Check the Boxscore here.
Last night the Nittany Lions downed the UNC-Greensboro Spartans in a great team effort. The game was extremely close for most of the evening with the Lions leading by 2 or 3 points most of the night. Every once in a while the Nitts would extend the lead to 7 or 8 points, but the Spartans would real them right back in. Then late in the second half Mike Walker hit Ben Luber in the corner with an amazing behind the back pass. Luber nailed the three bringing the 6000 fans in attendance to their feet. From that point the Lions went on a run and put the game away.
Jamelle Cornley recorded his second double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but it was the contributions of his teammates that made the difference. Luber had 13 points and 6 rebounds. Mike Walker added seven assists. Morrissey had 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Freshman DJ Jackson logged 14 solid minutes and ended with 4 points and 2 rebounds.
Perhaps most encouraging was the performance of junior Brandon Hassell. In the best game of his career as a Nittany Lion Hassell scored 9 points and pulled down 5 rebounds to go with his 4 steals. On the flip side Milos Bogetic looked terrible defensively in the first half and was limited to only three minutes of action.
The keys to the game were rebounding and defense. Disappointed with his team's rebounding effort in the first half, DeChellis challenged them at half time to crash the boards. The Lions finished the evening having outrebounded the Spartans 39-26 thanks to 18 rebounds from the guards. The Lions also played a disciplined game only committing 10 personal fouls and only giving the Spartans 6 shots from the foul line all evening. Conversely, UNC-G was in foul trouble all night and put Penn State in the bonus with almost 15 minutes to go in the second half. This sent the Lions to the line 24 times where they hit 17 shots. Star forward Kyle Hines sat much of the second half when he recorded his third foul early and had to play tentative defense for the last 10 minutes after getting his fourth foul. His outside mate, Ricky Hickman, couldn't get his shot going and was held to just 8 points on the night.
Ed DeChellis must be very pleased with his team this morning. At the beginning of the year they were figured to be a 60-65 point offense. I'm sure his Wheaties tasted pretty good knowing they scored 69 points without Geary Claxton.
The Nittany Lions will face the Stony Brook Seawolves at the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday at 7:30 PM. The Seawolves are 1-1 on the year after losing to Cornell 76-72 on Monday night.