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Hartford Hawks Open Thread

Penn State (5 ? 2)
Hartford Hawks (3 - 3)

Another non-conference basketball game tonight. Today's lacky is the Hartford Hawks. I guess we shouldn't dismiss the Hawks so easily since they come from the same American Conference as Stony Brook. Plus, one thing this Nittany Lion team has shown is they aren't capable of blowing anyone out by 30 points. With all the injuries to the Penn State squad we're playing the starters a lot of minutes and we're really having to work to manufacture points. The good news is Ben Luber has been cleared to play after taking an elbow to the chin that forced him to leave the game against Morgan State. And the tightness in Danny Morrissey's neck has gone away so he will be on the court tonight.

Hartford is riding a three game winning streak after dropping their first three games of the season. In their last outing they defeated Long Island by forcing 24 turnovers and holding the Blackbirds to 35% shooting from the field on their way to an easy 64-49 victory.

The Hawks are led by first year head coach Dan Leibovitz who comes from Temple where he served as an assistant coach under John Cheney for 10 years. The Hawks look to utilize a motion offense when they have the ball. Judging by the statistics they have several people that can score and they love to shoot the three as over half of their FG attempts have come from behind the arc. On defense they utilize a lot of 1-3-1 and 2-3 matchup zone. The Lions will have to work to get the ball inside to Cornley and Claxton who will have to get rid of it quickly by either shooting or kicking it out to the perimeter. Luber, Morrissey, and Walker will have to hit some early threes to draw the defense out and open things up for C&C.

On paper this should be an easy win for the Lions. But then we know basketball games aren't played on paper. In the case of Penn State basketball they are played by little men inside your AM radio. I hope I'm wrong, but I expect the Lions to once again play down to the level of their competition and squeak out a seven point win. I think it will be close all night, but I'm going to say PSU has a late rally in the final five minutes and wins 69-62.

Probable Lineup

Starters Height/Class PPG RPG
Michael Turner ? G/F 6-5 So 5.5 4.2
Rich Baker - G 6-1 Jr 7.0 2.2
Joe Zeglinski - G 6-0 Fr 13.0 4.3
Robert ?Bo? Taylor - F 6-5 Sr 12.0 5.7
Alex Zemnickas - F 6-8 Sr 8.8 3.8
Off The Bench
Jaret Von Rosenberg - G 6-2 So 7.0 2.2
Brian Glowiak - G 6-3 Jr 5.5 2.5
Vincent Aldevinge ? F/C 6-11 Fr 1.0 0.3
Fabrice Tafo ? F 6-7 So 4.3 2.3