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Penn State Beats St. Joseph's, 66-57

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In the absence of new photos, which the Associated Press has yet to bless us with, I'll let the Twittersphere describe the carnage that was wrought on the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday evening, where Penn State defeated St. Joseph's 66-57 in an offensive performance that were really way less impressive than the score would indicate.

Penn State SID Brian Siegrist.

Teams now 3-of-36 from three, this has officially been declared a hard hat area.less than a minute ago via HootSuite


ESPN's Joe Lunardi.

Called a game tonight where the winner (Penn State) shot 1-21 from 3PT. Combined, Penn St and St Joe's were 5-42 from the arc (.119). Yuk.less than a minute ago via web


Yeah. That pretty much tells the tale. The good news for Penn State is that despite finishing 1-21 from deep, the Lions still managed to maintain a comfortable lead straight through until the end of the game, dispatching the Hawks even with their milk-level 4.8% three percentage.

Jeff Brooks led the Nittany Lions with 18 points and nine rebounds. He fell just short of a double-double for the second consecutive game. Talor Battle was 0-6 from behind the arc, but still finished with 15 points some how and David Jackson quietly added 11 points, giving the Lions three double figure scorers in both games this season.

Penn State now takes on Fairfield Friday night at the BJC. The Stags have been picked to win the MAAC and are 1-1 this far in 2010-2011 with a win over Sacred Heart and a loss to Rutgers. Let's check out what happened in this game, first, though...

The Good

  • Since half time of the Lehigh game, Brooks has been Penn State's best player, which is really good news for a Lion team that was all about Talor Battle last season. He's been a monster on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds and both games, and averaging five more boards than he did all of last season. He's also nearly half way to his block total from last year with six through two games after 14 through 31 in 2010-2011. And did I mention that he's scoring? On a night when no one else's shots were dropping, Brooks attacked the basket and heavily exposed the holes in St. Joe's defense. If he can keep this level of production up, Penn State will be dangerous.
  • The defense continues to dazzle. With only 19 points at half time, the Hawks already had little chance, but Penn State forced 19 turnovers to boot. All that with the solid rotation and greater volume of contested shots over last season and the Lions are visibly improved in their defensive end. Granted, it's only been Lehigh and St. Joseph's, but where even crappy teams were finding holes last season, Penn State is really clamping down this year. Neither Lehigh nor St. Joseph's cracked 50 points while the game was still in doubt. That's really excellent, no matter who the opponent is.
  • Penn State shot 24-35 from the stripe tonight, and really used it the way it should be used. On a night when the Lions couldn't really get anything together from the field, the Lions drew fouls and generated offense from the line, ensuring they'd continually add on and keep the Hawks at bay. Penn State didn't have it's A-game tonight, but thanks to free throw shooting, the Lions were never really pressed. Isn't it amazing how you can shine a turd like tonight by just doing the little things right?

The Bad

  • Freshman Taran Buie was 3-4 on shots inside three point territory but 0-4 behind the arc. He needs to begin attacking the basket more instead of trying to hit the flashy deep shots. Buie's strength is his ability to penetrate. When he does that, he looks like a player who could contribute to this team. When he doesn't, he looks like a schmo. That's not to say he shouldn't take open threes, but when in doubt, drive.
  • Tim Frazier disappeared Tuesday night, scoring only one point in 15 minutes. Ed DeChellis said after the game that the sophomore guard, "struggled" and he just didn't have a very good night after putting up six points in the opener.
  • As good as Penn State's defense has been, the Lions have taken away from it by turning the ball over. After coughing up the ball 11 times in the opener, the total spiked to 16 Tuesday evening. Not only does that take points off the board for Penn State, it mitigates the effectiveness it is enjoying in the defensive end.

The Ugly

  • David Jackson hit Penn State's first three point attempt of the night. After that, the team clanked 20 threes in a row. It's really hard to fathom. Without Chris Babb, everyone knew the perimeter game was going to experience some growing pains early on, 1-21 is really, really bad. 
  • Cammeron Woodyard was 0-7 from the field, and had a couple other shots blocked. He did make up for some of it by going 5-6 from the free throw line, but he really looked lost attacking the basket. As an upperclassman now, Woodyard has to be better that.


St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli

  • On players arriving late: "They must have had a watch that didn't say 5:45 so they cabbed it over and missed their first rotation. It's a damn shame. That's a real shame, because you can control time. I only have one rule on this team: be on time"
  • "Even though it's November, and you can say it's November, you want to see some strides, want to see some basketball."

Ed DeChellis

  • "You can't let your offense affect your defense. I think for the most part tonight we did a pretty good job of that."
  • "Jeff is playing with a little more confidence. I though he played extremely well, and his line was tremendous giving us 18 and 9 with some energy and emotion and I thought that was important."
  • "The team we're playing Friday is very talented and we'll have to play better to win."

Jeff Brooks

  • "I just tried to come out and be as aggressive as I could."
  • "We were on fire in warmups."
  • "Since we weren't making shots from the perimeter, I guess we made up for it on the defensive end. 

Talor Battle

  • "The first two halfs of the season, we haven't hit any shots really from the perimeter, but yet, if we defend, we still have an opportunity to win the game. We did that."
  • On Brooks and other players balancing the scoring for Penn State: "It's big. The defenses are really out to stop me and these guys are taking the pressure off.