Team Ends Non-Conference Schedule On High Note
Penn State (8-5) was able to hold off Cornell (4-6) Wednesday to close out their non-conference schedule, coming out on top 74-67.
The first half was characteristically sloppy for the Nittany Lions. The team would commit 10 turnovers, a statistic that has proven to be the Achilles’ heel this year for Penn State. They shot only 31%, and aside from Trey Lewis who hit two big time 3’s, no one played particularly well.
Penn State put forth a better effort in the second half, as they shot 44% and hit 7 of 14 from behind the arc. Remarkably, the team would only commit 2 more turnovers. Cornell didn’t go down quietly, however, and the game was tied with just under 2 minutes to play. Cammeron Woodyard hit all 4 of his free throw attempts in the final minutes to seal the deal for Penn State.
Cam came up clutch in the second half, and hit 3 huge 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes. All 13 of Woodyard’s points came in the last 10 minutes when the game was still in question. That is the type of leadership Pat Chambers expects from his captain, who happens to be the lone senior on the team.
Tim Frazier led the Lions with 17 points on the day, along with 11 boards, earning his 4th double-double of the year. Frazier always plays a physical game, and this one was no different as he always seemed to be on the floor fighting for possession. The fact that he turned the ball over 5 times is an area for concern, and has been all season, but Patrick Chambers forcing the team to slow down in the second half made it a lot easier for Frazier to control the ball.
Another key player last night for Penn State was freshman Trey Lewis. Trey attempted only 6 shots all night aside from a foul, all three-pointers, making 4 of them. This should be a welcoming sign for those monitoring Trey’s progress following an ankle injury suffered in practice that he’s been battling all season.
Pat Chambers brought a different personnel approach to this game than we’ve seen so far this season. Only 8 players saw floor time, and only 7 of them played more than 10 minutes (Frazier, Marshall, Oliver, Glover, Borovnjak, Woodyard, and Lewis). After 13 games, it appears Chambers is set on this core group to eat up most of the minutes going into the conference schedule.
This was the sixth time Penn State scored at least 70 points this season, which is already one more time than they did it all last season. Fans can redeem their ticket for a free Big Mac every time Penn States scores over 70 points. Needless to say, this has not been a good season for my blood pressure.
Penn State will travel to Ann Arbor to take on an extremely talented 20th ranked Michigan team (9-2) on December 29th, following a short break for Christmas. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, and I expect you all to be watching. What else is there to do during break, anyway?