Perhaps the greatest concern about Penn State going into tonight's game at Boston College was whether they would bring their horrible shooting funk with them from Philadelphia during last weekend's brick-tastic performance at St. Joseph's. The start of the game certainly seemed to give the impression that PSU did in fact, bring that same shooting funk to Boston, as the Nittany Lions began with a paltry 1-for-8 from the floor. BC didn't fare a whole lot better, themselves, making Chris' "Brick House" YouTube video from the open thread the perfect metaphor for tonight's game. In the end though, on the heels of 22 points scoring apiece from Tim Frazier and Jermaine Marshall, PSU slogged its way to a 62-54 victory and improved their overall record to 6-2 on the season.
While Frazier's stat line reads like one of his typical 2011 performances (22 points on 3-for-5 from downtown, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals), it took him a half in order to pick up the slack scoring-wise, as he was held to merely 2 points at halftime. Marshall also stepped up in a huge way off the bench, racking up 8 rebounds to go along with his career-high 22 points (which included 3-for-6 shooting from the perimeter). The importance of his contributions cannot be stressed enough, if Marshall doesn't have this type of breakout performance, BC wins this game. Simple as that.
PSU also had to overcome serious foul trouble that plagued them all night long, getting Frazier and a couple other players up to 4 fouls with several minutes still remaining in the game. The fearless coach Chambers though, still elected to mix in some man defense along with the zone he decided to run with most of the night and it was effective enough in keeping BC from getting good looks at the basket late in the game, allowing PSU to go on a run that eventually put the game out of reach by the final minute.
This will be a very trying year for PSU from a wins and losses perspective, but for this team to come away with its first road win of the young season surely has to be a confidence booster. It also should be one to cherish, since you can probably count on one hand the number of times this will occur the rest of the season.
Also, at the time of this writing, The Big Ten has already clinched the Big Ten-ACC Challenge for a 3rd straight year after Indiana and Michigan State defeated NC State and Florida State, respectively to push the Big Ten to an insurmountable 7-2 lead in the challenge. So yeah, grab your Dr. Peppers and let's have a real good time!