Penn State Basketball Loses a Heartbreaker
Penn State (6-3) did almost everything right, but couldn’t come away with a victory against Ole Miss (7-1) on a special dollar-dog night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions held the lead for the last ten minutes of the second half, but a 7-2 run by the Rebels to finish the game was too much to overcome, as Penn State fell 72-70.
The Penn State offense appeared vastly improved, shooting 48% from the floor compared to their season average of 38%. Sasa Borovnjak had his best game in the blue and white, putting up 15 points and shooting a perfect 7-7 to go along with 4 rebounds. With mono keeping Jon Graham out of the next few games, Borovnjak will be relied upon more to put up performances like this.
Cammeron Woodyard, Jermaine Marshall, and Tim Frazier also recorded double-digit scoring efforts. Frazier led the team with 17 points, but his 5 turnovers proved costly. As much of an asset as Frazier is to this team, his ball handling must improve for Penn State to have success. He leads the team with an astounding 30 turnovers and often appears to have little ball control when driving to the hoop.
The play of the game for Penn State came with 11 minutes left in the first half, when Matt Glover connected with Tim Frazier on a designed alley-oop dunk. Frazier got at least two feet above the rim to bring the crowd to its feet.
Last year’s Penn State team that went to the NCAA tournament fell to Ole Miss early in the season by a much larger margin, 84-71. Don’t get me wrong, this loss is hard to swallow, but it’s difficult to be upset with how the team played last night. The crazy half-time show from Duo Design and delicious Big Mac I enjoyed for free after the game for breaking the 70-point threshold also helped me cope with this one.
Penn State returns to action at home again on Wednesday against Lafayette at 7 pm. With another strong year for basketball in the Big 10, Penn State only has a few more games on their schedule that they have a good chance at winning. They need to capitalize on these last four out-of-conference contests if they want to get some momentum going into the brutal conference schedule.