Due to these losses being a yearly theme, I feel like I've become very composed as a Penn State basketball fan. It's like I've almost become used to losing an inexplicable game in the non-conference schedule year-in and year-out. But what always sets me over the edge is immediately after the buzzer sounds, and guys like him, him, and him, are out there celebrating like they just won a championship. This is what I usually love about college basketball, but my lord does it suck when it's your team that has just been humiliated.
What is important to realize, however, is that these types of games are not uncommon in college basketball. I mean, we could be Iowa, who lost by 16 at home to the Campbell Fighting Camels a few weeks ago. Unfortunately last night it was Penn State that was upset, but it very easily could've been Maryland, Nebraska, or Purdue. Basketball is crazy that way. Every year teams win and lose games they 'shouldn't'. This loss just brings us back to reality a bit. They're still on pace for 8-9 wins in the non-conference, which was my expectation coming in.
This was just another putrid display offensively for the Nittany Lions. Tim Frazier will get most of the blame for another 0-12 performance, as he seemed to get worse as the game went on. In the first half he was 0-4 with 5 assists and 0 turnovers, but was 0-8 with 4 assists to 5 turnovers in the second. Penn State obviously isn't going to win any games when Frazier is in a funk like he was tonight.
But Timmy wasn't entirely responsible for another awful display from three-land that even prompted Chambers to call timeout to instruct them to stop chucking it from deep. The final count came to 3 for 23 (13.0%). They also went 16-26 from the foul line, but that was mostly due to Ross Travis' 1-7 performance. Ross had his best game so far with 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers, but c'mon son, you're 4-20 from the foul line this season. That's just absurd.
Jermaine Marshall did what he could with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals, but his missed free throw on the front end with just over a minute left was a big. Sasa didn't have much of an encore from Sunday with just 2 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes. Trey Lewis was unavailable for tonight because his right ankle has flared up again. Nick Colella wasn't able to make an impact in his 8 minutes in Trey's place.
Lafayette played pretty solid basketball for 30 minutes of the game and built a 10 point lead. But they seemed to tire as the game went on and were getting worked on the glass. Penn State clawed back in it and had their chances to escape from a miserable performance with a W, but they just could not. Even the Leopards' best Chris Webber impression couldn't save them.
All we can hope for is that Chambers can rally the guys and move past this. We're going to need something other than attitude to score points this season.