The Youngstown State Penguins rolled into Happy Valley the day before Thanksgiving attempting to remain unbeaten on the season. The Penguins managed to shoot over 50% from three but would it be enough to take down the Nittany Lions?
Travel and parking were real easy with Penn State on Thanksgiving break, meaning that the student body, along with the bulk of the professors and university staff, were out of town with family. This made for a bad atmosphere, with just 4,461 fans as an announced attendance with more likely just over 2,000 in actual attendance. This allowed the Penguins to find their shooting stroke, particularly behind the arc.
Talented Penguins guards Blake Allen and Kendrick Perry shot a combined 12-20 from behind the arc in a valiant effort to come back from trailing by 21 points in the first half. The Penguins were also able to force 18 turnovers, a season high for the Nittany Lions to climb back within nine points on a few occasions but could never get closer.
The biggest issue for the Penguins wasn't the offense, but trying to keep Nittany Lion star Tim Frazier off of the stat sheet. Unfortunately for the Penguins, they were unable to contain Frazier who finished with his third double-double of the season, with 26 points and 11 assists.
Part of the reason that Frazier was so hard to contain was that Trey Lewis and Cameron Woodward also scored in the double digits with 12 and 10 points respectively for the Nittany Lions. This resulted in too much floor to cover for Youngstown State, and ultimately their first loss of the season.
Another weakness in the game for the Penguins was on rebounding, where they got beat by the Nittany Lions 35-26. The final issue, and probably most important issue, was that despite shooting 51.4% from three point range, the Penguins allowed Penn State to shoot 50% from behind the arc and 56.6% from the entire floor for the game.
Basically, the defensive effort from the Penguins just wasn't good enough to win the game despite the great guard play and three point shooting.
Going home was a breeze, except for trying to find a local play to eat. Due to the holiday and reduced student population, almost all of the local restaurants were closed. I had to search around and finally settled on eating at Sheetz, a convenience store that offers made-to-order food.
Ultimately, a great offensive game was reduced to just a subpar experience due to the lack of attendance and atmosphere. Hopefully in the future schools learn not the schedule home games when everyone is on break.
at PENN STATE 82, YOUNGSTOWN STATE 71 11/23/2011
YOUNGSTOWN STATE 3-1 (0-0) -- J. Franklin 7-17 5-7 21; B. Allen 9-16 0-0 25; K. Perry 6-16 6-6 23; D. Brooks 3-11 0-0 6; A. Ward 2-8 0-0 5; D. Eargle 3-7 2-2 8; J. Chojnacki 0-1 0-0 0; N. Perry 1-2 1-1 4; F. Larson 0-0 0-0 0; J. Amiker 0-0 0-0 0; C. Zuiker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-61 9-9 71. PENN STATE 5-1 (0-0) -- T. Frazier 8-11 8-11 26; B. Oliver 2-7 3-4 9; T. Lewis 4-7 1-1 12; M. Glover 0-2 1-2 1; R. Travis 2-3 2-5 6; J. Graham 2-3 0-0 4; J. Marshall 2-6 2-4 8; C. Woodyard 4-5 0-0 10; S. Borovnjak 2-2 2-4 6. Totals 26-46 19-31 82.
Three-point goals: YSU 14-27 (A. Ward 1-4; B. Allen 7-12; D. Brooks 0-1; K. Perry 5-8; N. Perry 1-2), PSU 11-22 (C. Woodyard 2-2; B. Oliver 2-7; J. Marshall 2-5; T. Frazier 2-2; M. Glover 0-1; T. Lewis 3-5); Rebounds: YSU 21 (D. Eargle 5), PSU 32 (S. Borovnjak 5); Assists: YSU 15 (A. Ward 3), PSU 15 (T. Frazier 11); Total Fouls -- YSU 24, PSU 11; Fouled Out: YSU-D. Eargle; PSU-None.