Event: Boston College Eagles (2-4) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-2).
Date/Time: November 30, 2011 - 7:15 p.m. EDT.
Location: Silvio O. Conte Forum (Capacity: 8,606), Chestnut Hill, MA.
Odds: Penn State is a 4.5-point favorite over Boston College.
Broadcast Info: Wednesday night's game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, with Sean McDonough on play-by-play and Tim Welsh providing analysis. The game can also be heard on the WEEI Sports Radio Network (93.7 FM/850 AM), with Jon Meterparel on play-by-play duty and Malcolm Huckaby providing analysis.
Series History: Boston College and Penn State are meeting for the 12th time ever, with the Nittany Lions leading the all-time series, 6-5. This is the first meeting in 10 years between the two schools, with the Eagles winning, 88-65, in 2001. BC has won four of the last five games against Penn St., which last beat, 85-57, at home in 1999. Penn St. is 2-2 against Boston College in games played at Conte Forum.
BC/Penn State In ACC-Big Ten Challenge: Boston College is a perfect 5-0 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, with its last victory coming over Indiana, 88-76, last season at Conte Forum. Penn State is 4-6 all-time in the challenge and has won three of its last four challenge games. However, the Nittany Lions lost to Maryland in last year's challenge, 62-39.
The ACC dominated the first ten years of the challenge, winning each and every year, but the Big Ten has won the last two challenges, 6-5. The ACC owns a 72-47 all-time record against Big Ten teams in the challenge.
Last Time Out: Boston College was defeated by the New Mexico Lobos, 75-57, in the fifth-place game of the 76 Challenge on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, CA. Matt Humphrey and Lonnie Jackson each scored 12 points for BC.
Penn State is coming off of a 65-47 blowout loss at the hands of the Saint Joseph Hawks on November 26. Billy Oliver led the Nittany Lions with 12 points and also had five rebounds. Ross Travis had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench and Tim Frazier finished with eight points and 11 rebounds for Penn State in the loss.
Statistical Leaders: Patrick Heckmann is the Eagles' leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points, while Matt Humphrey is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 11 points per contest. Ryan Anderson is the team's leading rebounder 5.7 RPG) while Dennis Clifford is second with 5.2 rebounds per game. Heckmann also leads the team in assists (1.8 APG).
Tim Frazier is the Nittany Lions' leading scorer, averaging 19.1 points, and also leads the team in rebounds (six RPG) and assists (7.1 APG).
Storyline: Boston College continues to work its young bunch of freshman into the lineup, as head coach Steve Donahue continues to play with his lineups to find the right mix. Patrick Heckmann has proven to be the most consistent scorer through the first six games of his collegiate career, and as a result, will likely be looked upon to carry the scoring load.
Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers will return to Boston for the first time since taking the job with the Nittany Lions this past offseason. Chambers was the head coach of the Boston U. Terriers, guiding them to back-to-back 21-14 seasons. Last year, the Terriers won the America East Tournament and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, only to lose to powerhouse Kansas in the first round.
Prediction: Boston College has shown flashes of talent and promise, but the Eagles are simply too young to be competitive consistently. Penn State should be able to overcome any possible quick starts from BC and emerge victorious. Final Score: Penn State 76, Boston College 65.