Penn State hosts Montana in the regional portion of the Legends Classic on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions opened the season with an 86-75 victory against Campbell before downing Fairleigh Dickinson 81-57, and they hope to extend their winning streak to three games in their first ever meeting with the Grizzlies.
Penn State has won eight of its last 10 non-conference home games with five victories coming by double digits during that span, and it strives for its first 3-0 start since the 2011-12 season. “I want us to have a killer instinct and I want us to have an assassin mentality of when you come in here you’re going to be fearful,” Penn State head coach Pat Chambers told reporters. “We’re going to compete and we’re going to compete hard.” The Nittany Lions have shot 25.6 percent from 3-point range over their first two games and hope to discover their long-range shooting touch against Montana, which was ranked 158th nationally in 3-point field goal defense last season. The Grizzlies opened the season with a 72-60 win over Whitworth before knocking off Pittsburgh 83-78 in overtime to post their first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since 1966.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, BTN
ABOUT MONTANA (1-1): Junior guard Michael Oguine set a career high with 29 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals to help the Grizzlies earn their first victory over a Power 5 team since beating Oregon State in 2010. “We say every day is a great day to be a Griz but some of them are a little more special,” Montana coach Travis DeCuire told reporters. “We fought to the end and it was time to get over the hump with some of these.” Ahmaad Rorie added 18 points, including five clutch points in overtime, and finished with five rebounds and three assists as Montana won the battle of the boards 39-38.
ABOUT PENN STATE (2-0): Tony Carr went 9-of-9 from the free-throw line en route to a team-high 20 points and dished out nine assists in the win against Fairleigh Dickinson. Josh Reaves added 17 points, nine rebounds and four steals while Mike Watkins scored 20 points to go along with three blocks after missing the first two games of the season with an undisclosed injury. Nazeer Bostick and Lamar Stevens each added 12 points as the Nittany Lions registered 18 steals and forced 31 turnovers against the Knights.
1.Carr has scored in double figures in 14 of his last 15 games dating back to last season.
2. Watkins needs seven blocked shots to become the seventh player in Penn State history to reach 100.
3. Montana is 1-9 against Power 5 opponents under DeCuire.
PREDICTION: Penn State 82, Montana 76