patrick Konan and Chandler Rhoads each contribute over 10 ppg. Pelcher is also the team's leading rebounder (7.6 rpg) and shot-blocker (1.9 bpg).

While the Nittany Lions ended up having to clean up a mess, there were some notable individual performances against Delaware State. The aforementioned Newbill seems to be adjusting more and more to the point guard role, only committing three turnovers in 34 minutes of action while still managing to contribute 22 points and five assists (though one TO proved rather costly).

Borovnjak had a very efficient game, going 3-4 from the field and 8-10 from the line while adding eight boards. His recent emergence has coincided with the demise of Jon Graham's once promising season, as the redshirt sophomore saw a meager seven minutes of action despite a lack of foul trouble.

For Penn State to come out victorious on Sunday they will need to cut down on the silly mistakes down the stretch that allowed Delaware State back into the game. Newbill's egregious carrying violation in the dying embers of regulation exposed yet another area in which the Lions miss Tim Frazier, but if they can keep these mental errors to a minimum and shoot as they have in recent outings they should be able to stave off this experienced New Hampshire squad. Hopefully the early tip doesn't act as a catalyst for such shenanigans, but then again the flaming bus doesn't seem to discriminate based on time or location.

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