Hartford - 55
Penn State - 56
|Can I get a little help here?|
There's a saying that goes, "Water seeks its own level." This phrase pretty much sums up the Nittany Lion mens basketball season so far. Like water flowing downhill until it reaches the lowest point possible, the Lions continually play down to the level of their competition.
Prior to last nights game with the Hartford Hawks, who had four wins all of last season, Ed DeChellis told his players to play the game, not the shirt. With a comfortable 11 point lead with 9:21 left in the second half it looked like the Lions had heeded Ed's advice and were prepared to put the Hawks away for good. But then the wheels fell off. Nine minutes and five turnovers later the Lions held a one point lead without the ball and 0:12 left on the clock. Fortunately the Lions played some tough defense and were able to hold on for the win. But it took two missed field goals and two missed free throws by Hartford in the final minute to do it. Neither team scored in the final 2:39.
Breaking It Down
Jamelle Cornley and Mooch Jackson each twisted their ankles around the five minute mark, so that certainly contributed to the struggles down the stretch. The Lions were forced to play Milos Bogetic, who is just not good enough to be playing 20 minutes a game.
Geary Claxton started the game and had a double-double leading the Lions in both points and rebounds with 16 and 10 respectively. Eight of his rebounds were on the offensive glass.
Brandon Hassell continues his Dr. Jeckle/Mr. Hyde persona. After busting out for 12 points in the first half of the Morgan State game, he has only had four points in a game and a half since. But he did contribute with seven rebounds last night.
Four Hawks finished in double figures. Four. The Lions had one, Claxton. Even though the Lions outrebounded the Hawks 40-29, the Hawks managed to get two more field goal attempts than the Lions. They made both of those field goals so how did the Lions win? Their ability to get to the free throw line 14 times to the Hawks 5 was the difference in the game.
The Lions will travel to Seton Hall to play the Pirates on Saturday at 1 PM. Penn State holds a lifetime record of 4-0 against Seton Hall last beating them 71-54 in 1973.