Penn State announced that the men’s basketball team will take on Drexel as part of a two-year, off-campus series between the pair. First, they’ll play at Allentown’s PPL Center on Dec. 20 for the first college basketball game ever in the new arena, and in 2015, the Lions will play Drexel at a yet-to-be-determined location in the Philadelphia area.
The 2014 game will be considered a home game for Penn State, and it constitutes the first time the pair of squads will play since 1992. Penn State is 4-0 all-time against the Dragons, winning their last meeting 73-64 in Rec Hall, when John Amaechi had the first 20-point game of his career. Penn State hasn’t announced the full schedule for 2014-15, but it has confirmed that it will participate in the Charleston Classic on Nov. 20-23. The Big Ten matchups for the season were also announced earlier in March.
“We are excited to play at the new PPL Center in Allentown,” said head coach Patrick Chambers in the press release. “With so many Penn State fans and alumni spread throughout the state, anytime we have a chance to play a game in front of them is something we will explore. We hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to come out as we take on a talented and well-coached team in Drexel.”
Last season, the Dragons finished 16-14 with an 8-8 Colonial Athletic Association clip. They’re the odd man out of Philadelphia’s famous unofficial Big Five group of Temple, Penn, La Salle, St. Joe’s, and Villanova, but still carry a loyal following in the city.
The PPL Center is expected to be opened on Sept. 12; a concert by The Eagles will be the first-ever event in the arena. A Harlem Globetrotters game will be the first basketball game there, but this game will be the first between two NCAA teams. The 10,000-seat venue will be home to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Tickets will go on sale later in the fall through the arena’s official website.