This game was not much of a surprise to me. Nebraska was desperate for their first conference win and at home, while we've seen just how poor this team can shoot on the road. Once again, PSU's shooting put them in a hole early, and while they were solid in all other areas to mount a comeback, they couldn't generate enough offense to catch up on the scoreboard. Eventually Nebraska got loose for a barrage of threes towards the end of the game that finished the Lions who seemingly could never cut the lead to under 10.
Tim Frazier's career-high 30 point effort was all for naught as no other Lion reached double-digits. Jermaine Marshall, who had been very good for Penn State as of late, had his worst game of the season. He was in foul trouble all game long, fouling out early in the second half and finishing with 5 fouls, 2 points (1-7 FG), and 1 assist in just 14 minutes. This offense cannot afford a game like that from their #2 option. It didn't help that Billy Oliver's two game stretch ended in horrific fashion. Billy made just 1 of his 8 3PA and scored just 5 points in 33 minutes. The four starters other than Tim had more combined fouls (14) than points (10).
This game was faster than I expected, as both teams average just around 60 possessions in Big Ten play, but PSU sped up the game with their 1-2-2 press in the second half. This game was similar to so many others as PSU dominated the boards, but couldn't shoot for anything. It's hard to imagine what this would've been like if NU was able to stop Frazier (30 points on 10-16 FG, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, 4 assists, and 5 turnovers). Penn State, as a team, had only 5 assists on 20 made field goals. That's what happens when the rest of the team only makes 10 FG and shoots 25% eFG%.
Credit Nebraska on a solid performance in their first Big Ten victory. While Frazier won the individual matchup, Bo Spencer didn't have such a bad game himself, getting to the foul line 12 times and finishing with 19 points and 5 assists. They had four players finish in double-figures and were very efficient inside the arc (71% on 2s).
There was a Trey Lewis sighting for the first time in 3 games, but that very well could have been due to Jermaine's foul trouble. He only played 6 minutes. In games like these, PSU desperately needs another offensive option on the floor who can create his own shot. Trey has shown the potential to be that guy, but Chambers apparently hasn't seen enough from him in practice yet.
Looking ahead, Penn State has Minnesota coming to the BJC on Sunday. The Gophers without Trevor Mbakwe (ACL injury) have been predictably bad in the early conference season (0-4). They will likely be 0-5 coming into the BJC after they play at Indiana tonight.