Nittany Lion of the Week - Jamelle Cornley


So this little award is only four weeks old and we already have a repeat winner. I know I originally said I was going to use this space to highlight sports other than football and basketball, but what Jamelle Cornley did this week was nothing short of heroic. Ok, well, if you consider running into burning buildings to rescue babies and kittens heroic, it was probably short of that. But it was still pretty damn awesome.

Penn State faces two must win games this past week against Michigan and Iowa. Lose one or both of those games and Penn State's post season hopes were done. But in each game Cornley rose up and carried the team to victory.

Cornley was a dominating force on the inside against Michigan scoring 17 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. The Wolverines had no answer for him making him look like a man among boys.

A few days later things looked grim against Iowa. trailing by 13 points midway through the second half it looked like Penn State was doomed to lose. But Cornley sparked his team and the crowd by drawing a technical foul from the official. Then he went off in the most dominating five minute stretch of basketball I've ever seen in a Penn State uniform. He scored ten straight points and pulled down rebounds in the face of multiple Iowa defenders that were helpless to stop him. After the game he got enormous praise from his fellow captain Talor Battle.

"Jamelle Cornley showed his senior leadership and his great effort. He got us back in the game. Deflecting basketballs, getting rebounds, scoring when we needed him to score. Everybody else worked hard, but he put us on his back and carried us. I just want to tell him great job. And for the rest of the guys, we all worked hard, we never gave up and we were successful tonight."

Sitting a few feet away from Battle, Cornley just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Whatever."

"What I did tonight was my job. I don't look at is as any type of heroic action or play. I did what I'm supposed to do as a senior. You're supposed to leave everything out on the court and that's what I did."

It's a treat to see Mel playing at this level this late in the season. For the past two years knee problems have hobbled him from playing his best. Oh what could have been.

For his efforts, Jamelle was awarded the Big Ten Player of the Week award for the first time in his career. As the Big Ten season wears on everyone gets beat up and tired. But Jamelle Cornley seems to be getting stronger and stronger with each game. For that he is our Nittany Lion of the Week once again.

Honorable Mention

  • Women's Basketball Guard Tyra Grant also won Big Ten POTW honors for scoring 32 points and hitting the winning basket against Wisconsin in overtime.
  • Male Gymnast Casey Sandy tied a Big Ten record for winning his seventh POTW award.
  • Max Lipsitz won his third career EIVA POTW award for leading Penn State to a four game win over #13 Ball State.
  • Nicole Fawcett won the Honda Award given to the top women's volleyball player. I guess that's like the Heisman or something. I bet she has boxes of trophies like this in her garage.
  • And also, this girl. Wowsa!
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