Hokies Deliver Crushing Blow to Penn State’s Tournament Hopes
Penn State had three different chances to make a statement against BCS conference opponents in their non-conference schedule this season, something that they needed to do to have hopes of making it back to the NCAA Tournament. And three different times, they were outplayed and outcoached, leaving the idea of playing in March to seem like a galaxy away.
Virginia Tech had four players score in double-digits and used a 17-6 second-half run to defeat the Nittany Lions 79-69 on Sunday in Blacksburg. Guard Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies with 18 points and eight assists.
Talor Battle scored 26 points for Penn State, his sixth 20-point game of the season, and David Jackson added 12 points and eight rebounds after missing Tuesday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s after injuring himself during last Saturday’s Duquesne match-up.
What may be very worrisome for Penn State, though, was Jeff Brooks’ lack of production. He had one bucket to go along with five rebounds and four fouls in only 24 minutes of work. He has impressed during the early-season and was arguably the team’s MVP through the first eight or nine games, but inconsistency has followed him ever since he step foot onto campus. For Penn State’s sake, let’s hope that this was only an aberration and that he will return to form by the time Big Ten season comes around.
We’ll have a post up about the state of Coach Ed DeChellis and the basketball program up later this week or next, but in short, it’s not looking good for his chances past this season in Happy Valley after another disappointing loss against a quality opponent.
Cleaning the Glass:
- Billy Oliver also returned from injury for this game and contributed nine points and four rebounds coming off the bench. He had sustained a head injury in last Saturday’s game.
- Virginia Tech was much better in transition, outscoring Penn State 16-2 on the fast break.
- Jeff Allen (11 points, 13 rebounds) and Terrell Bell (13 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles for the Hokies.