BSD - Thanks to psuboy for putting together a recap of last night's men's basketball game.
Penn State shot the lights out last night. This was the best shooting exhibit I have ever seen by Penn State. Over 60% from 3 point range and inside the arc. If we can shoot the ball that well this season we are going to win a lot of games. Hartford is not a bad team. They are 0-3 now but they can shoot the 3 well and play hard. I would not be surprised if they won their conference and made the NCAAs or got into the NIT. That said, we are not going to be able to shoot the 3 that well on most nights so we need to establish our inside game.
We started out pretty hot and pushed out to about a 10 point lead early. We then hit a 6 minute stretch where we only scored 2 points and turned the ball over almost every time down the court. Hartford took a 1 point lead, 23-24 I think. This would be the only time we played poorly the whole game. We then came back and dominated till the close of the first half with Morrissey hitting a 3 pointer as time ran out giving us about a 13 point lead. In the second half we traded baskets for a while stretching out our lead. We had two runs where we played fast on offense and forced turnovers on D. We had a 30 point lead with about 5 minutes to go and threw in our subs. We ended up scoring 89 points on the night and winning by about 26.
Pringle had 23 points and was hitting 3 pointers all over the court. Some from way beyond the arc. Battle contributed 21 and was playing out of his head. He was on from 3 point range and hit a Magic Johnson like circus layup then completed the 3 point play. He really looks like the real deal. Cornly had his standard workman like performance and gave us 17 points with 10 rebounds and a handful of assists. Morrissey was 3 for 4 from the arc in limited action. He took a hard hit on a loose ball and did not return. He seemed like he could have gone back in had we needed him. Jackson Had a good game. I cannot remember how many points he had. He also threw up and hit a 3. Brooks was just starting to get it going when he came down on his ankle. It did not look good. He had it wrapped, heavily iced, and hobbled out before the end of the game on crutches. Babb looks a little lost out there still. Wayward, I may have his name spelled wrong (Ed. - It's Woodyard), is a freshman who really plays with tenacity. He is going to give us a lot of good minutes.
Our defense was not as sharp. We were getting picked and missing switches leaving players wide open on the wing to drain a 3 more often than not. Also we looked gassed at times during the game. I recall seeing one exchange where we just stopped playing defense and Hartford had 3 players wide open for shots. They missed but got the rebound and made the second shot. This is a big concern. We do not have enough subs to be able to run the floor. We are basically playing a 7 man rotation with two others filling in at times. We need two more "good" players before we will be able to really run the floor.
We look better on Free throws than last year but still not where we need to be to hold leads late in games against really good teams.
One final gripe on what was a very good performance for Penn State. When the opposing team is throwing the ball in under our basket we are posting a guy with his back to the inbounding player. It is only a matter of time until a team throws the ball in off our defender's back and has an easy layup. We need to at least partially face the defender.
All in all Penn State played very well. This team has more talent than any I can ever remember. We need more fan support. Only about 2500 in attendance. In the two games I have attended, Hartford and Wm & Mary the student section has been well represented and are louder than I can ever remember.