Penn State looks to extend its non-conference home winning streak to nine games when it battles Rider on Friday. The Nittany Lions have won three consecutive games overall, including an 80-65 victory against Binghamton on Tuesday to reach 10 wins by the month of December for the first time since the 2014-15 season, and hope to continue their winning ways by avenging an 82-73 defeat to Rider in their last meeting in 2007.
“We’re playing good basketball right now but we have to continue the process of getting better,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers told reporters. “I think this team can get so much better on both ends of the floor.” Penn State has been winning with defense as it’s held its last four opponents to 65 points or fewer while forcing an average of 14 turnovers during that span. The Nittany Lions are 3-0 in regular-season games against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes since the start of the 2010-11 season and have won three of the last four meetings with Rider. The Broncs ended a four-game skid with a 90-84 overtime victory against Wagner on Saturday and hope to win back-to-back games for the first time in nearly a month.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT RIDER (6-5): Frederick Scott led the way with 21 points, including nine in overtime, and pulled down six rebounds as the Broncs held Wagner to 35.4 percent shooting from the floor. Stevie Jordan added 19 points and seven assists while Dimencio Vaughn also scored 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and four steals as Rider ended the Seahawks’ six-game winning streak. “It’s definitely good to get back on the winning track,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett told reporters. “We didn’t always play smart but I thought we played hard and competed.”
ABOUT PENN STATE (10-3): Lamar Stevens scored a game-high 16 points and corralled eight rebounds in the win against Binghamton to finish in double figures for the eighth time this season. Tony Carr contributed 15 points and nine assists after sitting out the previous game due to a violation of team rules while Shep Garner also tallied 15 points to move into sole possession of 15th place on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with 1,325 points. Mike Watkins added 12 points and 11 rebounds to notch his third consecutive double-double.
1. Penn State is 8-1 when holding opponents to fewer than 70 points.
2. Watkins has recorded four double-doubles this season.
3. Rider G Jordan Allen has made at least two three-pointers in each of his last 11 games.
PREDICTION: Penn State 78, Rider 64