It’s not often that Penn State basketball goes out and absolutely dominates an opponent — especially in those pesky winter break out of conference games. But that’s exactly what the Nittany Lions did Sunday morning, routing New Hampshire 72-45, rewarding the diehard fans who skipped church with free Big Macs.
After a slow first five minutes, Penn State went on a 30-5 run to go in at the half up 39-14. The Nittany Lions cruised in the second half as well, capitalizing on a true team performance and a tough defensive effort all around. In all, twelve Nittany Lions saw court time, with four scoring in the double-digits.
Jermaine Marshall led the pack with 15 points and added 5 steals and 4 rebounds to his performance. Sasa Borovnjak, Brandon Taylor, and D.J. Newbill followed with 11, 10, and 10 points each.
“We were just so ready to play,” said coach Patrick Chambers. “We’ve been talking about them all week.”
The production from Penn State’s bench was another positive story, with four other players picking up points. The most important, though, was a long three pointer by Kevin Montminy with 43 seconds to go to put Penn State over the 70-point threshold for free Big Macs. Coach Chambers would say after the game, “Kevin had 4.0 [GPA]…That’s why he got some playing time over other guys.”
All things considered, it’s hard to be disappointed with Penn State’s position heading into Big Ten play. After Tim Frazier went down, many people were predicting the season as an apocalyptic failure — a rebuilding year. In all likelihood, it will still probably be some form of that, but a chance to go 8-4 in the out of conference schedule is not a bad situation for this team.
The Nittany Lions will have one more chance to pick up that eighth win next Saturday against Duquesne at 4 p.m. at the Jordan Center before the grueling Big Ten schedule begins. There’s no doubt the team will be looking for revenge after a disappointing loss last season to the Dukes.