Brooks Powers Penn State Past St. Joe’s
Penn State shot a dismal 1-21 from three-point land on the night, but that didn’t matter as Jeff Brooks put together his second solid game in a row, posting 18 points to go along with nine rebounds as the Nittany Lions beat the Hawks, 66-57, in front of 5,846 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center.
It was an ugly game for both teams in which defense dominated for the most part. The first half was played pretty evenly until Penn State went on a 13-2 run over the final 4:50 of the period highlighted by two monstrous dunks by Brooks and a Billy Oliver tip-in of a Brooks missed three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Nittany Lions a 30-19 advantage going into the half.
Eight different men saw time in the second half as Coach Ed DeChellis rotated fresh players in every few minutes to keep his squad rested and intense. As he said in his postgame interview, “Hopefully our depth will get better as the year progresses. It’s going to have to.” Answering DeChellis’ call on Tuesday night were freshmen Taran Buie and Billy Oliver and junior Cammeron Woodyard. Buie and Woodyard especially helped Tim Frazier, who was plagued by foul trouble and a lack of court awareness in his 15 minutes of play. Oliver came in to grab five rebounds, including three on the offensive end.
Other Nittany Lions in double figures were Talor Battle (15 points on 4-12 shooting) and Jackson (11 points). Andrew Jones contributed eight points and seven rebounds to the cause as well. Idris Hilliard led the Hawks with 13 points.
Penn State, now 2-0 on the season and plays home again on Friday night against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opponent Fairfield. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. at the BJC and can also be seen on the Big Ten Network.
Cleaning the Glass:
- ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi was in attendance, calling the game for the Saint Joseph’s radio network. He mentioned that he saw the Nittany Lions’ non-conference schedule and grades it much higher than he has past slates.
- Saint Joseph’s had very balanced scoring. In addition to Hilliard’s 13 tallies, three other Hawks scored in double figures (Aiken 12, Galloway 11, Jones 10).
- Four Hawks missed the team bus to the arena before the game and were subsequently benched for their first couple of rotations by Coach Phil Martelli. Martelli said that his “only rule is to be on time.” They definitely paid the consequences and it may have cost St. Joe’s a win.