Men’s Basketball Downs Hartford in Season Opener
“It’s easy for me right now. Everyone’s on my side when I haven’t lost a game yet.” That quote was said to me by a joking Pat Chambers after an October 22nd practice, the season opener still three weeks away at the time. After one game, the phrase rings true as Penn State (1-0) defeated Hartford (0-2) 70-55 Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The game itself was not as close as the score may suggest. The Nittany Lions had a lead of as much as twenty-six points before Hartford scored some meaningless baskets in the final few minutes. Freshman Trey Lewis had a game high seventeen points. He started the game alongside Tim Frazier, Billy Oliver, Ross Travis, and Sasa Borovnjak. This was a contrast from the Frazier, Oliver, Matt Glover, Cameron Woodyard, Jonathan Graham lineup that Chambers went with last week in a scrimmage versus Slippery Rock.
Lewis looked very impressive, and my man crush on him is only going to grow if he can play like that against better competition. Frazier was close behind with sixteen points, and Woodyard also made it into double figures with twelve. The Nittany Lions shot well from three point range going ten for twenty three. Trailing 7-5, Billy Oliver completed a four point play with a three ball and subsequent foul shot. He only scored six points but looks much more confident than last year with the ball in his hands.
Chambers’ suit jacket remained on for a resounding seventeen seconds. From the 19:43 mark of the first half on, he did not sit down once. The Nittany Lions went into halftime with a 32-22 lead. It took them a little while into the second half to open up a big lead, but they eventually did while recording fifteen steals, the most since 2001. They may have been able to open the game up earlier if it was not for shoooting fourteen of twenty-six from the foul line. A .538 free throw percentage will not cut it against better teams.
The Nittany Lions are back in action tonight at home against the Radford Highlanders from the Big South conference who enter the contest with a 2-0 record. Freshmen will receive free admission, and hot dogs will only cost one dollar. If that is not enough motivation to come to the BJC, the Nittany Lions currently have a better record than perennial Big Ten power Michigan State. Sure, maybe the Spartans opened against top ranked North Carolina, but does a little detail like that really matter?
The over/under on how it takes before Pat Chambers stands up and removes his suit jacket is 14 seconds.