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Penn State’s Sam Sessoms listens to interim men’s basketball coach Jim Ferry during the first half of the game against Maryland on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.

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Penn State men’s basketball will try to inch closer to .500 against the Nebraska Cornhuskers Sunday afternoon. The Nittany Lions are staying home to take on the Huskers after dropping their last game to Michigan state to fall to 7-9 overall and 4-8 in the Big Ten.

Here’s everything you need to know about the home game against the Huskers.

Player to watch

John Harrar: Penn State’s best big man should have a chance to excel Sunday afternoon. Harrar will be facing an undersized Nebraska team that can struggle on the interior. His play has been especially important of late thanks to his improvement around the rim and his sheer dominance as a rebounder. The Nittany Lion center is averaging 3.69 offensive boards per game — good for 10th in the country — and uses those opportunities to create offense for himself.

Harrar has reached double figures in scoring six times this season, with four coming in the team’s last five games. He’s taken a larger role on offense because he’s looking to finish the opportunities he has around the rim — many of which come after he pulls down a rebound — and he’s done so efficiently. Top that interior scoring off with a willingness to draw contact and get to the free throw line — where he’s made 28 of his last 35 attempts — and Penn State suddenly has more of a presence in the post than originally anticipated this season.

Key matchup

Penn State’s guards vs. Nebraska’s interior defense: Sunday will present an opportunity for Harrar to succeed because of Nebraska’s lack of size, but he shouldn’t be the only one to benefit. The Nittany Lions guards — especially the ones who attack off the dribble like Izaiah Brockington, Sam Sessoms and Myreon Jones — should have the door to the rim wide open on Sunday. Nebraska’s lack of an interior presence will give Penn State an opportunity to get high-percentage shots from in close and it will be up to the Nittany Lions to finish those opportunities.

Brockington, Jones and Sessoms should be looking to get to the rim early and often against the Huskers, forcing the defense to collapse on them to get easy shots. Once that begins to happen, kick-out opportunities to open shooters will open up for Penn State and make life difficult for the defense. If those shots start falling too, Penn State should be able to cruise to a victory against a Nebraska team that is 0-9 in the Big Ten this season.

How to watch

Who: Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-12) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-9)

When: 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 | Where: Bryce Jordan Center

TV: BTN

Live stream: FoxSportsGo

Online radio stream: GoPSUSports (university-run)

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Jon Sauber earned his B.A. in digital and print journalism from Penn State and his M.A. in sports journalism from IUPUI. His previous stops include jobs at The Indianapolis Star, the NCAA, and Rivals.

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