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Penn State @ Michigan State: Lions Prepare for Road Test

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Road test may be putting it mildly.

NCAA Basketball: Wagner at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions invade the Breslin Center for their first Big Ten road game of the season.

Scouting The Opposition

The Spartans come into Saturday on a three-game winning streak, the latest victory coming against previously-unbeaten Minnesota. They are second in the conference in field goal percentage defense, third in both three-point offensive and defensive field goal percentage, and lead the Big Ten in blocked shots per game. Four players were in double figures in their victory over Minnesota, with three players scoring 15 points. Individually, senior forward Gabe Brown and senior center Marcus Bingham Jr. both average over 10 points per contest. The 7’0’’ Bingham also averages seven rebounds and three blocks per game, and will certainly be an issue for John Harrar down low.

What To Watch For

Michigan State has proven the ability to win in a variety of different ways, scoring over 80 points in three wins, and in the 60’s in two others. That, coupled with the ability to have four to five players in double figures, does not bode well for a Nittany Lion squad that struggled against Wagner’s press. If the Spartans slow down the pace of the game, Penn State will certainly be fighting an uphill battle. Speaking of uphill, Harrar will need assistance against the much-larger Bingham in the paint.

Prediction

Penn State seems to live and die with the three-pointer, which does not bode well against the Spartans. Compounded with the home team’s size advantage down low, is not a recipe for success.

Michigan State 80, Penn State 66