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Lions Lose to Yellow Jackets 77-73

Final Score

Penn State - 73
Georgia Tech - 77

Boxscore Here

Game Recap

The Lions once again the Lions had to make a furious comeback attempt in the waning seconds of the game and did so with a valiant effort. But unlike St. Joe's and Bucknell, the Yellow Jackets had ice in their veins and hit their free throws matching the Lions blow for blow to keep it out of reach.

For the most part the Lions hung with the Yellow Jackets all evening. There were times in the second half when they fell down by 7 or 8 points, but each time the responded and came back to pull within 2 or 4. But they couldn't get over the hump and keep the momentum going to take a lead.

With 90 seconds to go in the game and Penn State trailing 69-62, Ben Luber drained a three to cut the lead to four. But Anthony Morrow hit a wild buzzer beating three of his own to extend the lead back to seven. Luber came back with a quick three to get it back to four. Penn State then quickly fouled Javaris Crittenton who made both shots to make the score 74-68.

Morrissey nailed another three to pull the Lions within three points. They fouled Crittenton again on the inbounds and this time he made 1-of-2 shots giving GA Tech a 75-71 lead with 20 seconds to go. David Jackson hit a quick layup on the assist from Luber to pull the Lions within two with eight seconds left. Morrow was fouled and calmly sank both free throws to put the Yellow Jackets up by four and put the game out of reach.

Breaking It Down

The Lions had their best shooting game of the season hitting over 55% from the field. Combine that with the fact they outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 28-21 and 11-7 on the offensive glass and it's hard to understand how we lost this game. That is until you look at the turnover and freethrow columns. The Lions had 20 turnovers to the Yellow Jackets' 13. 33 of Tech's 77 points came off of turnovers. Additionally, Tech got to the free throw line 19 times to State's 8. Fortunately the Jackets only hit 11 of their free throws or it could have been worse. The bottom line is the Lions have to do a better job of taking care of the ball.

I can't say I'm surprised Penn State lost this game. I said in the preview that GA Tech was probably too athletic and too deep for us to beat. But I'm pleased by the overall effort and the fact that we were only four points away from beating a top 25 team on the road. It's noticeable that this team is improving every week, and once they get healthy they should get even better.