Mount Saint Mary's came into the Bryce Jordan Center to play Penn State, looking to improve on their 1-8 record and hand the Nittany Lions their third straight Red Line Upset loss.
The game was part of a doubleheader, with the Penn State Lady Lions playing Wagner in the first game. Despite the students being on winter break, the crowd was the largest of the season due to the "two games for the price of one" and the general admission seating, allowing more people to sit in the prime seats. It created a nice atmosphere and a fun afternoon.
The Lady Lions dominated Wagner, scoring over 100 points for the third time this season, winning 103-42.
After the women's game was over, I said hello to a few members of the Penn State coaching staff and support crew and settled into a courtside seat to take a few game action photos.
The Mountaineers have been playing better lately, taking Maryland down to the final minute before losing. Against the Nittany Lions they looked good early, hanging within a few points and making one more field goal during the first half. The real issue for the Mount was that they kept fouling the Nittany Lions, sending them to the line where they hit 7-10 in the first half.
At the break, the score was 28-25 in favor of the Nittany Lions, but I'm convinced the Mountaineers made the worst possible halftime adjustments ever. They came out, let the Nittany Lions run circles on them, and got ourworked for nearly every rebound and loose ball (while not covering a single Nittany Lion shooter).
The Nittany Lions made nine of their first 11 shots of the second half, while the Mount scored three points. While things evened out in the middle of the second half, Penn State stretched the lead out even further by finishing the game on a 27-9 run while emptying the bench.
Raven Barber led the Mount with 11 points while Chad Holley had 10 in the losing effort. It was amazing how the Nittany Lions, who have struggled lately, were able to get such free looks in the second half, shooting 67 percent from the field after only hitting 36 percent of their shots in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Mount only shot 36 percent for the entire game, including 3-17 from three point range, and attempted just nine free throws.
Even more disturbing for the Mount was the fact that Penn State was able to distribute the scoring among multiple players. Tim Frazier scored 15 points, while Cammeron Woodyard had 14, Billy Oliver 13, and Jermaine Marshall and Sasa Borovnjak each had 10.
If the Mountaineers want to turn their season around, they will need to make better adjustments, particularly on defense. It will be interesting to see how their season goes from here.
at PENN STATE 72, MOUNT SAINT MARY'S 43 12/18/2011
MOUNT SAINT MARY'S 1-9 (0-2) -- K. Parker 2-7 0-0 4; J. Norfleet 2-7 0-0 5; D. Thompson 1-5 0-0 2; C. Holley 4-7 0-0 10; J. Castellanos 0-4 0-0 0; R. Barber 4-8 3-4 11; K. Krajina 1-4 0-1 2; J. Wells 2-2 3-4 7; O. Brown 1-1 0-0 2; D. Kenny 0-2 0-0 0; A. Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-47 6-9 43. PENN STATE 7-5 (0-0) -- T. Frazier 5-13 5-7 15; J. Marshall 3-7 2-3 10; M. Glover 0-4 0-0 0; S. Borovnjak 5-5 0-0 10; B. Oliver 4-5 3-3 13; C. Woodyard 6-10 0-0 14; T. Lewis 2-4 0-0 5; R. Travis 2-4 0-0 5; P. Ackerman 0-0 0-0 0; N. Colella 0-1 0-0 0; K. Montminy 0-0 0-0 0; A. Wisniewski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-53 10-13 72.
Three-point goals: MSM 3-17 (K. Krajina 0-1; J. Castellanos 0-3; J. Norfleet 1-6; C. Holley 2-4; K. Parker 0-3), PSU 8-20 (C. Woodyard 2-4; B. Oliver 2-3; J. Marshall 2-4; T. Frazier 0-2; N. Colella 0-1; M. Glover 0-1; T. Lewis 1-3; R. Travis 1-2); Rebounds: MSM 23 (D. Thompson 9), PSU 31 (M. Glover 6); Assists: MSM 6 (J. Castellanos 2), PSU 14 (T. Frazier 8); Total Fouls -- MSM 14, PSU 15; Fouled Out: MSM-None; PSU-None.