After watching Duquesne and Radford shoot lights-out from three-point range on this Penn State team, it sure was refreshing to see one somebody playing for the good guys have such a performance. Shep Garner (or SH3P, as he's become widely known on Twitter) came out of the gates firing, connecting on his first five three-point attempts, and probably warranting some Vine of himself catching fire, NBA Jam style.
SH3P's shooting, along with some help from Payton Banks, allowed PSU to jump out to the lead early on. Boston College however, thanks to some hot three-point shooting of their own and a foul-happy Penn State team, fought their way back to take a 30-29 lead to the locker room.
The second half saw BC pull ahead by as many as seven points before SH3P re-kindled his game-opening magic, nailing three more triples in a row and putting PSU ahead for good in the process (en route to a career-high 30 points). Thanks to some solid defense and scoring contributions from unlikely sources such as Donovon Jack and Jordan Dickerson (9 points each), PSU was able to keep the Eagles at bay, no matter how many times they threatened to cut into the PSU lead. The end result was a satisfying win on the road over a fellow projected conference basement-dweller. Big man Dennis Clifford and (17 points, 6 rebounds) and A.J. Turner (15 points, 5 rebounds) scored in double digits for BC in a losing effort.
Four Factors Analysis
This was the slow, plodding type of game Pat Chambers wanted his team to play, with only 61 possessions total. Despite having twice as many turnovers as BC (10 to 5), PSU's rebounding advantage (9 to 3 in offensive rebounds, 40 to 27 in total boards) was critical towards mitigating that.
Player of the Game - Shep Garner 30 points (8-of-12 on 3 pointers)
File this one under the 'no, duh' category. While we're hoping he's saved some of that hot shooting for the conference schedule, it was hard for SH3P to pick a better night to go off like this than on the road in a Big Ten-ACC Challenge game. Also, in case you're wondering: Shep was only one more three-pointer shy from tying Pete Lisicky's PSU single-game record. He also set the Conte Forum record for most threes by a BC opponent.
- You may not have noticed it during SH3P's three-point barrage, but Brandon Taylor had a very quiet night, only putting up two points to go with his three rebounds. BT got into serious foul trouble early and never got an offensive rhythm going. Imagine if he and SH3P were to both go off at the same time...
- If you watched this game on TV, you probably heard constant low-hanging-fruit level of screaming/trash-talking from a BC fan get picked up by the ESPN mics. Such gems included calling SH3P "Sheppy," and yelling out "WHAT'S THE CALL, COACH? CAN'T HEAR YOU." Said BC fan got awfully quiet towards the end, but the mics did pick up a WE ARE...PENN STATE chant that broke out in the game's final minutes loud and clear.
- Did anyone else notice the Penn State bench erupt like it was the AND1 Tour whenever Jordan Dickerson or Donovon Jack actually did something positive on offense? Also, I'm pretty sure one of the assistants on the PSU bench was constantly checking Twitter and relaying all the negative tweets about Jack over to him because he just flipped on a switch in the second half, finishing with eight rebounds and a pair of blocks to go along with his nine points.
Penn State (4-2) returns to the friendly confines of the Jordan Center to take on Eastern Michigan this Saturday (12/5) at high noon.