Top 10 Penn State Sports Moments Of The Year
We are now on day 14 of no sports at Penn State and yeah, I know, it feels like it has been 14 months. Despite there being no more sports for the rest of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic, we can all still appreciate the great sports moments that have taken place during this academic year.
Whether it be on the football field, basketball court, or on the ice at Pegula, there have been moments that remind us all why we love sports so much.
Here are the top 10 Penn State sports moments from the 2019-2020 academic year:
10. Penn State wrestling seniors Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, and Shakur Rasheed all win via fall to end their Rec Hall careers
On senior day at Rec Hall, Penn State wrestling’s three seniors — Vincenzo Joseph, Mark Hall, and Shakur Rasheed — capped off remarkable careers and said goodbye with pins against American University in their final dual. The three combined for a 271-33 record, three national titles, and seven All-American finishes.
9. “There goes KJ for a pay-day”: KJ Hamler’s ridiculous 58-yard touchdown against Maryland
In Penn State football’s game against Maryland, KJ Hamler broke off a ridiculous 58-yard touchdown after catching a short pass from Sean Clifford.
Play-by-play broadcaster Tim Brando capped off his call of the electrifying touchdown with, “There goes KJ for a pay-day.”
Hamler made multiple Terrapins look silly en route to his 58-yard touchdown that put the Nittany Lions up 13-0. Penn State ended up completely destroying Maryland in this one, with a final score of 59-0.
8. Women’s Volleyball comes back from 2-0 deficit, wins five-set thriller against Wisconsin
In a season where the team made it all the way to the Elite Eight, Penn State women’s volleyball had its share of many impressive victories. None was more memorable than its thrilling five-set win over Wisconsin in the penultimate match of the regular season.
After going down in the match 2-0, the Nittany Lions battled back to win the match 3-2 in what was their seventh straight win at the time. Penn State stunned the No. 5 ranked Badgers, and in doing so, secured a tie for first place in the Big Ten. The team ultimately fell to Minnesota the next night and did not secure a share of the Big Ten title, however.
7. Nate Sucese becomes Penn State hockey’s all-time points and goals leader
In Penn State hockey’s 6-2 win against Robert Morris on January 11, senior Nate Sucese became the program’s all-time points leader with three assists in the teams’ win. At the end of the game, Sucese was only credited with one assist, but after two scoring changes following the game, he was given two additional assists that allowed him to pass David Goodwin’s 128 point mark.
A few months prior, Sucese became the program’s all-time leader in goals after he put the puck in the net against Minnesota for his 55 career goal, passing Andrew Sturtz’s previous record of 54.
6. Penn State hockey scores two goals in 31 seconds to pull ahead of Minnesota on senior night
While 707 students were dancing in the BJC at THON, Penn State hockey pulled off an amazing comeback to take down the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota took a 2-1 lead into the third period despite being out-shot by Penn State by a large margin. Midway through the third period, the Nittany Lions made some magic happen. Nikita Pavlychev tied the game at two with a goal that electrified Pegula Ice Arena.
Just 31 seconds later, Kevin Wall gave the Nittany Lions the lead with a goal of his own. Penn State held on from there to win 3-2 in what was a crucial victory that led to the Nittany Lions eventually capturing their first-ever Big Ten regular-season championship.
5. With Mo Bamba blasting over the Beaver Stadium speakers, Michigan calls a timeout before the first play of the White Out
Sheck Wes’s “Mo Bamba” sent the Beaver Stadium crowd into an absolute frenzy at the start of this year’s White Out. Before the first play of the game, the song was played over the speakers of Beaver Stadium and the crowd went insane. It got so loud that Michigan was forced to take a timeout before the first play, which set the tone for the rest of the game.
Penn State came out victorious in the annual White Out game 28-21 in what was an electric atmosphere.
4. Journey Brown runs wild, Micah Parsons dominates in Penn State football’s 53-39 Cotton Bowl victory
Journey Brown and Micah Parsons guided the Nittany Lions to a 53-39 Cotton Bowl Classic victory at AT&T Stadium. Brown carried the ball 16 times for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns in what a staggering performance on the ground.
One of his touchdowns was a Beast-Mode type run that gave Penn State its first touchdown of the game.
Parsons put on a clinic on the defensive side of the ball — tallying 14 total tackles, three for loss, two sacks, two pass break-ups, and two forced fumbles — while terrorizing the Memphis offense. His most impressive play of the game didn’t even show up on the stat sheet, as he made a game-changing play to force a Garrett Taylor interception
Brown and Parsons were named the offensive and defensive MVPs of the game thanks to their stellar performances.
3. Penn State hoops upsets No. 4 Maryland, fans storm the court at the Bryce Jordan Center
Coming off a 32-point loss to Ohio State, the unranked Nittany Lions stunned the Maryland Terrapins at the Bryce Jordan Center with a 76-69 victory.
Five Nittany Lions scored in double figures — Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, Myreon Jones, Myles Dread, and Izaiah Brockington — in the upset win. This win started a five-game winning streak for the Nittany Lions, during which they were ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1996.
After the final buzzer sounded, the fans at the BJC stormed the court to celebrate the win.
2. Penn State hoops wins eight in a row, climbs to as high as No. 9 in the AP Top 25 Poll
From January 18 to February 15, Penn State men’s basketball enjoyed an eight-game winning streak that included wins over Big Ten opponents like Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State.
After its win against Northwestern. Penn State was ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25 Poll, which was its highest ranking ever. During this stretch, the Nittany Lions solidified themselves as a lock for the now-canceled NCAA Tournament.
During the eight-game win streak, Lamar Stevens led the Nittany Lions with four games of 20 or more points, including a 33-point game against Minnesota
1. Penn State hoops ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll for the first time since 1996
Here it is, folks. The best Penn State sports moment of the year is Penn State men’s basketball being ranked for the first time since 1996. Following back-to-back wins against Maryland and Alabama, the Nittany Lions broke into the top 25 at No. 23.
Penn State fans all over Twitter rejoiced as their Nittany Lions were finally ranked for the first time in 23 years.
It was a historic moment for the program that has been a long time coming. It was the first time Pat Chambers’ squad has ever been ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll.
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About the Author
As a Penn State student sorely missing Happy Valley, its people, and its iconic style, I took it upon myself to recreate iconic Penn State outfits that remind me of home.
Cael Sanderson may only tweet whenever he pleases, but he’ll always be a Twitter legend.
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