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Michigan State 66, Penn State 60: Good Job. Good Effort.

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

[Writes something about how Penn State started off sluggish, still hung over from their inexplicable choke-job against Purdue, allowing Michigan State to jump out to an early commanding lead before fighting back to make it a game by halftime and subsequently hanging around the entire second half before an ill-timed technical foul by Pat Chambers, turnovers, and missed free throws doomed whatever slim hopes of an upset remained, cementing PSU's third consecutive 0-6 start to the Big Ten season. Sigh.]

Four Factors Analysis

Team Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Penn State 63 0.96 50.0 25.8 20.7% 46.8%
Michigan St - 1.05 46.3 47.1 20.7% 46.3%

Both teams shot at a respectable 42.6% clip from the floor, both teams turned the ball over 13 times, and both teams struggled mightily from the free throw line (PSU was 13 for 22, while Sparty was 16 for 25). The true difference-maker in this one was rebounding, rebounding, and rebounding. Sparty grabbed 39 boards to Penn State's 26, including a 2-for-1 advantage on the offensive glass (16 to 8), hence the great disparity in OReb% numbers.

Player of the Game - Devin Foster

No, this is not to pooh-pooh DJ Newbill's impressive 27-point outing. Rather, it is to praise a second straight game in the which the JUCO transfer point guard entered into the rotation in place of the suspended John Johnson and not only showed poise handling the ball, but also pitched in six points, a pair of assists, and five rebounds (including three on the offensive glass). While he may not crack the starting lineup anytime soon, he certainly ought to be one of the first options off the bench.

Random Observations

  • With his team trailing 53-51, with less than four minutes to play, Pat Chambers lashed out at the referees during a media timeout that garnered him a technical foul. That would end up sparking a 6-0 Sparty run that would ultimately provide the cushion necessary to withstand another late run by the Nittany Lions. The BTN crew televising the game apparently caught wind of what exactly was said but citing themselves as a 'family-oriented' broadcast, refused to show or divulge details of the exchange. However, Pat elaborated upon said exchange in his post-game presser with a scorching #hotrefstake that could very well earn him a fine from B1G Commissioner Jim Delaney):
  • Really, that's it. I have nothing else to add that probably hasn't already been re-iterated countless times. This team is what it is at this point: Talented enough to make things interesting, but too many flaws to get over the hump.

Looking Ahead

The Nittany Lions have a rematch this Saturday against Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers in the friendly confines of the BJC. If this team still has any fight left in them after these last couple of brutal finishes, they *should* exact some revenge on the Scarlet Knights and garner their first B1G win of 2015 in the process [knocks on all the IKEA wood furniture in my apartment].