Last season, Penn State was prone to losing streaks. Over the course of their 11-20 campaign in 2009-2010, Penn State suffered three losing streaks including an extrodinarily long 12 gamer to open Big Ten play.
With that said, coming off a loss at Mississippi on Friday night, it was important that the Nittany Lions not allow things to snow ball. They didn't.
Penn State crushed Furman 70-49 at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday with some hot shooting to improve its record to 5-1 heading into an important game with Maryland on Wednesday night.
Talor Battle scored 19 points and dished six assits against the Paladins and forwards David Jackson (16) and Jeff Brooks (13) also contributed double figure scoring for the Lions. For the game, Penn State shot 54% including a 12-19 performance, (63%) from beyond the arc.
It was a big win for a Lion team in search of some momentum. The Lions host defending ACC co-champ Maryland on Wednesday night at the BJC in their end of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Lions have won their last three games in the challenge, a conference record, but Maryland will offer a stearn test.
On to today's game, though.The Good
- Obviously, the continued consistent play from Brooks and Jackson is great to see. The pair has taken a lot of pressure off of Battle to the point that people have been questioning whether he's OK. He's fine, he just doesn't have to do it all right now as he has in the past. Wednesday night should tell us if we can expect that to continue into the Big Ten season.
- After a few quiet games, Tim Frazier filled up the stat sheet on Sunday. The sophomore guard finished with four points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot. He got a little sloppy in the secnd half with a big lead and ended up with four turnovers, but it was an otherwise spectacular day for Frazier. Lot's of little things put togethr equal a big plus for the team, and Frazier seems to be learning that as a supporting piece to the Penn State puzzle.
- The interior defense was great. The Paladins only made nine shots inside the arc, and scored only four points in the paint for the game, a big reason the Lions were able to hold their opponent under 50 points in a game for the second time this season. They also doiminated the boards 33-19. It was a great team performance for Penn State inside on their own end.
- Walk-on Steve Kirkpatrick saw nine minutes on Sunday, including some meaningful ones in the first half. You wouldn't know by watching but televison, but Kirkpatrick does a lot for this team from advanced scouting to mentoring younger players, so it's great to see him get some floor time.
- After getting exposed on the perimeter by Mississippi on Friday, the Lions allowed the Paladins to hit 9-20 three pointers. Of course, their interior defense was spectacular enough today to carry them to a convincing win, but on days when its not, Penn State needs to defend the outside better or better teams will pick them apart.
- Andrew Jones wasn't as active as we've seen him be at points this season. The senior scored only four points, but more importantly was held to three rebounds. Consistency will be a big thing for Jones this season, so it would have been nice to see a bigger contribution. He doesn't need to score a ton of points (although we've seen that he can), but he needs to be crashing the boards every single night from the center position.
- The second half was a sloppy affair for the Lions, so that's kind of discouraging. The Lions finished with 14 turnovers and were beaten in that category for the first time this season.
- I don't know whether its ugly, beautiful or both, but the BJC recently got one of these. It flopped big time in the game against Fairfield last week, but when they brought it out today, it worked like a charm. BOOM.