Returning to the friendly confines of the Bryce Jordan Center predictably aided PSU's shooting woes yesterday as they put together one of their best performances of the season in a 67-51 win over Nebraska. The win snapped their 5-game losing streak. The Nits were in control of the game from the 13:07 mark in the first half until the final buzzer. They went into the half up by 10 (36-26) and never saw the lead cut to single-digits the rest of the way.
Tim Frazier was absolutely tremendous from start to finish. He finished just 1 assist shy of a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals. It was his most efficient performance of his career, since he only took 9 shots to get his 23 points. He was also a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line as the Huskers had no answer for him all day. His performance offered a glimpse of how great Frazier can be when he gets some help. Jermaine Marshall and Cammeron Woodyard were very efficient with a combined 26 points on 15 shots in support.
As a team, Penn State was incredibly accurate inside the arc against the Huskers, who were without their big man Jorge Brian Diaz. The Lions shot 66.7% (14-21) on their 2-point attempts. Eventually Nebraska adjusted to a 2-3 zone defense for most of the 2nd half, which forced PSU to fall in love with the 3 a bit too much. Over half of PSU's FGA were from behind the arc. Nick Colella particularly struggled, shooting just 2-11 from three (and costing Frazier his triple-double).
The 62.5% eFG% is PSU's 2nd best percentage of the season and the best in conference play. Shooting can make up for anything as PSU didn't hit the glass on offense and turned over the ball. The good news is PSU shut down Nebraska's attack, and they did so without fouling. The Huskers only attempted 11 free throws for the game, while PSU was only whistled for 15 fouls. The effort and attitude was everywhere as PSU won nearly every loose ball and had many successful dive attempts. Also, Nebraska's star guard Bo Spencer was held to 7 points and 3 assists, a marked improvement from Spencer's 19 point, 5 assist effort in the first game between these two teams.
Next up for Penn State is another winnable home game against Iowa on Thursday at 8 PM.