The last game before
Christmas the holidays is always a perilous one for college basketball coaches: In addition to coming up with a solid gameplan, they also must make sure that the players are maintaining their focus on the game, instead of thinking about the precious few days they will get to spend with their families.
Penn State sure looked like that type of unfocused team at times: Sloppy play, poor shooting, and poor perimeter defense that allowed Cornell's shooting ace, Drew Ferry, to knock down six three pointers in the process, kept the game close, if not gave Cornell the outright lead at times. Much like when the Big Red played Illinois, this one game down to the final couple of minutes, with both teams tied at 64 with 1:57 to play. PSU dug in when they absolutely had to though, knocking down a few critical shots and playing solid enough defense en route to close the game on a 10-3 run and take some critical momentum into the Big Ten slate.
A good portion of this win came upon the heels of Tim Frazier, who led the way with his 17 points and 11 rebounds to go with six assists. Trey Lewis also appeared to get his perimeter shooting mojo back, going 4-of-6 from downtown with 13 points total. Billy Oliver (9 points, 3-for-6 from three point range) and Cam Woodyard (13 points, 3-for-3) also made their presence felt from behind the perimeter. And don't forget Jermaine Marshall's 12 points, three blocks, and two steals that he pitched in, including a clutch layup late in the game with PSU up by two.
Watching this game on BTN made for some hilariously awkward commentary by the announcing crew, as Cornell featured a player named Galal Cancer. Perhaps the most notable line came towards the end of the game when Cornell was trying to foul PSU late in the game in order to get the ball back:
And finally, Cancer reaches out and grabs Tim Frazier...
The team gets a well-deserved eight day break before opening up Big Ten play at Michigan, in what should be their stiffest challenge yet (Kentucky notwithstanding). In the meantime, we here at BSD would like to wish everyone on the team a happy holiday full of ATTITUDE and a handful of conference wins in 2012.