'Morning, folks. It's nearly 9 a.m. here on the East Coast (and 6 a.m. on the West Coast, where my colleagues Brown and Mink are taking in all of the Rose Bowl festivities in sunny California ... jerks), and I'm up bright and early for what should be a great New Year's Eve.
Aside from that whole ball-dropping tradition that takes place at midnight, this year basketball fans have the pleasure of killing time by watching one of the best conference's seasons tip-off today.
Well, technically it got underway last night. Illinois pulled off a shocker in West Lafayette, Ind., escaping with a 71-67 overtime win over Purdue. The Illini will almost surely be ranked following this win.
That will be tough to beat today. However, there are a number of games worth checking in on.
Those of you with the Big Ten Network can check out what is sure to be a thriller in Minneapolis, where the undefeated No. 21 Golden Gophers host No. 15 Michigan State at noon.
Picture-in-picture will come in use for Nittany Lion fans. Penn State, of course, faces Northwestern for the third straight season in each's Big Ten opener on ESPN2, also at noon.
Following the Lions/'Cats clash on the Deuce, Wisconsin will hope to have better luck than its football team when it travels to Ann Arbor to battle this year's conference surprise, No. 24 Michigan.
Iowa and No. 23 Ohio State wrap things up at 4 on the BTN.
So, while Brown and Mink are soakin' up the sun, I'll be here back in frigid Manhattan, enjoying all of the day's festivities from the comforts of my couch.
....makes me almost forget about Disneyland, parades and bowl games.
Here's a little update on the latest individual and team rankings, released Dec. 23 by Intermat Wrestle:
Penn State finds itself sitting at No. 16, dropping a spot from 15, where it had been ranked last time a ranking was released. The Nittany Lions (4-2) are ranked behind six Big Ten foes -- Iowa (No. 1), Ohio State (No. 6), Minnesota (No. 7), Illinois (No. 8), Wisconsin (No. 10) and Michigan (No. 15).
Individually, the Lions have four grapplers in the top 20 at their respective weight classes.
Bubba Jenkins remains ranked at the No. 2 spot, where he has been all season long. The Virginia Beach native will face his first real test this season when he faces Lehigh's Trevor Chinn, who is ranked No. 11 at the 149-pound weight class. Jenkins is 11-0 on the season, six victories being major decisions.
Captain Dan Vallimont is currently the No. 8th ranked wrestler in the country. Vallimont has amassed an 8-3 record thus far in 2008, facing some tough competition early on. The junior said he had been battling some personal issues during his tough stretch, but he is confident now that he can refocus on his goals on the mat.
True freshman Quentin Wright is the highest freshman ranked at 174 pounds in the country at the No. 15 spot. Wright lost a very close bout against West Virginia's No. 13-ranked (current rank, he was 14 at the time) senior Kurt Brenner, 3-2, in the Lions' last dual meet. Wright has another chance to face a ranked grappler on Jan. 4, when he will face Lehigh's No. 14-ranked wrestler, Alex Caruso.
Rounding out the contingent of ranked Lions is redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro, who remains ranked No. 20 in the country at 141 pounds. Molinaro looked impressive in spurts against West Virginia's Colin Johnston, but also gave up some careless points down the stretch and almost blew it. He had the Rec Hall crowd booing at points, but the Barnegat, Nj. native got the 11-10 decision. Coach Troy Sunderland wasn't pleased. It'll be interesting to see if Molinaro develops a killer instinct for the remainder of the year.
Ohio State reserve point guard Anthony Crater was released from his scholarship, as he requested. The school confirmed the rumors Sunday in a press release, and it is unclear where Crater will land.
The freshman from Flint, Mich., averaged 1.2 points and dished out 1.9 assists per game for the 9-1 Buckeyes this season.
Crater entered Columbus as a Scout.com 3-star prospect, rated the No. 21 point guard prospect in the nation coming out of Brewster (N.H.) Academy.
But don't expect him to become Talor Battle's back-up anytime soon. Per NCAA transfer rules, Crater could not play for a Big Ten team until the spring of the 2011 season ... right around the time Ohio-native LeBron James should be leading my Knicks on their title run.
No big shake-ups in this week's AP Top 25 poll. Ohio State dropped nine spots to No. 24 following its humiliating 76-48 home loss to West Virginia.
I was flipping back-and-forth between that and the Champs Sports Bowl featuring Florida State and Wisconsin, and I couldn't get over how lost the Bucks looked on offense. Hard to imagine how they ran the table before Saturday. They'll open up their conference schedule at home against Iowa Wednesday with a chance to get back on the winning track.
The blowout win earned the Mountaineers the No. 26 ranking (sort of), as they lead the pack of outside teams looking in with 100 votes.
Wisconsin is not among those teams after its tight 74-69 loss to Texas at the Kohl Center on Tuesday, as the Badgers failed to receive any votes.
Purdue and Michigan State each moved up a spot, to Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, following Gonzaga's fall from grace.
The rest of the poll is below:
AP Top 25
1. North Carolina (72) 12-0 1,800 1
2. Connecticut 11-0 1,719 2
3. Pittsburgh 12-0 1,641 3
4. Oklahoma 12-0 1,600 4
5. Duke 10-1 1,511 5
6. Wake Forest 11-0 1,351 6
7. Notre Dame 9-2 1,231 8
8. Texas 10-2 1,193 9
9. Purdue 11-2 1,160 10
10. Michigan St. 9-2 1,058 11
11. Georgetown 9-1 1,015 12
12. UCLA 10-2 991 13
13. Syracuse 12-1 863 17
14. Tennessee 8-2 854 16
15. Villanova 11-1 691 18
16. Gonzaga 8-3 608 7
17. Arizona St. 10-1 602 20
18. Louisville 8-2 588 19
19. Baylor 10-1 580 21
20. Clemson 12-0 563 22
21. Minnesota 12-0 351 23
22. Xavier 9-2 327 14
23. Michigan 9-2 237 24
24. Ohio St. 9-1 219 15
25. Butler 10-1 166 --
Others receiving votes: West Virginia 100, Marquette 79, Illinois 64, Davidson 50, Memphis 43, Saint Mary's, Calif. 30, Texas A&M 21, Stanford 17, BYU 13, Florida 12, Maryland 12, Dayton 11, Florida St. 10, Arizona 7, Miami 6, Creighton 2, Illinois St. 2, George Mason 1, Missouri 1.
It's the last Sunday of 2008 and therefore time for the final Opponents in Review of '08. Penn State finished up its non-conference slate with a rough eight-point win over Sacred Heart on Tuesday. The Big Ten season gets underway with a nationally televised tilt against Northwestern noon Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center on ESPN2.
With Christmas on Thursday, it was another light week in college basketball. At the time of this post (there are a few games being played around the country throughout the rest of the night), Penn State sits at 150 in the RPI, according to RealTimeRPI. That's a slip of 14 spots since last Sunday despite the win, but that's what playing the No. 304 team gets you. The Penn State schedule also fell from the 291st toughest to the 324th toughest. Considering there are 343 teams, I'm sorry to say but that is rather embarrassing for a Big Ten team. Minnesota has the next easiest schedule in the Big Ten at No. 225, while seven teams are in the top 100. What it means is Penn State will likely have to win a couple more games in the Big Ten than a normal bubble team if it wants a shot at the NCAA tournament.
Anyway, here's a look at how Penn State's opponents fared in the last week (Dec. 22-28).
-William & Mary... DNP
-NJIT... L 78-52 at Rutgers, L 68-58 vs. Wagner
-Hartford... L 74-59 at Baylor
-New Hampshire... L 60-56 at Fordham, L 62-57 vs. Hofstra
-Rhode Island... DNP
-Towson... L 77-58 at Bowling Green, L 70-53 at Lafayette
-Georgia Tech... L 76-57 at USC, L 88-84 vs. Virginia
-Temple... L 76-71 at Long Beach State
-Mount St. Mary's... L 65-59 at La Salle
-Lafayette... W 70-63 vs. Towson
-Sacred Heart... L 73-65 at Penn State
Around the Big Ten
-Northwestern... W 66-55 vs. SMU
-Wisconsin... L 74-69 vs. Texas
-Purdue... W 70-55 vs. IPFW, W 59-45 vs. Valparaiso
-Minnesota... W 80-81 vs. SE Louisiana, W 82-56 vs. High Point
-Michigan State... W 82-66 vs. Oakland
-Indiana... L 55-42 vs. Northeastern, L 74-69 vs. Lipscomb
-Michigan... W 76-59 vs. Florida Gulf Coast
-Iowa... W 58-43 vs. Western Illinois
-Illinois... W 75-59 at Missouri, W 62-53 vs. Eastern Michigan
-Ohio State... W 83-59 vs. UNC Asheville, L 76-48 vs. West Virginia
Non-Conference Opponents' Record: 47-89
Big Ten Opponents' Record: 94-23
Total Opponents' Record: 141-112
So that's why Penn State's strength of schedule took such a big hit this week...
The non-conference opponents managed just one whole win this week, and that was a win by one opponent (Lafayette) over another (Towson). Rhode Island not playing hurt, but Georgia Tech managed to drop both of its games, while Temple lost its third game it has no business losing (Long Beach State, in addition to earlier losses to Buffalo and Miami, OH). Oh, NJIT's losing streak continues. The HIghlanders have now dropped 45 consecutive games.
In the Big Ten, there were just four losses, but only one win over a prominent opponent -- Illinois dominated Missouri in the Busch Bragging Rights game. I still say that may be the worst name for a rivalry in sports.
Wisconsin couldn't keep up the Big Ten magic against Texas, as the Longhorns got revenge for last year's last-second Badgers win in Austin by traveling to Madison and picking up a victory. Saturday, Ohio State got embarrassed by West Virginia at home. Shooting 31 percent from the field and 2-for-18 from 3-point range was clearly a problem for the Buckeyes in that one.
Lastly, I'm sure Tom Crean knew a rough season was waiting for him when he took the reigns at Indiana, but I don't think anyone saw this lousy of a season coming. Not only did the Hoosiers scored just 42 points in a home loss to Northeastern on Monday, but they followed that up with another home loss to Lipscomb after blowing a 10-point halftime lead.
Christmas week was certainly not kind to Penn State's opponents. We'll see if things get better in the New Year. Here are the games to watch for the coming week:
-Temple at Villanova, 7 p.m. Monday
-Illinois at Purdue, 7 p.m. Tuesday
-Michigan State at Minnesota, noon Wednesday
-Ohio State at Minnesota, noon Saturday
-Georgia Tech at Alabama, 3 p.m. Saturday
With that, I am about nine hours away from a 7 a.m. flight from Harrisburg to Los Angeles for Thursday's Rose Bowl. Happy New Year to everyone.
So you think you can wrestle huh? You have the desire to get after it in Rec Hall in front of thousands of fans, but can you handle the dedication and commitment necessary to wrestle collegiately?
Check out this video from Flo Wrestling, which gives you a good glimpse of the rigorous training wrestlers must endure to prepare to wrestle at a high level:
The video is a view into Maryland Terrapin wrestling -- coach Kerry McCoy made his team get up really early in the morning to run around their basketball arena, the Comcast Center. It gives you a little perspective of how good of shape you must be in to wrestle in college.
I'm convinced wrestling is one of the most intense sports in terms of training and dedication to your sport. I know if I was on McCoy's squad, I would have quit after that first sprint up and down the first row of seats.
McCoy is a former Penn State wrestler too, so you know he learned a lot of what he knows from the Nittany Lion program. McCoy wrestled for Penn State from 1994 to 1997, amassing a record of 150-18 in his four seasons. The current Terrapin coach had an 88-match win streak at the end of his career according to Maryland's athletic website.
He has to be one of the most successful Penn State grapplers of all-time. Looks like he knows how to push his team to the level it needs to be to compete on the national stage.
Let us know what you think -- you can now post comments on our blog by writing through your Facebook page. Any comments are appreciated and encouraged.
Just a quick passing note before you gear up for a weekend of college hoops (and bowl games). Syracuse University has reinstated guard Eric Devendorf.
The Orange's second-leading scorer was suspended indefinitely after allegedly hitting a female student on the jaw with the heel of his hand during an off-campus altercation on Nov. 1. The judicial hearing board recommended Devendorf sit out for at least the remainder of the academic year, and on Dec. 19 was required to perform 40 hours of community service and be reinstated by the university before he could play.
Apparently, the board determined it was strictly a verbal dispute and the female claimed the police misconstrued her complaint. Devendorf completed the 40 hours in one week. Maybe he rode a sled around one night and delivered presents to children?
In all, Devendorf sat out two games and is expected to play Dec. 30 against Seton Hall.
Actually, I don't think anyone knows these Jack(rabbit)s.
Despite a 23-win season last year, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits are starting to grab the attention from the rest of the nation. SDSU is 12-1 overall (only loss came against Maryland) and moved into the AP poll for the first time ever at No. 25.
All the more impressive is the schedule the Jackrabbits have played. SDSU has beaten big conference teams Missouri, Wisconsin, Oregon, Illinois and Minnesota. Wins against NCAA tourney teams (Utah, Gonzaga) from last year are also impressive.
Could the Jack's win out and finish with just one loss? There's a chance. If it does happen, it will be interesting to see how the NCAA seeds this squad.
Marquee Game Put on Ice
No. 7 Baylor was supposed to visit No. 13 California Monday night in a late non-conference matchup before the conference slates start.
But Baylor was unable to arrive in Berkley on time, as snow and ice in Portland--where the Lady Bears were staying after playing Oregon in Eugene--kept the Big 12 team from making the trip.
From the League
Some good news from the WNBA a few days ago, as former Tennessee Lady Vol great and WNBA all-star Chamique Holdsclaw will be returning to the league.
Holdsclaw had been playing in Europe the last two years. But she will mostly be remembered for leading Tennessee to three straight national titles and then being selected No. 1 in the draft and winning a gold medal in 2000. She was previously a WNBA all-star, as well.
When it comes down to it, it's always great news to hear that fantastic player returning to the States.
Well, that concludes a quick look around the country. I hope you all have a nice holiday and are staying warm. A hopefully you won't get snowed in like Baylor
Minnesota and Michigan cracked their way into the new AP Top 25 poll released on Monday. The Golden Gophers find themselves ranked No. 23 after improving to 10-0 with a huge upset over then-No. 9 Louisville.
The Wolverines are at No. 24 following, well, a win at Oakland. The truth is they should have been ranked weeks ago, but now that a number of other ranked teams (Davidson, Memphis and Marquette) suffered losses this past week, Michigan finally found a way in.
Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue all moved up to Nos. 15, 11 and 10, respectively. The Buckeyes have methodically remained undefeated after defeating Jacksonville and Iona. It'll be interesting to see if they can keep up the solid play during Big Ten season, now that David Lighty is out with a broken bone in his left foot.
Meanwhile, the Spartans and the Boilermakers did the Big Ten well on Saturday by defeating Texas and Davidson, respectively.
With five ranked teams, the Big Ten is second to the Big East (7 ranked teams) among conferences represented in the poll.
Illinois and Wisconsin also received votes.
1. North Carolina (71) 11-0 1,775 1
2. Connecticut 10-0 1,693 2
3. Pittsburgh 12-0 1,618 3
4. Oklahoma 11-0 1,580 4
5. Duke 10-1 1,486 6
6. Wake Forest 10-0 1,294 10
7. Gonzaga 8-2 1,154 8
8. Notre Dame 8-2 1,116 12
9. Texas 9-2 1,108 5
10. Purdue 9-2 1,083 13
11. Michigan St. 8-2 907 19
12. Georgetown 8-1 880 15
13. UCLA 8-2 873 14
14. Xavier 9-1 861 7
15. Ohio St. 8-0 766 17
16. Tennessee 8-2 758 16
17. Syracuse 11-1 742 11
18. Villanova 10-1 594 18
19. Louisville 7-2 521 9
20. Arizona St. 9-1 477 20
21. Baylor 9-1 466 21
22. Clemson 12-0 462 25
23. Minnesota 10-0 198 --
24. Michigan 8-2 183 --
25. Missouri 9-1 71 --
Others receiving votes: Memphis 70, Marquette 69, Davidson 66, Butler 40, Dayton 25, Saint Mary's, Calif. 25, Illinois 20, BYU 18, Maryland 16, Texas A&M 11, Kansas 10, Florida 8, Florida St. 8, Stanford 8, Miami 6, Wisconsin 5, George Mason 1, UNLV 1, W. Kentucky 1, West Virginia 1.
A week ago, Penn State's RPI sat at 122 with a strength of schedule of 255 according to RealTimeRPI. With eight days off before Sunday's dismantling of Lafayette (RPI 280), the Nittany Lions' RPI has fallen to 136 and the strength of schedule is now a rather embarrassing 291st. The next and final non-conference opponent -- Sacred Heart -- is ranked 314th.
With the final out-of-conference week upon us, here is another look at how Penn State's opponents did in the last week (Dec. 15-21). Many teams played just one game and some had off completely because of finals week.
-William & Mary... W 83-50 vs. Haverford
-NJIT... L 70-49 at Rider
-New Hampshire... DNP
-Rhode Island... L 86-82 at Oklahoma State
-Georgia Tech... W 84-64 vs. Georgia State, W 86-58 at Pepperdine
-Temple... L 71-59 at Kansas
-Army... L 62-55 vs. VMI
-Mount St. Mary's... L 69-58 at Georgetown
-Lafayette... L 83-70 vs. Robert Morris, L 83-55 at Penn State
-Sacred Heart... L 60-59 vs. Albany
Around the Big Ten
-Northwestern... W 77-62 vs. UMKC, L 65-59 at Stanford
-Wisconsin... W 57-46 vs. Coppin State
-Purdue... W 76-58 vs. Davidson
-Minnesota... W 70-64 vs. Louisville
-Michigan State... W 79-65 vs. The Citadel, W 67-63 at Texas
-Michigan... W 89-76 at Oakland
-Iowa... L 60-43 at Drake
-Illinois... W 82-51 vs. Detroit
-Ohio State... W 81-68 vs. Jacksonville, W 71-53 vs. Iona
Non-Conference Opponents' Record: 46-77
Big Ten Opponents' Record: 83-19
Total Opponents' Record: 129-96
Basically, nothing significant happened , at least on the positive side, for the non-conference opponents. Temple -- who certainly deserves credit for currently having the No. 1 toughest schedule -- could not continue its momentum (wins at Penn State, vs. Tennessee), as the Owls fell at Kansas on Saturday. They also have an upcoming date with Villanova before the Atlantic 10 season begins.
The Big Ten had another big week. Well, a big Saturday at least. For the second year in a row, a Big Ten team went on the road and beat Texas. Last year, Wisconsin traveled to Texas and won on a last second shot. (Quick side note... I was actually in attendance at that one. It tipped-off nine hours before the opening kick of the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, so my family decided to go)
Anyway, Saturday, Michigan State made the trip to the "neutral" site of the Toyota Center in Houston. In a close game, guard Durrell Summers buried a 3-pointer with 18.6 left to help lead the Spartans to a huge victory for them and for the Big Ten. Also of note is the performance of center Goran Suton, who was in his second game back from a knee injury. He came off the bench and scored 18 points in 26 minutes.
Minnesota managed to stay undefeated and also recorded a quality win with an upset of Rick Pitino's No. 9 Louisville Cardinals in Minneapolis. It's definitely big for a Minnesota team who has not gotten much respect yet because of a weak schedule. The biggest win prior to this one was probably the ACC/Big Ten Challenge victory over a mediocre Virginia squad.
The only real blemish on the Big Ten's resume this week (Northwestern losing at Stanford can be expected) was Iowa's loss at Drake. The Hawkeyes fell behind 32-18 by halftime and couldn't close the gap. It didn't help that Drake had an enormous advantage at the free-throw line... Drake: 23-29, Iowa: 5-7.
Games to watch this week:
Georgia Tech at USC, 10:30 p.m. Monday
Missouri at Illinois, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
No. 5 Texas at Wisconsin, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday
West Virginia at No. 17 Ohio State, 4 p.m. Saturday
Even though everyone's away for winter break, we're still bringing you live coverage from the BJC! Well, kind of.
It's Dan, your friendly neighborhood Lady Lions reporter, here from beautiful Lancaster County, Pa., bringing you all the action in the Penn State women's basketball Big Ten opener against Michigan State. I'm viewing this game on the Big Ten Network and I'll be sharing my thoughts with all of you for the first half before my partner Wayne takes over at the break.
This will be another huge test for the Lady Lions' post play. Last time they took the court they faced an aggressive, undefeated UConn squad and were dominated. We'll see how they can handle Aisha Jefferson and 6-foot-9 Allyssa DeHaan.
Here are your starters:
Penn State: G Tyra Grant, G Brianne O'Rourke, G Mashea Williams, F Julia Trogele, C Rashida Mark
Michigan State: G Brittany Thomas, G Mia Johnson, F Aisha Jefferson, F Kalisha Keane, C Allyssa DeHaan
MSU 8, PSU 5 15:43 in 1st half
First possession looks good for Penn State with a good deflection by Mark, but traveling near the bucket on the other end leaves it all for naught. Keane drains a trey the other way.
Trogele gets a good steal but an illegal screen by Mark means, again, it's all for naught. The Lions are doing well at forcing turnovers and as DeHaan falls it leads to another interception for Penn State. Janessa Wolff enters the game and meets DeHaan after grabbing an offensive rebound. The shot goes straight up and behind the backboard.
The other way Jefferson hits another 3-ball, then an entry pass to the middle is picked off by Thomas. Penn State can't expect to run plays to the inside when DeHaan can just stand there and block everything that comes her way. A shot by Thomas misses but DeHaan and Lykendra Johnson push the Penn State rebounders aside, tipping the ball around the rim and eventually putting it in. O'Rourke drives off a screen and hits Penn State's first points of the game. Williams makes a run the next time down, misses but grabs her own rebound and gets it to O'Rourke for a three.
PSU 13, MSU 10 11:08 in 1st half
O'Rourke kicks things off by driving the paint and kicking it out to Grant, who sticks a 3-ball to tie it up. Trogele gets a steal on the other end, but once again the Spartans get it back. This time, though, Trogele gets it back and gets it to O'Rourke, who hits a jumper. That's a 10-0 run for Penn State the last few minutes.
An entry pass goes through Jefferson's hands and the Lions get it back. Williams runs the shot clock low and is forced to shoot a jumper that's easily blocked by DeHaan. O'Rourke steals it right back and goes to the charity stripe, where she hits one of two. Emily Phillips is called for a foul the other way, but Keane can't hit the jumper. O'Rourke leads a fast break and guns it to Wolff who misses an open lay-up.
Michigan State has been ice cold, scoreless in the last three minutes. Penn State has kept the game fast paced, perfect for taking on this big Spartans team. Williams breaks up a fast break opportunity for Michigan State, knocking it out of bounds. The Spartans end up turning it over on a traveling violation, but Keane steals it back and gets a breakaway lay-in.
Wolff cuts to the hole and Trogele finds her, getting those two points right back. A missed three by the Spartans leads to a nice drive by Williams, who screams "And one!" as she gets fouled. The lay-up doesn't go, but she will go to the line.
PSU 16, MSU 16 7:00 in 1st half
Williams hits one of two, but Wolff snags the offensive rebound off of DeHaan. Oddly enough, Wolff has more rebounds right now (three) than DeHaan (two). Well, until DeHaan grabs the next defensive board. A couple of good offensive boards for the Lady Lions though. That'll bring buckets later on.
Jefferson sinks a jumper but Grant answers with a J of her own. A few possessions later DeHaan shoots a three. What she's doing out that far in the first place is beyond me. A couple of bad possessions for Penn State lead to another two points for Michigan State and Coquese Washington wants a timeout. The Spartans have gotten a couple blocks on the last few possessions for Penn State and the Lions are taking some bad shots, letting the Spartans get back in this one.
DeHaan gets another defensive rebound after a Trogele jumper may have been tipped. Mandy Peichowski is wide open for a three but she airballs it. Penn State can't make it pay off, though, and Jefferson gets a game-tying lay-up on the other end. The Lions have now gone cold from the floor, going scoreless for the last three minutes.
MSU 24, PSU 23 3:18 in 1st half
Wolff does a nice job defending DeHaan and she forces a bad shot. Meggan Quinn misses a three the other way, though, and it leads to a trey by Mia Johnson. So the Spartans have regained the lead. DeHaan blocks Evelyn Lewis and Johnson drains another 3-ball the other way. Washington calls for time.
Williams finally ends Penn State's scoreless drought, pump-faking and hitting a jumper. But DeHaan answers with an open lay-in the other way. Grant nails a trey with a defender in her face. It's good that it went, but that kind of shot selection has hurt the Lions so far.
Johnson airballs a three and it leads to a fast break lay-in for Williams, who gets fouled but fails to convert the three-point play. That's just more foul-shooting issues for the Lions.
Following a missed Johnson floater, Grant pulls up for two but clangs it off the iron. Another airball from distance gives it right back to Penn State, and Wolff eventually grabs an offensive board and gets to go to the foul line, where Penn State could tie and even take back the lead.
PSU 32, MSU 30 End of 1st half
Wolff needs to hit these freebies to get Penn State off the schnide. She does, and the Lions now lead again. Thomas proceeds to throw the ball away and now Penn State can build on the lead. Williams goes to the floor but retains possession and it leads to another trip to the foul line by Wolff. She hits one of two but Meredith Monroe keeps the ball in the Lions' possession. Wolff misses a shot and the Spartans get it back on a bad pass by Monroe. But Michigan State turns it over and Williams feeds Grant for the easy deuce. Michigan State calls a timeout.
This has been a game of runs so far. First Michigan State got out to the early 8-0 lead and then Penn State came out firing to take it back, and it's gone back and forth like that all day long.
Johnson nails a three to bring Michigan State back to within one. Grant can't answer on the other end, and Mia Johnson gets another money ball. Penn State loses the ball quickly but gets it right back and Grant gets an easy lay-up to tie it back up.
A great play by Tyra Grant to close out the half. She tips a DeHaan jumper and the ball goes to O'Rourke with three seconds left. O'Rourke chucks it ahead to Grant who gets the easy lay-in as time expires. Penn State goes into the half with the lead, and Grant is jacked up.
Grant has led the way for Penn State so far, putting up 14 points and going 6-for-11 from the field. She also has grabbed four boards and made two blocks. O'Rourke started things off for Penn State, scoring eight points early in the half and adding four assists throughout the opening period. Mashea Williams has five points, four boards and three assists, and Janessa Wolff added five points and five rebounds.
The Lions have forced 12 turnovers but have committed 10 of their own. Mia Johnson has been the Spartans' top scorer with nine points and has gone 3-of-7 from downtown. Michigan State went 6-for-16 (37.5 percent) from 3-point land in the first half, and Allyssa DeHaan has grabbed six boards and made two blocks. But she only has two points, and Penn State has been pesky down low to start things off.
That's it for me. Wayne brings you the second half.
PSU-38, MSU-32; 17:15 left
Hello, basketball enthusiasts.
As Rorabaugh said, it's Wayne taking over for the second half.
It's becoming the Tyra Grant and Brianne O'Rourke show.
The duo has a combined 26 points already. They also have six rebounds and five assists between them.
The transition offense for the Lady Lions has been strong already, as Penn State continues to get lay-ups on the fastbreak.
PSU-40, MSU-34; 15:16 left
Another uncontested lay-up on an outlet pass, as Grant scores. That makes it 16 points on the fastbreak for the Lady Lions.
Michigan State is trying to attack Penn State's zone, but 16 turnovers and Penn State's transition offense have to be more of a concern right now.
PSU-47, MSU-40; 11:54 left
Penn State's offense is now operating well in the half-court. Williams drives inside on her own for an easy two. On its next possession, PSU scored its 24th point in the paint as Trogele muscles up a bucket with the shotclock wining down.
And then Grant probably pulls off the shot of the day. While falling over away from the basket, Grant tosses up a jumper that somehow swishes in. With 18 points for Grant, it seems to just be her night.
Michigan State finally gets to the line with just under 14 minutes left. Schiffauer makes them both.
Out of the timeout, the Spartans turn the ball over. At this rate, MSU will have 20 turnovers by the 10-minute mark.
That has to be frustrating.
PSU-54, MSU-48; 7:27 left
After the Spartans score on a nice post play, the Lady Lions waste a couple of good opportunities.
Grant cut down the lane but missed a lay-up and then Gray immediately stole the ball after a rebound. But Penn State was unable to score when O'Rourke missed an uncontested 3.
On its next possession, Williams throws a nice pass behind her back to Trogele, who gets fouled while going up. She makes both free throws.
Grant steals the ball on the alternating possession, and Gray spins away from the defender and throws a rocket to Wolff, who puts it in for an easy deuce.
On its next two possessions, Michigan State seems to be settling down and taking its time. After jumper on the first, DeHaan draws a foul to get one FT.
After a steal, MSU cuts the deficit down to three after an offensive rebound by Thomas allowed Aitch to get a lay-up.
But Penn State answers right back when O'Rourke knocks down a 3-pointer.
MSU-60, PSU-58; 3:39 left
Two DeHaan FTs draw her team closer after another foul.
Grant forces a shot up after, and the ball hits the side of the backboard. The Spartans then give Penn State a taste of its own medicine with a quick bucket on a lay-up by Johnson, causing Washington to call a timeout.
O'Rourke throws the ball away out of the timeout, and DeHaan gets an east two points on a fastbreak chance to suddenly tie the game with a quick scoring spurt.
Aitch grabs the rebound on defense, but the fourth foul by Trogele sends her to the line for two FTs and a two-point lead for the Spartans.
Williams tries to get the fastbreak offense going again, but she throws the ball away. Michigan State then gets a powerful lay-up by Aitch, who seemed to be covered by defenders.
After two FTs by O'Rourke, Williams picks up an unnecessary foul near center court. While her aggressiveness was to try to force a turnover, it ultimately led to two more FTs as Penn State is in the bonus.
Grant quickly answers the challenge by scoring on another lay-up.
MSU-64, PSU-60; 1:04 left
MSU just misses a lay-up to extend its lead, so Penn State will have a chance to tie it.
Grant pulls off a nice driving lay-up to shake off the defender to tie the game. It looked like the ball would roll of the rim for a second, but Grant got the shooters' roll.
DeHaan saves her team's next possession with a long jumper with the shotclock winding down. Tough break for Penn State, as it was playing good defense with strong pressure.
O'Rourke misses two open looks on 3s, but Lewis grabs to important offensive rebounds to go to the line. But she wastes the opportunity with two misses from the foul line.
Keane extends the lead to four, so O'Rourke tries to catch Michigan State off-guard by throwing a long pass to Williams, who misses the lay-up. The ball will go back to the Spartans
MSU-67, PSU-62; FINAL
DeHaan again comes up clutch late by drawing a foul. She almost got the and-one play, but she will have to settle for two foul shots. Luckily for the Lady Lions, she missed both.
But Penn State continues to struggle with its offense, causing it to foul Michigan State. Despite shaky free throw shooting at some points down the stretch, Thomas ices the game with two FTs.
A tough loss for Penn State, which led by six points late. But the transition offense was finally slowed down, and the Lady Lions were unable to generate enough opportunities off their own halfcourt offense.
Check back on the Collegian's Web site shortly for a full update by our third partner in crime, A.J. Cassavell.
The Lady Lions open up conference play Sunday against Michigan State.
What better time to take a glimpse at the conference and see how Coquese Washington and her Penn State team might fare? Let's first take a look at the standings after out-of-conference play has ended.
1. Wisconsin (10-1)
2. Ohio State (9-2)
3. Minnesota (8-2)
4. Indiana (7-2)
5. Michigan State (7-4)
T6. Purdue (6-4)
T6. Iowa (6-4)
T6. Michigan (6-4)
9. Penn State (5-5)
10. Illinois (4-6)
11. Northwestern (3-7)
Wisconsin has looked really good in the early stages of the season, taking the floor with the best scoring defense in the Big Ten. The Badgers are allowing 54.6 points per game and haven't lost since dropping their season opener at South Dakota State. Since then they've taken out some teams from the power conferences, starting with Virginia Tech and wrapping up with Marquette. Aside from South Dakota State, though, Wisconsin hasn't faced any team in, or even close to, the Associated Press rankings.
The Badgers don't have any players with amazing statistics, but they're led by Alyssa Karel's 13.9 points per game and Lin Zastrow's 5.2 rebounds per game. Karel is the only Badger averaging more than 10 points per game. Rae Lin D'Alie runs the offense, averaging 3.4 assists per game. Wisconsin's offense puts up 61.5 points per game, good for eighth in the conference.
No. 18 Ohio State is the only Big Ten team ranked in the AP Top-25. The team has two losses, and both came to ranked opponents: No. 10 Auburn and No. 2 North Carolina. The Buckeyes knocked off Dayton, which beat the Lady Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center earlier this month. Ohio State has the No. 3 scoring offense in the Big Ten (73.1 ppg) and the No. 5 scoring defense (59.2 ppg).
The Buckeyes shoot well from the field, as their .452 field goal percentage is second in the conference. They also lead the conference in assists, and freshman Samantha Prahalis is the top assist-maker in the Big Ten with 6.2 assists per game. Jantel Lavender is a force down low that leads the Buckeyes offensively. She leads the conference in both scoring (22.4 ppg) and rebounds (11.8 rpg).
Minnesota gets things done on the offensive end of the floor, leading the Big Ten with 75.2 points per game. The Golden Gophers' losses came to South Dakota State and No. 3 Stanford. Their last out-of-conference game comes Sunday with a road trip to Iowa State.
As good as Minnesota is on offense, its defense is just as bad. The Gophers have the No. 9 scoring defense in the Big Ten and opponents shoot over 40 percent from the field against them. The Gophers do lead the conference with 10.7 steals per game. Minnesota is led by the one-two punch of Katie Ohm and Emily Fox, averaging 14.9 and 14.0 points per game, respectively. Brittany McCoy is second in the conference with 5.4 assists per game, and Ashley Ellis-Milan is fifth with 8.8 rebounds per game.
Indiana ranks fourth in the Big Ten both in scoring offense (69.8 ppg) and defense (58.6 ppg). The Hoosiers lost in the NIT to Xavier and Middle Tennessee State, but since then they have won six straight. They're near the top in several Big Ten statistical categories, including rebounding margin, steals and field goal percentage.
Amber Jackson leads the way for Indiana, ranking fourth in the Big Ten with 17.1 points per game. She is shooting a conference-best 63.5 percent from the floor. Whitney Thomas is Indiana's top rebounder, averaging 9.4 boards per game, good for third in the conference.
Penn State is catching Michigan State at a good time, as the Spartans just snapped their four-game losing streak Thursday. Each loss during the streak came away from East Lansing, and came to opponents like No. 13 Notre Dame and No. 25 Georgia Tech. Still, Michigan State boasts the second-ranked scoring offense (73.4 ppg) and defense (55.5 ppg) in the Big Ten, and as always is dominant down low. The Spartans have the highest field goal percentage in the conference as well as the lowest on the defensive end. They out-rebound their opponents by 11.5 per game and lead the Big Ten with 6.82 blocks per game.
Penn State can catch them off guard with their speed and defensive intensity since Michigan State is prone to turning the ball over. The Spartans rank ninth in the conference in turnover margin and average nearly 22 turnovers per game. Michigan State is led by Aisha Jefferson, who averages 14.1 points per game, and Alyssa DeHaan, who leads the Big Ten with 3.9 blocks per game.
Purdue lost three of its last four non-conference games, dropping games to Notre Dame and No. 15 Maryland. Earlier in the season the Boilermakers took Stanford to overtime before eventually falling, 78-70. They shoot well from the 3-point line, tied for first in the Big Ten with a 39.9 percent shooting percentage from distance. Purdue also ranks second behind Michigan State in blocks per game with 5.6.
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton leads the team with 13.7 points per game and 9.4 rebounds per game. FahKara Malone's 5.2 assists per game has her tied with Penn State's Brianne O'Rourke for third in the conference.
Iowa's last out-of-conference game comes Saturday against Drake. The Hawkeyes suffered a three-game losing skid that featured losses against No. 12 California and No. 8 Duke. They lead the Big Ten in free-throw percentage and rank second in opponents' shooting percentage, limiting their opposition to 34.4 percent from the floor. Iowa is second in the conference in rebounding margin (+6.8), but is last in turnover margin (-5.9).
Megan Skouby leads the way for Iowa, averaging 14.7 points per game and accumulating 14 blocks on the season. Leading the Hawkeyes in rebounds is JoAnn Hamlin with 7.8 boards per game.
Michigan pulled off the biggest upset in the Big Ten so far this year, knocking off Notre Dame in Ann Arbor on Dec. 10. The Wolverines also bested No. 19 Vanderbilt earlier in the season. Losses to unranked Akron and USC, though, have haunted the team's chances at breaking through the polls. Another thing that's halted Michigan's chances have been poor offensive output, as the Wolverines rank 10th in the conference in scoring. They rank third in scoring defense (58.2 ppg), but rank near the bottom of the conference in several statistical categories, including opponents' shooting percentage, rebounding margin and assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stephany Skrba averages 10.8 points per game and ranks third in the Big Ten with a 56.1 shooting percentage. Jessica Minfield leads Michigan with 11.5 points per game and leads the conference in free-throw percentage, going 41-for-44 this year.
Illinois wraps up its non-conference slate Saturday against UNC. Its victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 10 snapped a six-game losing skid, which featured losses to Maryland and No. 17 Virginia. The Illini are last in the Big Ten in scoring offense, putting up just 54.9 points per game, and are tied for seventh in scoring defense. Illinois ranks fourth in the conference in turnover margin (+1.9) but is last with a -4.2 rebounding margin.
Jenna Smith leads the way for the Illini with 18.8 points per game, good for third in the Big Ten. Lacey Simpson averages 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, and leads the conference with 3.5 steals per game.
Northwestern rounds out the conference, and none of its losses have come against ranked opponents. The Wildcats have the lowest-ranked scoring defense in the Big Ten, giving up 62 points per game. Northwestern shoots fairly well from the floor, putting up the No. 4 shooting percentage in the conference (43.7 percent).
Amy Jaeschke is the bright spot for Northwestern, ranking fifth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.4 ppg) and second in rebounds (10.6 rpg). She also places second in blocks with 3.1 per game and first in defensive rebounds with 8.1 per game. Kristin Cartwright also averages double-digit points per game with 11.3.
Penn State may have had the week off, but a lot is going on elsewhere in the world of college basketball that's worth taking a look at. Excuse my excessive linking...
With the Big Ten season nearing, Ohio State -- a likely contender for the conference title -- has lost a key player.
Junior starting forward David Lighty underwent surgery on his left foot to repair a broken bone. The injury occured in the Buckeyes' win over Jacksonville on Wednesday and he'll be sidelined for 6-12 weeks. That might be the most unclear return date I've ever heard for something other than a torn ACL.
Lighty has started 51 games in his career and is currently third on the team in scoring this year with 9.7 points per game. While not a superstar offensively, Lighty is a pretty consistent rebounder, a solid defender and an experienced leader for Thad Matta's squad. Going by the 6-12 week window, he could be back midway through the Big Ten season or not until the Big Ten tournament or even the NCAA tournament. So Matta's going to need some players to step up and fill the 32.9 minutes per game Lighty has been playing.
Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf and his 13.9 points per game must perform 40 hours of community service and get reinstated by the university before being allowed to play again after allegedly hitting a female student in the jaw back on Nov. 1. The suspension starts just in time for Saturday's showdown with Memphis. It's clearly a huge blow to the Orange, as shown by ESPN's graphic indicating Syracuse's drop off after Devendorf tore his ACL last season.
Hansbrough entered the game needing nine points to break Phil Ford's 30-year record of 2,290 points, and he wound up pouring in 20. While the Tar Heels appeared to be forcing the ball to him early and struggled, they stepped on the gas and blew away Evansville in the latter part of the first half.
If you didn't read Fortuna's post Thursday about Gordon's comments, take a look.
Ole Miss has had quite the week. First, head coach Andy Kennedy was arrested Wednesday night in Cincinnati after allegedly assaulting a cab driver. Kennedy went on to coach in The Rebels' 77-68 loss at Louisville on Thursday.
To add insult to injury -- or I guess injury to insult? I don't know -- leading scorer and starting point guard Chris Warren will be shelved for the rest of the year after tearing his ACL near the end of the Louisville game. Warren is fourth in the SEC in scoring with 19.6 points per game.
This guy sure picked a great week to become an Ole Miss fan.
And back to the good...
College football bowl season starts tomorrow, the Penn State women's volleyball team will play in the NCAA title game against Stanford and the Ravens and Cowboys will square off in the NFL, but there are also some big college basketball games to add to a terrific day in sports.
Michigan State will travel to Texas, Xavier will play Duke in New Jersey, Davidson is at Purdue, Syracuse is at Memphis and Connecticut will meet Gonzaga. Might want to make sure the remote has good batteries.
Finally, Hardwood Hits has become much more interactive. Besides being able to e-mail your thoughts to us, posts can now be commented on. Just click the comments button below. All you need is a Facebook account.
Like many people, I have better things to do than to watch an All-Star Game or a skills competition. With the NHL (that's the National Hockey League for some of y'all) having its All-Star Game (vote for Sid and Geno, the commercials keep telling me) in a month or two, the league announced that it will change up its All-Star Weekend.
Puck Daddy, the best hockey blog on the Internets, has more.
The Skills Competition will now be an individual event with winners of each skill being awarded a crystal trophy. Players will no longer be forced to participate in a certain events for their conference.
Fans will also get to see two shootouts. The first being a single-elimination event against NHL goalies and the second will see the return of the "trick shot" competition, which won't feature NHL goaltenders but possibly those from the Canadian University ranks. Hopefully this year's "trick shot" contest will feature players other than Alexander Ovechkin (who is already confirmed for the event) who perform, you know, actual trick shots instead of most of what we saw in Atlanta last year.
We like the idea of seeing a real shootout contest, but we're gonna be quite disappointed when this superstar won't be in the All-Star Game.
After winning their latest dual meet against West Virginia, the Nittany Lions remain in the No. 15 spot for the second-consecutive week. Penn State is tied for the No. 15 spot with its Big Ten rival, Michigan.
The Lions also have four individuals ranked by the NWCA/USA Today Coaches' Poll, which can be viewed on intermatwrestle.com. 125-pounder Brad Pataky and 133-pounder Jake Strayer are ranked in the top-20 in other national polls, but missed the cut on this one.
Here is a look at the four ranked wrestlers for Penn State:
141 pounds: Frank Molinaro
The redshirt freshman is making his career debut in the polls, as he is ranked No. 20. He leads the Lions team with 13 wins and only two losses. Molinaro won his weekend's match, gaining the decision 11-10 over West Virginia's Colin Johnston. I think we will continue to see this guy climb the polls for the rest of the season.
149 pounds: Bubba Jenkins
Jenkins remains in the No. 2 spot, as he has for the entirety of the season. He, too, won his match this weekend against Mark Tsikerdanos in a 20-9 major decision.
157 pounds: Dan Vallimont
After dropping in the polls several weeks ago, the junior has managed to remain in the No. 8 spot. He is showing great improvements from the beginning o f the year, and I think we will see a lot of what fans saw last year from Vallimont in the remainder of season. He, too, won his weekend match against Ryan Goodman in a 10-2 major decision.
174 pounds: Quentin Wright
The true freshman continues to impress as he moved up a spot in the coaches' poll to No. 17. Despite losing in the weekend's meet against West Virginia, Wright continues to show exactly what he can bring to this team and to this program as a whole. I think he will do big things this year at both the conference and national level.
Thanks for checking out this week's rankings analysis. There is a new option to leave comments now on Back Points' blog, so please feel free to let us know what you're thinking! At the bottom of this post, if you click Comments you can leave a comment through a Facebook account. We'd love to hear from you!
Clippers point guard Eric Gordon, back in the state of Indiana as Los Angeles prepares to take on the Pacers Friday, told the Indianapolis Star that the allegations of ex-Hoosier coach Kelvin Sampson's dirty recruiting methods weren't the only dark clouds lingering over the program last season.
As it turned out, according to Gordon, several players on the Indiana men's basketball team were heavily involved with drug use, further dividing the team amid an already chaotic season.
Gordon refused to name the players who were using drugs, but would say D.J. White and two others were not.
He said Sampson made an attempt at curbing the use by his players, but the coach "was just so focused on basketball and winning and everything."
It seems amazing to me that all of this could go on at one of the biggest basketball programs in the country and no one knew a thing about it until a year later. Sampson came with baggage, we all know that. But this is inexcusable to happen to any program, especially one under the watch of a coach who was already under the microscope for his previous infractions at Oklahoma.
Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma allegedly possessed marijuana in September, and Joe Paterno suspended them, despite the preseason All-America status of the former. This was the case of a coach publicly disciplining his players for -- let's be honest, college kids -- a minor infraction. But it was an infraction nonetheless, and one that would only add to the negative image painted by an ESPN report a month earlier.
But Indiana was already in bad shape because of Sampson's personal actions. This, however, should also fall on his shoulders because it happened under his watch. "Winning and everything" is not more important than helping your players in life. Right, Coach?
I'd love to hear some of Sampson's former Sooner players reveal what went on behind closed doors under his watch.
But what happened at Indiana isn't as bad as the fact that it was covered up -- by someone, either Sampson or the rest of the athletic department -- until now.
Joe, who truly cares about the kids he coaches, would never let that happen, as shown in the Evans saga and every other infraction members of the football team committed over the past two years.
And his team, united under him, clearly didn't falter down the stretch this season, something Indiana men's basketball can't say after its 2008 collapse.
And you thought Xavier's last-second, half-court game-winning shot over Virginia Tech earlier this season was unbelievable? Check out what St. John's transfer Cedric Jackson did to Syracuse last night at the Carrier Dome, as he helped his Cleveland State squad deliver the Orange its first loss of the season.
No big shake-ups in this week's AP Top 25 poll. Defending national champion Kansas is on the outside looking in after losing by a point to UMass.
Clemson cracked the poll for the first time this season, coming in at No. 25, while Xavier moved from No. 10 to No. 7, its highest ranking in 11 years. The Musketeers will get a chance to move even higher when they take on No. 6 Duke on Saturday in the Dirty Jerz, which means it's practically a home game for the Blue Devils with all the front-runners there.
The Big Ten once again has a trio of teams ranked, and it will be interesting to see how two of them perform in big national tests on Saturday, when No. 13 Purdue hosts everybody's All-American, Stephen Curry, and his No. 22 Davidson squad, while No. 19 Michigan State travels to Austin to take on the No. 5 Longhorns.
1. North Carolina (72) 9-0 1,800 1
2. Connecticut 8-0 1,715 2
3. Pittsburgh 10-0 1,646 3
4. Oklahoma 10-0 1,585 5
5. Texas 8-1 1,473 6
6. Duke 8-1 1,347 7
7. Xavier 9-0 1,233 10
8. Gonzaga 7-1 1,225 4
9. Louisville 6-1 1,176 9
10. Wake Forest 9-0 1,101 11
11. Syracuse 9-0 1,005 13
12. Notre Dame 7-2 992 12
13. Purdue 8-2 765 14
14. UCLA 6-2 756 16
15. Georgetown 7-1 750 19
16. Tennessee 6-2 683 8
17. Ohio St. 6-0 576 21
18. Villanova 10-1 571 15
19. Michigan St. 6-2 506 18
20. Arizona St. 8-1 431 20
21. Baylor 8-1 420 22
22. Davidson 8-1 398 23
23. Memphis 5-2 350 17
24. Marquette 8-1 240 24
25. Clemson 10-0 196 --
Others receiving votes: Michigan 132, Miami 64, Missouri 44, BYU 37, Butler 23, Dayton 23, Florida St. 21, LSU 21, Illinois 15, Kansas 15, Wisconsin 15, Arizona 10, Maryland 10, Florida 8, Northwestern 7, Texas A&M 6, Saint Mary's, Calif. 3, Minnesota 2, Temple 2, Navy 1, West Virginia 1.
Time for yet another addition of Opponents in Review as we take a look at how Penn State's schedule strength evolves as the Nittany Lions try to keep their tournament hopes alive. RealTimeRPI has Penn State rated 122nd at the moment after a week that featured rather ugly wins over Army and Mount St. Mary's. And neither of those squads do anything to boost the Lions' schedule of strength, which RealTimeRPI now has at 255th. The good news is that the Big Ten somehow sits second conference RPI, only behind the ACC.
Anyway, here's how Penn State opponents did in the last week, from Monday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 14.
-William & Mary... DNP
-NJIT... L 82-54 at St. John's, L 51-38 vs. St. Peter's
-Hartford... L 72-62 at Brown, W 59-55 at Sacred Heart
-New Hampshire... L 88-56 at Rhode Island, L 76-72 at Long Island
-Rhode Island... W 88-56 vs. New Hampshire, W 77-69 vs. Central Conn. State
-Towson... L 85-64 vs. St. Joe's,, W 71-57 at High Point
-Georgia Tech... L 66-60 vs. Illinois-Chicago
-Temple... W 88-72 vs. Tennessee
-Army... L 60-45 at Penn State, W 74-52 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
-Mount St. Mary's... L 68-65 vs. Navy, L 61-56 at Penn State
-Lafayette... L 79-58 at Fordham
-Sacred Heart... L 59-55 vs. Hartford
Around the Big Ten
-Wisconsin... W 60-58 vs. Idaho State, W 77-57 vs. Green Bay
-Purdue... W 68-39 at Ball State, W 76-62 vs. Indiana State
-Minnesota... W 74-60 vs. South Dakota State
-Michigan State... W 118-60 vs. Alcorn State
-Indiana... W 66-56 vs. TCU, L 72-54 at Kentucky
-Michigan... W 91-60 vs. Eastern Michigan
-Iowa... W 65-46 vs. Northern Iowa, W 73-57 vs. Iowa State
-Illinois... W 68-58 vs. Hawaii, W 89-50 vs. Chicago State
-Ohio State... W 54-51 vs. Butler
Non-Conference Opponents' Record: 43-69
Big Ten Opponents' Record: 73-17
Total Opponents' Record: 116-86
The mighty NJIT Highlanders continue their miraculous losing streak, as they have now dropped 42 consecutive games. That would be a NCAA record if the Highlanders were not still in their transition period to Division I.
We're now in the period of the season where the amount of games drops because of finals. Many teams, like Penn State, won't play again until next weekend. Outside of the Big Ten, only Temple picked up a big win. The Owls rolled into Happy Valley last Saturday fresh off of back-to-back MAC losses to Miami (OH) and Buffalo, but Fran Dunphy's squad is building some momentum. The Owls beat Penn State despite just two points from Dionte Christmas, but Christmas returned to his usual form by dropping 35 on the No. 8 Volunteers.
On the ugly side of things, Georgia Tech is doing everything it can to make sure Penn State's win in Atlanta is not seen as a quality win. Illinois-Chicago is a solid team, but not one that an ACC team like Georgia Tech should fall to at home.
In the Big Ten, Minnesota and Ohio State remain unbeaten. While the Golden Gophers haven't beaten any top teams, the Buckeyes have knocked off Miami (FL) and Notre Dame and beat a good Butler team Saturday. Indiana remains the only Big Ten team with more than two losses, as the Hoosiers sit at 5-5 after a beatdown at Rupp Arena. Tom Crean's squad managed just 13 points in the first half of that one.
The number of national unbeaten teams is dwindling, and Gonzaga just dropped from the ranks with a loss to Arizona in the creatively-named Desert Classic in Phoenix. Ohio State and Minnesota are joined by 12 other teams: Xavier, Clemson, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut, Illinois State, BYU, Stanford and LSU.
So I lied I didn't leave, in a real good battle Wade had some momentum, but Rogers rides out the 6-3 victory. Final score of the dual: 27-10.
Wade leads 1-0 and they are now handfighting with 1 minute remaining in the 2nd period. I'm probably going to back up shop here at the end of the 2nd so I can go down and interview everybody and with the win already guaranteed for the Nittany Lions. Take away the 6 points for a forfeit for Pataky, and Penn State still was in control today.
Wade leads Rogers 1-0 now at the end of the second period. Nice performance thus far from Wade. I'll wrap everything up after my interviews, and check out the Collegian's main page for an article in a couple of hours. Thanks a lot.
Final update: 1-1 with 1 minute remaining,, Penn State leads the dual 27-7.
In the last match of the afternoon, PSU's heavyweight Cameron Wade takes on WVU's No. 18-ranked freshman grappler Dustin Rogers.
Good battle going on here as Wade and Rogers are handfighting with one minute remaining in the fist period.
Play stopped now with potentially dangerous situation with the wrestlers heading toward the crowd. At the end of the first period, score is 0-0 and Wade will take the bottom position to start the second.
Wade escapes to begin the period and leads Rogers 1-0 now.
Boyer grasps Steadman's leg but Steadman fights him off until the end of the period. 5-1 still the score as the wrestlers begin the third period off neutral. Boyer now goes at Steadman and has a grasp of Steadman, but Clay goes stronger at Boyer and gets his own takedown to move the match to 7-1. Now an escape given up and the score is 7-2.
Bubba Jenkins and Anspach urging Steadman on at the edge of the mat now with 1 minute reaming, the crowd catches on and claps on. Boyer looked like he was close to a takedown but Steadman gets one of his own, moving the score to 9-2. Steadman had his opponent on his back, but an illegal headlock stops play, but Steadman still gets two back points.
Steadman, in a real nice match, gets a major decision by the score of 12-3, as Penn State leads the dual now 27-7.
This is the first time now the home crowd gets a chance to see redshirt freshman Clay Steadman grapple, as he will take on WVU's sophomore Brandon Boyer from Hellertown, Pa.
Wrestlers are neutrally handfighting with 1 minute remaining in the first period. With Boyer sleeping, Steadman moves in control for a nice takedown as the crowd gives a nice applause for the 2-0 lead. Heavyweight coach Aaron Anspach applauds Steadman and yells some instructions to him as the 2nd period is about to begin.
Steadman starts off in the bottom position and escapes to move his lead to 3-0. Steadman is now working on Boyer's leg here, and after about 10 seconds of working gets his opponent into a takedown with 1 minute remaining in the 2nd period.
Steadman now working on riding his opponent as he is staying on top here. Wrestlers move off the mat here now with Steadman in control.
Dodds started the period in the bottom position and gets an escape to move the score to 5-2. Bryson now gets a takedown on the edge of the mat, as he leads the match 7-2 now. 1:15 remaining in the match.
Dodds, who is in the Penn State Christian group here with my beat partner Jocelyn and fellow wrestler Quentin Wright has gotten two more escapes but Bryson got another takedown.
With 11 seconds left, Bryson gets another takedown to secure a major decision for West Virginia, winning the bout 11-4 and moving the dual meet 23-7.
Stall warning issued to Dodds, and Bryson then records a takedown to move the score to 5-1 and now will ride out Dodds until the end of the period. Score will be 5-1 Bryson going into the 3rd period.
Matt Dodds, the junior from Leola, Pa. gets his season debut here at 184 pounds against WVU's freshman Lance Bryson from Shaof, Pa.
Bryson got an early takedown but Dodds escaped about 25 seconds later so the score is at 2-1. First period comes to an end as the score is 2-1.
Dodds defers his decision and Bryson chooses the bottom position.
Dodds tries to pick Bryson up but Bryson is too big, and he gives up the escape so the score moves to 3-1 Bryson with 1:30 left in the 2nd period.
Wright is building up his riding time advantage here, but officials call a dangerous head call, as the crowd goes nuts, with fans in the front row jumping up to yell at the refs.
As the refs looked to begin play, Wright jumps early again but now they start back up play.
Wright was on his back in danger but he escapes but Brenner is now in control. Tension high here with 30 seconds left. Brenner leading Wright 3-2 with little time left. The crowd is trying to urge on Wright here. But he isn't able to get anything done, and the match ends 3-2 here. Really good match down the stretch there.
Penn State loses its first match as the score moves to 23-3.
Wright gets the escape to move the score to 1-1. Now the wrestlers are interlocked and move off the mat, and will start back up neutral.
Wright is locked here behind the back of Brenner but now they are handfighting at the center of the mat. Brenner looks to get a grasp of Wright but he fights it. Brenner had a single-leg on Wright but Wright fought it off and had control, but time runs out. Score is 1-1 moving into the 3rd period with Wright starting on top.
Freshman sensation and quickly becoming the crowd favorite, Quentin Wright, now ranked 18th in the country, will face WVU's senior Kurt Brenner who is ranked 14th in the country. Brenner is from Freedom, Pa and is a former AA high school state champion, as he faces AAA champ Wright here in what should be the best bout of the afternoon.
Although both wrestlers have appeared to be in control at different points in the match, they are scoreless with 45 seconds left. Now with 30 seconds left in the first period, Wright loses a point for a technical violation and will go into the second period down 1-0.
Wright takes the bottom position to start the second.
Mory starts off in control as play resumes, as he is taking away Bollinger's riding time advantage. He is working on Bollinger, as officials finally call a stall warning to Mory. Now, I believe that should be a point for Bollinger because he was issued a stall in the first period. Sunderland picks up on it and the officials award Micah the point, so the score is now 3-2 going into the 3rd.
Wrestlers in the neutral position here as Bollinger went for Mory's leg, but now Mory has countered, and the officials call a stalemate. With Mory leading the riding time with 27 seconds, Bollinger has to keep doing work here. Now he has as he is control of Mory with 33 seconds left. Stalemate called.
20 seconds left, score still 3-2, but Bollinger records a nifty takedown with 10 seconds left, and the crowd goes nuts as Bollinger ensures his first dual meet victory of his career. Very solid job down the stretch for Bollinger, as he did not look shaken at all and stayed calm for the win.
Penn State leads the dual 23-0.
At the end of the third period, Bollinger leads 2-0. He defers his decision to the third period and Mory picks the top position to start the second.
Mory was doing some work on Bollinger's head but the officials call it a dangerous, and they start back up in the middle. Mory almost gets Bollinger on his back but he is really fighting.
Now as Bollinger looked like was about to escape, Mory gets a takedown for himself, moving the score 2-2. Injury timeout for Bollinger now.
Micah Bollinger, the freshman from Mifflinburg makes his dual meet debut against fellow freshman Christian Mory from Harrisburg.
With 1:35 left, Micah gets a nice takedown to move the match to 2-0. Bollinger has been in control the entire match and looks really confident in his abilities as he hasn't backed down at all. He is still riding his opponent with one minute remaining. Stall warning now from the officials. Bollinger is now working his opponent trying to get him on his back but the officials call a stalemate now with 24 seconds left.
Wrestlers locked ear-to-ear now as officials call a stalemate. Goodman appeared to have control of Vallimont's leg but Vallimont shows some elusiveness to escape that move and he regains control, in a headlock now. Vallimont gets another takedown on Goodman, moving the score to 7-1 as the wrestlers move off the mat.
Vallimont gives up an escape as the score moves to 7-2. 30 seconds left in the third period as another stalemate called.
Goodman trying his hardest now to fight off going on his back, but Vallimont does get another takedown to move the score to 9-2, and with a 2:51 riding time advantage he gets the win 10-2.
With the major decision for Vallimont, Penn State takes the 20-0 lead in the dual.
Vallimont executes a takedown now with the score moving to 5-1. Wrestlers move off the mat now with 30 seconds left in the second period at 157. Vallimont is in control to start up. Goodman tries to escape but Vallimont won't let him, with a tight grip on his waist to end the second period.
Vallimont 5 Goodman 1 as they move into the third period. Goodman picks neutral to start the third.
Rec Hall is quiet now as Vallimont is working on his opponent, and will start with position on top now to start back up. Vallimont has hands wrapped around Goodman's neck as he is riding him on the left side of the mat. He gives up an escape at the edge of the mat to Goodman, and wrestlers will start up neutral with the score 2-1 with 20 seconds left.
First period ends with the score 2-1. Vallimont takes the down position as Goodman deferred his decision to the third period.
Now Vallimont gets a point for escape, even though some fans voiced their displeasure he didn't attack, but nonetheless he has a 3-1 advantage.
Under way here at 157 pounds, No. 9-ranked Dan Vallimont vs. WVU's freshman Ryan Goodman from Latrobe, Pa.
At 1:55 left in the period, Vallimont gets a takedown to start the scoring off, 2-0.
Wrestlers move off the mat now with Vallimont in control.
With 1:19 remaining in the third period, Bubba has been issued a stall warning and gives up an escape. Bubba a stall warning? That's a rare sight. He has now gotten another takedown and gives up the escape. Only to get another takedown to move the score in his match to 17-7. He gives up the escape so the score is 17-8. Another takedown now for Bubba as he literally ran his opponent and brought him down.
Time runs out for Bubba as he gets the win with a riding time point advantage to win 20-9 in a major decision.
Penn State now leads the dual meet 16-0.
No. 2 ranked Bubba Jenkins comes out now at 149 pounds and faces Mountaineer wrestler Mark Tsikerdanos. As the man next to me explains, he's some Greek guy. He's fighting Bubba right now though.
Bubba has gotten two takedowns thus far, and given up two escapes so the score is 4-2 with 1:20 left in the first period.
In a move of pure speed, Bubba moves his way into control and gets another takedown, with the crowd giving hoots and hollers at how easily it looked for Bubba.
After giving up his usual escape, the first period ends at 6-3.
Bubba begins the 2nd period in the down position and quickly escapes to move the score to 7-3. Now Tsikerdanos gets control and records a takedown to move the match to 7-5. Action moves off the mat and they will resume wrestling in the middle. Jenkins escapes, however, and moves the match to 8-5 with 1:05 left in teh second period. Tsikerdanos looked like he was working on Jenkins for a move, but Jenkins fights it off.
Now Jenkins has a pin in grasp with his opponent on his back, but with time running out he will lose that opportunity. He gets back points and a takedown to move the match to 13-5, however going into the 3rd period.
Molinaro gives up the escape to Johnston, so it is 5-1 now. Johnston now in control of Molinaro and taken down Molinaro is in danger of going on his back, it is 5-3 Molinaro still in the lead. A stalemate now as the wrestlers will start in the middle.
Molinaro escapes to move the score to 6-3. Now they are in neutral interlocked on top as both attempts to fight for position.
Molinaro had control there of Johnston but the action goes off the mat, and wrestlers start back up neutral. But wow, with five seconds left Johnston overpowered Molinaro to earn a takedown, so score is 6-5 Molinaro on top. Molinaro escaped but Johnston regained control in very exciting fashion. Score is now 7-7 with 1:35.
With his riding time going down, Molinaro escapes then picks up Johnston and brings him down for a takedown to lead the match 10-7 now.
With coach Sunderland screaming at Molinaro at the edge of the mat, Johnston takes advantage of Molinaro sleeping and gets a reversal and a takedown to tie the match up again at 10-10.
Now the wrestlers move into the scorer's table, with Molinaro crashing into the table which will warrant an injury timeout. The crowd is not happy with Molinaro, as he has lookedl ike he hasn't been ready for Johnston a couple times in the bout.
Wrestlers start back up, and Molinaro fights off Johnston to earn the victory 11-10.
Penn State leads the dual now 12-0.
Action begins now at 141 pounds, with PSU's redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro against WVU freshman Colin Johnston of Eighty Four, Pa. Now that's a pretty cool town.
At 1:25 left in the first period, Molinaro overpowers Johnston and throws him to the ground, getting a takedown and now riding his opponent. And what do you know, Molinaro has Johnston on his back, and earns three back points. Score now 5-0 as Molinaro still has control of his opponent. He's locked in tightly to Johnston's left on the left side of the mat. Now the wrestlers are in a stalemate hanging on to each other standing up, stall warning to Molinaro.
5-0 Molinaro at the end of the 1st period. Molinaro will start the period on top.
Oravec gets an escape to move the match to 4-3 now with about a minute left in the match. Wrestlers move off the mat now and will start in the middle. Injury timeout now for Oravec as trainers are looking at his knee, but he looks fine and him and Haas now about to start back up with 46 seconds left.
Oravec's headgear comes off now with 35 seconds left so officials stop play.
Haas now executes a great move on Oravec and was closing in a pin, but had to settle for back points and a nice win. That certainly got the crowd awake though as they were trying to will Haas on to a pin.
10-4 Haas officially wins for a decision victory... Penn State leads the dual meet now 9-0.
The wrestlers are in a neutral, non-aggressive grab to end the 2nd period, score still 4-2 Haas up going int othe 3rd period. He will now start on top.
Haas switches from a back grasp to a knee hold on Oravec, as the crowd gets antsy for Haas to take control of the match. I think he's wrestling very well, and he has a 1:15 riding time advantage right now.
Haas now riding Oravec in the middle of the mat. Officials call a stalemate with 1:07 remaining. 4-2 Haas still.
Oravec working on Haas now to start the 2nd period, but Haas got them to move off the mat now to start back in the middle.
In only five seconds after the restart, Haas escapes Oravec to move the score to 4-2. Now Haas trying to move in on a single-leg move and drive through, but Oravec is fighting the takedown. Action stopped now and wrestlers will start neutral in the middle.
I have to admit I am a little surprised to see Haas out there instead of Jake Strayer after last week at the Nittany Lion Open but I guess this is an opportunity for Haas to get in here, who is still a really strong wrestler.
With action back under way, and after Oravec fought him for 10 seconds, Haas stayed strong and recorded a takedown and is riding Oravec with 0:59 left. Haas just literally picked Oravec up over his shoulder and slammed Oravec down really hard to the ground with a thud.
1st period ends with Haas in position, he will select the bottom position to start the 2nd period, he is leading 3-2.
2 points on an early takedown for Tyler Oravec of West Virginia, but Haas quickly reversed it, so 2-1 Oravec as the wrestlers went off the mat and will start in the neutral position to start.
Both wrestlers are locked in the center of the mat with 1:35 to go.
Now Haas has a headlock on his opponent, but the official sees blood on Haas's mouth, so we will have a blood timeout here to stop play with 1:32 to go in the first period.
After a stall warning to Lowther, Pataky recorded another takedown after a stalemate. 15 seconds left as Pataky wrestled pretty well in this exhibition match.
Final score with riding time, 11-3.
Haas coming up at 133.
Pataky again records a nice single-leg move for a takedown with 10 seconds left in the 2nd period, to go up 8-3 going into the 3rd period.
Again this is an exhibition match and will not count toward either wrestler's season records or the team's points in this dual meet.
So Pataky takes the six-point forfeit for Penn State, putting the Lions up 6-0 early. But the junior from Clearfield is wrestling in an exhibition match against WVU's freshman Grant Lowther and it's a really decent match.
Pataky wasted no time getting on top, recording a takedown, but Lowther got an escape then a takedown for a 3-2 lead. Pataky has since put together a nice single leg move and executed a reversal and registered a takedown.
6-3 Pataky leads now in the middle of the 2nd period.
Here's your official lineup for today:
125 pounds: Penn State Brad Pataky takes a forfeit and will wrestle an exhibition match.
133 pounds: Penn State's Tim Haas vs. WVU's either Tyler Oravec or Grant Lowther
141 pounds: Penn State's Frank Molinaro vs. WVU's Colin Johnston
149 pounds: Penn State's Bubba Jenkins vs. WVU's Mark Tsikerdanos
157 pounds: Penn State's Dan Vallimont vs. WVU's Ryan Goodman
165 pounds: Penn State's Micah Bollinger vs. WVU's Christian Mory
174 pounds: Penn State's Quentin Wright vs. WVU's No. 14-ranked Kurt Brenner
184 pounds: Penn State's Jack Decker vs. WVU's Lance Bryson
197 pounds: Penn State's Nathan Andrews or Clay Steadman vs. WVU's Brandon Boyer
285 pounds: Penn State's Cameron Wade vs. WVU's No.18-ranked Dustin Rogers
Howdy everybody. Welcome to the live blog of today's wrestling match, this is Stephen Hennessey here bringing you live coverage and analysis of action at Rec Hall. The No. 15-ranked Penn State (3-2) wrestling team will take on West Virginia (2-0) today, Dec. 15, here at Rec Hall.
Pat Donghia, the athletic communication director for the wrestling team, just informed me that Nittany Lion coach Troy Sunderland has changed the lineup around a little bit today:
At the 165-pound weight class, freshman Micah Bollinger will appear to get the start over senior Mark Friend after Friend was bounced out in the first round of the Nittany Lion Open.
And at 184-pounds, captain Phil Bomberger will be benched with a 1-6 record in favor of Jack Decker, the versatile senior from Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey.
The Lions just came out of the locker room and action should be under way in the next minute.
Cajou nails a 3 following a Shawn Atupem (not to be confused with his brother and teammate, Sam) lay-in, and we've got ourselves a 6-point ball-game, folks.
Pringle misses a jumper on the other end, and Mount calls a 30-second timeout after aining possession.
Atupem hits a tough, fadeaway jumper with the shot clock winding down, and it's 57-53, with just over a minute to go.
Another offensive foul called, this one on Battle, as Mount gets possession and momentum. Morrissey fouls Goode on his drive to the hoop, and he'll shoot a pair.
First one is Goode! (Came up with that all by myself) He misses the second, however, and the Nits have the ball with under a minute to go and a 3-point lead.
Battle finds Cornley underneath, as the senior lays it in to give PSU a bit of breathing room with a 5-point lead and 17.2 ticks left.
Mount timeout, they have one remaining,
PSU 59, Mount 54
Mitchell and Cajou lay-ups bring this bad boy down to 8 points, but Pringle nails a trey following the Cajou bucket to put the lead back to double-digits.
He has a pretty pull-up on the next possession, but the ball banks off the glass and rolls in and out. Cornley corrals the board and draws the foul, as his lay-in rattles out following the whistle. The SR. captain knocks down both, however, to the surprise of many.
Mitchell hits a jumper, and Pringle fires a beauty from midcourt to D.J. Jackson down low. For whatever reason, he puts the ball on the floor, then has his pass to Cornley deflected, but Cornley recovers it and gets fouled again, this time hitting just 1 of 2 from the line.
Timeout on the floor with 3:33 to go,
PSU 56, Mounts 46
If this whole basketball thing doesn't work out for Morrissey, I think he's got a nice career in Hollywood. He screams and drops to the floor, as Beidler grazes his face with the back of his head while posting up. That brings the Nits to 2-for-2 on flops on the day, which I believe is a season-high. Might have to ask SID Brian Siegrist for the record in that department after the game.
Battle comes off a screen and takes it hard to the rim from the strong side for a nice 2.
Holland throws the ball to no one, as it heads out of bounds. The refs, refusing to believe a Div. I basketball player could make such a boneheaded move, swear someone on PSU deflected it, so Mount keeps the ball.
It ends up not mattering, and Battle extends the Nits' lead with a pair of free throws on the other end to make it 44-36.
Does Morrissey find trouble or does trouble find him? He dives on a Mount player on the floor, making an attempt for the ball but picking up the foul, much to his and Nittany Nation's dismay. Looked like there was some contact to me, but everyone's probably just frustrated at an "off" day from the refs.
Karma is a ... Morrissey gets fouled on the next possession and knocks down two from the line.
Battle knocks down a pair two possessions later. At least the Nits got that goin' for them, as Battle is 8-for-9 and the team 15-for-19 for the game.
Battle takes the ball away from Jean Cajou, who goes stride for stride with him down the floor as Battle's tough lay-in rims in and out. No worries, however, as Pringle finds him open down court on the next possession for the easy 2, sending Mount into a timeout with 8:02 to go and, more importantly, finalllly bringing the crowd to its feet with "Zombie Nation."
PSU 50, Mount 38
Hey folks, Fortuna here to take you the rest of the way as Mink rushes over to Rec Hall.
So far, we've got an eerily similar contest to Wednesday's, with little rhythm on either offensive end as PSU hangs on to a 3-point lead.
Cornley drops in a nice baby-hook from about 10 feet for his 12th and 13th points of the game.
After Kelly Beidler scores, he immediately races down court to catch Danny Morrissey --- who raced across the floor --- before fouling him hard. Morrissey converts both to make it a 5-point game.
Morrissey then pulls a Reggie Miller after taking a slight elbow on a post move from Will Holland. You could hear the yell all the way up here as he the ref gave in and called the offensive foul.
A break in the action with 11:54 to go,
PSU 40, Mount 35
Gorgeous inbounds play for Battle. He got a screen to spring his loose and rushed to the corner and drained a three.
PSU 36, MSM 32
Cornley hits a trey. He had two three's against the Black Knights on Wednesday.
Cornley muscles his way underneath and goes up strong. Morrissey spells Pringle. It appears DeChellis is being cautious with Stan, not wanting to put too much stress on that fragile ankle of his. We'll see if Ed uses that thinking if he's stuck in a barn-burner toward the end of regulation
Atupem hits an open baseline jumper.
PSU 33, MSM 32
Cajou nails a three to start the second half. Beidler gets a quick two underneath, and Eddy D takes a timeout to talk things over.
MSM 27, PSU 26
I got about 20 minutes left on this blog before Fortuna takes over.
Somebody's got to take the scoring load off Battle, even if Battle embraces being the go-to-guy. Mount St. Mary's is four, five, eight points from a few people. Penn State, on the other hand, doesn't have much beyond the 18 from Battle and Cornley.
Stats at the half:
FG - 9-for-23
FT - 5-for-9
Points - Battle 12
Rebounds - Three tied with 3
FG - 10-for-22
3-pt. - 2-for-9
FT - 0-for-1
Points - Atupem 8
Rebounds - Beidler 4
PSU 26, MSM 22
Babb commits an offensive foul trying to get off his shot as time expires. The Mount has 0.6 seconds to get a shot off. They don't.
6.2 seconds left. Battle draws a foul dribbling. He too misses his 1-and-1.
OK, final minute of the first 20. Brooks get hacked grabbing the D board, sending him to the charity stripe for a 1-and-1.
21.6 seconds left 1st half
PSU 25, MSM 22
DeChellis has to be grateful Talor Battle can adjust his shot mid-air. The crafty point guard wiggled, spun and double-clutched his way to a tough two.
Penn State up three with just more than a minute left first half.
Will Holland drives inside and gets about as much of an uncontested lay-in as there is.
Jackson finally gets rid of the goose egg in the scoring column to put Penn State back on top.
Penn State has hit a wall offensively. It's the second straight game the team has struggled to keep up its explosiveness.
And the Mount is no Army. They snagged a bid to last year's Dance.
3:30 left 1st half
PSU 21, MSM 20
Atupem posts Brooks down low and gets a bucket. Cornley answers with his signature one-handed float shot on the baseline. Atupem now has six off the bench for the Mount.
Cammeron Woodyard and Chris Babb see the court in the closing minutes. Babb's on the line now.
4:01 left 1st half
PSU 21, MSM 18
And, it looks like DeChellis has seen enough from the inept offense. Battle's back in.
7:08 left 1st half
PSU 19, MSM 14
Jackson had it fed to him underneath and just one Mount defender stood between him the bucket and Jones. Jackson opted to walk with the basketball. You've gotta convert those.
Now, Jones gives Cornley a breather. It'll be interesting to see who steps up the scoring for the Nits without Battle and Cornley.
Pringle spells Battle with just under 11 minutes to play first half. Coach Ed DeChellis said he needs to sit Battle a little bit because he's leading the Big Ten in minutes played at more than 36 a contest.
Battle hits a wide-open three in the corner to extend the lead. No word on why no one on the Mount decided to guard him.
11:34 left 1st half
PSU 17, MSM 10
Atupem's bucket for the Mount now gives them more points (7) than fouls (6)
13:00 left 1st half
PSU 14, MSM 10
Jones apparently learned the art of drawing fouls rather than picking up fouls. Jones hasn't gotten into serious foul trouble for a few games now, and his interior presence is starting to bring more balance to the Nits' offense.
Back to the action, Pringle does have a black brace on his ankle. Battle gets fouled on a 3-point attempt. He has a couple 4-point plays this years, but Battle gets three the easy way.
15:35 left 1st half
PSU 9, MSM 5
All the ushers here at the BJC have Santa hats on. Maybe not as comical as T.O. and his blinking Rudolph snoz.
Pringle's first shot post-ankle injury is a 3-point field goal. Nits go up one.
15:55 left 1st half
PSU 6, MSM 5
Jones at the line after grabbing the O board.
16:43 left 1st half
MSM 5, PSU 3
Less than three minutes in and the Mount is sending a pair to the scorer's table. Cajou drills a triple.
Nits win the tip and we're underway at 1:37 p.m. The Mount and Nits traded buckets in opening minute. Jones had the ball on the low block but missed a cutting Jackson and threw it away.
Jackson needs to reassert himself in the offense. He hasn't played a complete game probably since Towson.
Welcome back Penn State basketball fans, it's Mink taking you through much of the play-by-play this afternoon. I gotta skedaddle late second half to get to Rec Hall by 4 for the women's volleyball regional final match with Cal.
We're real close to tip-off. This was originally a 4:30 start time. Sad to say, but I doubt the thousands that flocked to the BJC at 6 this morning stuck around to see the Nits and the Mountaineers do battle.
Let's get right to the starting lineups:
12 G Talor Battle So.
11 G Stanley Pringle Sr.
2 F Jamelle Cornley Sr.
22 C Andrew Jones So.
15 F D.J. Jackson So.
Mt. Saint Mary's
0 G Jean Cajou So.
1 G Jeremy Goode Jr.
4 F Kelly Beidler Jr.
45 F Markus Mitchell Sr.
40 C Sam Atupem Sr.
Pringle playing should make this game a little easier on the eyes. Against Army, Penn State's offense looked like thisComments
And for Part 2 of Ten Question Thursdays' return, we give you Icers forward Steve Peck.
Because winter break is coming up, we decided to get a little festive and ask the forward what he wanted for Christmas. He wasn't really sure of what he wanted, so he enlisted Luke DeLorenzo's help. Together, after a few minutes of collaborating, they came up with the two items you'll read below.
If not hockey, what sport would you be playing?
Probably lacrosse. I played lacrosse in high school. That or men's swimming and diving. I'm quite a good swimmer.
What is your favorite place to eat in town?
That would have to be HoneyBaked Ham. Definitely HoneyBaked Ham.
What is your favorite class taken at Penn State?
Entomology 202, the study of insects. Probably the most interesting. Not the toughest regimen ever, but it was definitely Entomology 202.
TQT: You're the second person we've had say that.
Yeah, about 15 guys took the class together, which made it a little easier.
Do you have any hidden talents most people don't know about?
Gee, I'd have to say that my prowess in shootouts is my hidden talent.
Who is your favorite hockey player?
My favorite hockey player has got to be, Rob Esche. He played goalie for Philly. He's actually from my hometown. He wasn't the greatest pedigree of goaltender. He's out of the league now. I don't know if he's even playing, but I'm going to have to go with Rob Esche.
What is your favorite Coach Balboni quirk?
It has to be the mullet. It used to be the mullet. Now he's shaved that off. I don't know if that's a quirk. It's more of a fashion statement or a fashion faux pas. It's got to be the mullet.
What do you want for Christmas?
I'm going to have to go with a box full of puppies. Puppies or a very injured Kyle Mills. Anyone of those would be fine.
In the movie of your life, who plays your girlfriend?
Got to be Jessica Biel.
Who is the biggest ladies man on the team?
It's got to be either Ted Hume or Kyle Mills. Kyle Mills, he's in no way on a leash of any sort. It's definitely Kyle Mills. He's got girls all over the place. (With Hume) It's just those natural good looks and those baby blue eyes. And that comb over he's got going now, that definitely helps. He's definitely got the prep school thing going (For the record, Hume was standing five feet away).
Who has the best nickname on the team?
I'd have to go with Thurston's, which is "Sweet Lou." It's a good nickname, because there's no good reason for it. He just gave it to himself. It's one of those self-proclaimed nicknames that nobody calls him, except I call him "Lewis" sometimes. It has no meaning whatsoever. He just kind of made it up. It'd be like me calling myself something like "Bob." It just makes no sense at all. That or Teddy has so many self-proclaimed nicknames. You can't even keep up with that kid. He's just a character. Whatever nickname he comes up with for himself. It's between that or Sweet Lou.
Battle sinks the free throw out of the break to put PSU up 12.
The sophomore captain and Andrew Jones then harass Josh Miller in the corner, who loses the ball as Army can't get a shot off before the 35-second shot clock.
Cornley pumps from three, then takes it to the house for a jam that gets the crowd on its feet. PSU up 14.
On the next PSU possession, Battle finds Jones for the lay-in plus the foul. That brings Leiner and Woodyward back in the game, as Jones knocks down the free throw to put PSU up 17.
A brief timeout, and Steve Kirkpatrick checks in, giving PSU 2 frosh, 2 walk-ons and Jones on the floor with a minute remaining.
Babb misses a long 3 at the shot-clock buzzer, and Leiner can't sell the charge enough on the Army fast break, as he gets called for the foul on Tyrell Thompson. The remaning Nittany Nation fans applaud the walk-on for his efforts and he smiles in appreciation.
Julian Simmons airballs a 3 to end the game, as PSU goes to 8-2 with a 60-45 win over Army. The game was not as close as the score would indicate, but a win is a win, and PSU needed one following their lackadaisical performance Saturday against Temple.
This is Matt Fortuna signing off from the BJC, where my colleagues and I will be once again on Saturday for the Lions' game against defending NEC champion Mount St. Mary's.
That means we won't be on the field for the annual News vs. Sports football game among Collegian staffers. I'm sure our combined efforts will be sorely missed, but we're basketball writers after all, so we'll hold out until there is a similar game between the two divisions of our paper in our sport.
Take it easy, folks.
Moonshower misses a 3 out of the timeout, and Battle once again takes the rebound all the way to the rim for the dunk that uneasily rolls in for 2.
Another timeout with 3:11 to go and PSU looking more and more like a team headed for 8-2.
PSU 54, Army 43
Leiner remains in following the timeout, with Battle waiting in front of the scorer's table.
That was quick, as Cornley loses the ball out of bounds down low, forcing the whistle and the entry of Battle.
A few possessions later, and Morrissey finds Battle, who hits a big three off the curl screen from Jones to put PSU up 7.
Battle can't knock down another after a Cleveland Richard jumper, as Army looks to cut into the lead.
Richard misses the 3, and Battle corrals the rebounds and takes it coast to coast for the lay-in to put PSU back up 7.
The point guard works the clock on the next possession before finding Morrissey for a fadeaway jumper to extend the lead to 9. Finallllly some breahting room for the Lions, and Army wants to talk it over.
3:27 to go,
PSU 52, Army 43
Josh Miller gets an easy lay-up out of the timeout after a quick pass from Kenny Brewer following the PSU press. The PSU lead is down to two.
Will Leiner comes in to give Battle a breather. Let's see what the walk-on can do.
Morrissey hits an off-balance two with the shot-clock winding down, capping off an ugly, yet successful possession for the Lions.
Anotherrrr break in the action with 7:39 to go,
PSU 45, Army 41
The Lionettes follow their dancing to Katy Perry's "Hot 'N Cold" with splits in unison, which draws big "OHHHS!!" from the hundred or so ROTC fans seated behind the Penn State basket.
The Blue Band follows with Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls." I don't know about you, but the beginning of that gets me everytime, as I get my hopes up for Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."
Anyway, there's a basketball game going on, and a much better one than that of the first half. Although no one has yet to pull away, it is definitely refreshing to see some increased scoring from both sides, as PSU holds a 17-15 advantage with this half less than half-way through.
John Moonshower hits a long 2 in front of his own bench to cut the lead to one.
Cam Woodyward is fouled and misses the first free-throw. There's a whistle as he readies for his second, and D.J. Jackson comes in for the frosh and will shoot the second. It's tough to tell, but from what I gather Woodyward may have a bloody nose, as he gets treated on the sideline. Jackson hits the second to put PSU up two. I don't think I've ever seen two different players shoot free throws off the same foul like that, but it just happened.
PSU presses on the inbounds, and Jeff Brooks comes up with a steal at midcourt, he dribbles almost out of control, regathers and eventually is found by Cornley again as the Kentucky native knocks down the midrange jumper to put PSU up four.
Army calls for time with 9:26 to go,
PSU 43, Army 39
Cornley follows a missed baby-hook on the next possession with what would have been a 3-pointer last season as he knocks down a long jumper from the corner to put Penn State up 6.
Nathan Hedgecock answers for Army with a 3 (a real one) to cut the lead in half.
Miller finds Kenny Brewer with a nice pass between two PSU defenders, as Brewer lays it in.
Battle answers with a lay-in as we head for another timeout.
11:58 to go,
PSU 40, Army 37
Hey folks, Matt Fortuna here to take you the rest of the way.
The first half was, for lack of a better word, brutal. Let's see if things can get moving on either end here in the game's final 20 minutes.
And Danny Morrissey nails a 3 to open up the half and give the Lions a four-point lead. That's Morrissey's second of the game and, as my colleague Nate Mink reported today, the Cleveland native is one away tying Dan Earl for 5th on the school's career 3-point list.
Doug Williams answers with a lay-up to cut the lead in half.
A few possessions later, and Josh Miller finds Marcus Nelson with a nice pass off a curl for an easy lay in.
Cornley answers with a short jumper on the following possession to put Penn State back up four.
A laaaaate whistle following a Cornley missed jumper on the next possession sends the captain to the line. He knocks them both down to put Penn State up 6. The senior is now 4-4 from the line tonight after coming into the game with struggles from the charity stripe.
Andrew Jones stops the 4-0 Army run (yes, it's been that kind of game) with a nice jam off a Battle feed, and the Lions go up four.
Timeout on the floor with 14:16 to go and the cheerleaders giving out Papa John's... which is followed by "Hey Baby" with the Kiss Cam on the screen.
PSU 36, Army 32
Well, Ed DeChellis cannot be happy with his team's performance in the half. You have to wonder what he'll say in the locker room. Stanley Pringle or not, Penn State has no business scoring just 23 points in a half against anyone, let alone a 2-7 Army squad.
FGs: Army 34.6%, PSU 30.8%
3s: Army 1-5, PSU 2-12
FTs: Army 3-6, PSU 5-9
Rebounds: Army 17, PSU 21
Turnovers: Army 5, PSU 5
Penn State: Jamelle Cornley and Danny Morrissey, 7
Army: Josh Miller, 8
That'll do it for me here. Again the score is Penn State 23, Army 22. There's about 3:30 left until the start of the second half, and Matt Fortuna will be taking you through the blog the rest of the way.
Full court pressure by Penn State out of the timeout, but Army gets through it with little problem and Cleveland Richard picks up 2 more.
Talor Battle at the line... he hits each in a 1-and-1 and the lead is 23-18.
Morrissey gets a steal in the full court press and Battle is fouled again as he drives to the hoop. Battle at the line for 2. The first misses left and the second rims out. The foul shooting problems just won't die for Penn State.
Moonshower at the line for 1-and-1 for Army now. He hits both and gets taken out for Kenny Brewer.
Morrissey misses a 3 and Army can tie the game with under a minute. Chris Walker and his Rip Hamilton-like face guard score to cut the lead to 1.
Battle misses for Penn State and Marcus Nelson takes it to the basket and is fouled by Morrissey with 2 seconds to play in the half. His first attempt is long, so Army can only tie heading into the half. But the second rims out and we are heading to halftime.
PSU 23, Army 22
Another 3-point attempt by Cornley, but this time he misses. Babb picks up a foul on the rebound and we head to another timeout.
2:31 first half
PSU 21, Army 16
Battle drives and misses and he is now 1-5 for the game. Kenny Brewer scores for Army and the lead is down to 1 again.
Battle misses a wide open 3. Had he followed his shot, he would've probably gotten a rebound but Army picked it up. Cleveland Richard air-balls a 3 on the other end.
Morrissey connects on a running jumper for the Lions.
At least Penn State is getting some offensive boards. After a miss by Morrissey, Jones grabbed a rebound. The ball was kicked out to Battle, who drove and found Jones with a nice pass and Jones finished for 2.
3:05 first half
PSU 21, Army 16
Brooks' first attempt hits hard off the back of the iron and misses. The second gets all net and the lead is 3 for PSU. Cornley replaces Brooks and PSU shows a full-court press for the first time.
Battle with a steal and he takes it to the hoop. He hits the lay-up and draws a foul on Josh Miller. Battle misses at the line.
Cleveland Richard connects in the paint to cut the lead down to 3. Turnover by Penn State and Chris Babb enters the game for the first time. Another bucket by Miller brings Army within 1, but Jones responds with 2 for Penn State.
5:57 first half
PSU 17, Army 14
Jeff Brooks with an aggressive drive but then he faded away as he shot. He did draw the foul though, and he'll be at the line when we come out of the under-8 media timeout.
7:54 first half
PSU 12, Army 10
Leiner got just over 2 minutes of action but Battle is back on the floor. Cam Woodyard is waiting at the scorers' table now. The freshman enters the game for Morrissey.
Penn State just hasn't looked good at all offensively. The offense looks like Temple all over again so far. Woodyard is blocked but Cornley collects it and follows for 2.
Battle forces another deep 3 and misses. The offense just seems out of sync, and PSU is shooting 4-15... as is Army.
8:29 first half
PSU 12, Army 10
D.J. Jackson misses a 3, Brooks got the rebound, and Morrissey air-balled a 3 attempt. This time Cornley grabs the rebound, and Morrissey knocks down a long 2.
11:41 first half
PSU 10, Army 10
Josh Miller knocks down a 3 for the Black Knights and we are tied at 6.
Just over 6 minutes into the game, and we have a rare Will Leiner sighting. Ed DeChellis said the senior walk-on point guard would get some minutes with Pringle hurt, and he has already replaced Talor Battle (who leads the Big Ten in minutes played). And Jamelle Cornley sinks both of his free throws.
Miller hits another bucket for Army and draws a foul. He missed the free throw, but Army got the rebound and Kenny Brewer scored to give Army the lead 10-8.
13:03 first half
Army 10, PSU 8
Andrew Jones wins the opening tip but Penn State promptly turns the ball over. Surprising considering how well Penn State has done on that front this season. Army turns it right back over, stepping on the end line.
Penn State is on the scoreboard first as Battle found Morrissey in the corner for a 3. A good start for Morrissey in place of the injured Pringle.
Battle with a very lazy pass that is stolen, and Josh Miller took it to the bucket for 2, and 1 with a foul on Morrissey. Miller converts the 3-point play at the line.
Jamelle Cornley buries a 3 from the wing. Somehow he's now 4-7 from beyond the arc this season.
We almost had deja vu as Battle drove again and kicked to Morrissey in the corner. But this time Morrissey's shot rimmed out.
15:28 first half
PSU 6, Army 3
It's not looking like a very good turnout here tonight at the BJC. Nittany Nation is not well represented as we near the opening tip. Of course, there are a whole lot of blue seats elsewhere too. But there is a very large contingent of ROTC and other service personnel behind the basket to our right.
What's up basketball fans, Matt Brown here to take you through the first half of tonight's clash between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Army Black Knights. Unlike Saturday's Army-Navy football game, the Knights are not sporting camouflage uniforms tonight.
The biggest question tonight is whether or not Stanley Pringle will play. The Lions' senior guard sprained his right ankle Saturday against Temple and is listed as day-to-day. He is dressed and currently participating in pregame warm-ups. If I had to guess though, I'd say he won't play. Even if he is close to 100 percent, he likely won't be needed for Penn State to pull out a win tonight. But we'll see.
Army has had a rough start to the season, with wins over Dartmouth in the first game and Bryant on Monday. Penn State will be the first and only major conference opponent the Knights face all year.
G- 10 Marcus Nelson
G- 23 Josh Miller
F- 3 Cleveland Richard
F- 34 John Moonshower
C- 50 Doug Williams
G- 12 Talor Battle
G- 33 Danny Morrissey
F- 15 D.J. Jackson
F- 2 Jamelle Cornley
C- 22 Andrew Jones
Some interesting names on the Army roster with Moonshower, Doug Williams (not to be confused with the former Redskins quarterback, and while they are no longer on the team, I'm partial to the leading scorer combination of Matt Brown and Bob Brown, not to be confused with my dad and I, from the 1970s.
We're about 2 minutes from getting underway.
Despite having the strongest showing of all the teams competing in Sunday's Nittany Lion Open, the Penn State wrestling team dropped to No. 15 in this week's Intermatwrestle.com's rankings.
The Nittany Lions were ranked 13th last week, but the Oklahoma Sooners moved up eight spots in the poll to No. 12 after knocking off rival Oklahoma State on Sunday.
Here's a look at how Nittany Lions grapplers fared in three different website's individual rankings:
133 pounds: Jake Strayer - Not Ranked on intermatwrestle.com, No. 10 on The Mat.com, No. 12 on AmateurWrestling.com
Strayer will now start for Penn State and immediately has returned to the national rankings. The senior was ranked No. 3 in the beginning of the season, so expect his stock to keep rising if he builds off his Nittany Lion Open performance. Despite not being ranked in the intermatwrestle.com rankings, he did appear on two other collegiate ranking websites.
141 pounds: Frank Molinaro - Not Ranked on intermatwrestle.com, No. 20 on TheMat, No. 18 on Amateur Wrestling
The redshirt freshman wrestled really strong this weekend -- assistant coach Matt Dernlan said he saw a huge difference in the freshman from the Hofstra match in which Molinaro showed some signs of backing down. Molinaro did not back down and took care of business, and is now ranked in some individual rankings. They better get used to writing Molinaro's name down on these rankings because I really don't see the dude losing often this season.
149 pounds: Bubba Jenkins - No. 2 on all three sites
Bubba J is undefeated on the season after also taking home a Nittany Lion Open title this weekend. He has remained ranked No. 2 all season long, behind his rival Brent Metcalf from Iowa. Yeah, I don't think you have to tell Bubba that.
157 pounds: Dan Vallimont - No. 9 on intermatwrestle.com, No. 8 on The Mat and No. 7 on Amateur Wrestling
Despite winning the Nittany Lion Open title this weekend, Vallimont dropped a spot in the Intermat poll. The junior looked real sharp Sunday, and he swears he's not letting three early losses get to him. After Sunday, I believe it. But we'll see this Sunday against West Virginia
174 pounds: Quentin Wright - No. 18 on intermatwrestle.com, No. 15 on The Mat and No. 10 Amateur Wrestling
Wright has definitely thrown himself onto the national stage. To be ranked as the No. 10 wrestler in the nation as a freshman is a quite an accomplishment. It will be very, very interesting to see how the freshman responds in times of pressure this year against some really pressurized times in the Big Ten. But hey, we'll see!
184 pounds: Phil Bomberger - No. 19 on intermatwrestle.com, not ranked on The Mat and not ranked on Amateur Wrestling
I kind of don't blame the last sites...can you really keep a guy who is like 1-6 ranked in the top 20? I know 184 isn't the most competitive weight class, but you have to be a little successful to stay ranked. Hey c'mon Phil, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Prove me wrong and earn a win against West Virginia.
This will be our final Top Ten Roundup for the semester as the fifth ranking of the season was released Friday. Like they have for the past 15 rankings, Illinois is in command of the top spot,but there are several changes in the Top Ten. Liberty fell from No. 4 to No. 7 after falling to ACHA Division II Davenport and Rhode Island broke into the Top Ten at No. 9.
1. Illinois (26 1st place votes) - Record: 16-2-0 Last Week: The Illini beat Eastern Michigan 3-0 Friday before winning Saturday's contest 10-1. Up Next: Illinois is finished for the semester. They will open up next semester on the weekend of Jan. 9 as they play at No. 20 Western Michigan.
2. Lindenwood (13) - Record: 21-2-1 Last Week: the Lions took care of No. 12 Kent State, winning both games over the weekend by scores of 4-1 and 6-0. Up Next: Lindenwood is off until the weekend of Jan. 9 when they travel to Norman to take on No. 5 Oklahoma.
3. Penn State - Record: 14-4-0 Last Week: The Icers split a home-and-home series with No. 8 West Chester. Penn State won Friday's contest by a score of 3-2 in a shootout, but the Golden Rams took Saturday's game 6-4. Up Next: The Icers will face Niagara at home Friday in the team's final game of the semester.
4. Delaware - Record: 12-2-3 Last Week: The Blue Hens beat No. 19 Stony Brook 4-3 Friday but fell to the Seawolves in a shootout Saturday by a score of 4-3. Up Next: Delaware is off until Jan. 9 when they host No. 9 Rhode Island in a two game series.
5. Oklahoma - Record: 15-4-0 Last Week: The Sooners fell to No. 9 Rhode Island on Friday by a score of 2-1 but took Saturday's game 5-2. Up Next: Oklahoma will play No. 11 Ohio Wednesday night at home.
6. Iowa State - Record: 21-4-1 Last Week: The Cyclones swept No. 11 Ohio, winning 4-2 Friday and 5-2 Saturday. Up Next: Iowa State will take on intrastate rival Iowa Friday in Ames.
7. Liberty - Record: 15-5-1-1 Last Week: The Flames crushed Virginia Tech Friday night by a score of 9-1. Up Next: Liberty won't take to the ice again until Jan. 9 when they play at No. 13 Robert Morris.
8. West Chester - Record: 15-5-1 Last Week: The Golden Rams fell to No. 3 Penn State3-2 in a shootout Friday but they were able to take Saturday's game 6-4. Up Next: West Chester won't play until Jan. 10 when they travel to take on Maryland.
9. Rhode Island - Record: 12-6-1 Last Week: The Rams split their weekend series with No. 5 Oklahoma, winning Friday's game 2-1 before dropping Saturday's contest by a score of 5-2. Up Next: Rhode Island is off until the weekend of Jan. 9 when they travel to take on No. 4 Delaware.
10. Central Oklahoma - Record: 12-5-1 Last Week: The Bronchos haven't played since taking part in the Michigan-Dearborn Thanksgiving Tournament at the end of November. Up Next: Central Oklahoma will play No. 11 Ohio at home tonight after playing last night. The score of last night's game was unavailable at the time of this post.
That's all for this week's Top Ten Roundup. Be sure to check back with Between the Pipes over winter break for all your Icers news.
Novacek puts in a lay-up following a desperation three to beat the shot clock. The crowd is not entirely convinced the initial shot made it up in time. Maybe the crowd can take solace in the 20-point lead.
Bucknell turnover count: 27.
PSU 65, Bucknell 33 12:22, 2nd half
The ball is just bouncing Penn State's way tonight. Grant rolls over a Bison to keep possession of a loose ball and flings it upcourt to Williams, who makes a couple of shake-and-bake moves to free herself for the jumper.
Meanwhile, Janessa Wolff is throwing a block party, as her stuff of a Wrightson 3-pointer is her third on the night. Wolff currently has four points and five boards to go along with those three blocks.
Bucknell turnover count: 26. Seriously, where can I find this stat? The NCAA record book doesn't even have it.
PSU 57, Bucknell 28 15:38, 2nd half
As both teams came out for the second half, it looks like the tables have turned a little. Penn State started off with three turnovers in its first three possessions, leading to one breakaway lay-up by Schober. Unfortunately for the Bison, those were the only points they got on those opportunities. A Trogele jumper, a Schober turnover and a Grant lay-up seem to have brought everything back to the way they were heading into the intermission.
O'Rourke drives the lane, hit the lay-in and sinks the following foul shot, giving her 15 points for the game. In Penn State's previous possession, Grant knocked down a trey, giving her 18 and making her 3-for-5 from distance. She hit two free throws a few possessions later to give her 20 on the night.
Bucknell turnover count: 24. I'm currently trying to find out what the NCAA record is for turnovers in a single game, because I think those in attendance tonight might just get to see it.
PSU 45, Bucknell 23 at halftime
Meredith Monroe strokes one in from the top of the key. Nine Lady Lions have scored in the opening half.
Taylor Phillips hits two from the foul line with 32 seconds to go. Those were the first foul shots attempted by Bucknell in the half. Penn State has done a great job keeping the ball out of the hands of their post players.
Of course, the Lions have done a great job keeping the ball out of any Bison's hands this half. Bucknell has committed 20 turnovers this half. Let me repeat that: Bucknell has committed 20 turnovers in the first half. Twenty turnovers is bad for a game. Not good times for Bucknell thus far. Penn State has been rolling since tip-off.
PSU 43, Bucknell 21 2:11, 1st half
Zhaque Gray nearly gets her first points of the night after picking off an inbounds pass under the basket. She commits a foul to give the ball back to the Bison, but they have to call a timeout to avoid the five-second violation.
Trogele gets a nice block on a lay-up attempt and nearly saves it from going out of bounds. She gets a steal on the subsequent play and gets it to O'Rourke, who sticks both foul shots. Bucknell then throws away the inbounds pass. For those keeping score at home, that's 14 turnovers so far.
Make that 15 as Trisha Krewson can't hold on to an entry pass. The next time down Christina Chukwuedo gets calls for traveling. I've never seen a 30-turnover game before, but the way Penn State's defense is playing, Bucknell could have 20 by halftime. Especially since Schober just added another traveling violation to the stat book.
Meanwhile, Penn State is looking sharp. Phillips just chased down a long outlet pass, stopped on a dime and dished it to O'Rourke for the lay-up. The Lions are shooting 45.9 percent right now, and 50 percent from 3-point land. O'Rourke is now in double figures as well, putting up 12 points thus far.
PSU 32, Bucknell 14 7:57, 1st half
Wolff grabs a rebound and chucks a lengthy outlet pass to Phillips, who feeds Grant for two more points. That makes it Tyra Grant 13, Bucknell Bison 7.
Bucknell cannot stop throwing the ball to the Lions. Brown's entry pass is easily batting away and the play results in Meggan Quinn's first bucket of the night. So now it's 12 turnovers for Bucknell. There are nine minutes left in the first half. This could be a long night for the visitors.
Bucknell finally got behind the Lions' defense as Wrightson got a back-door lay-up. And with that bucket the Bison are now beating Grant in points. They're still losing to the Lady Lions by 18.
PSU 24, Bucknell 7 11:56, 1st half
Penn State's first turnover is followed immediately by a Renee Womack steal. A rebound that goes out of bounds for Bucknell becomes a Penn State interception. Traveling by Janessa Wolff turns into a bobbled dribble the other way. I'm sensing a pattern. That pattern: Bucknell can not hold onto the ball.
"Bri for three!" exclaims the P.A. announcer, and indeed, O'Rourke is now on the board. Brown answers on the other end with a three-ball of her own. Emily Phillips grabs a loose ball and leads a fast break, dishing out a behind-the-back assist to fellow freshman Renee Womack for the easy lay-up.
O'Rourke comes down the baseline on the next fast break a few seconds later and feeds Grant for the lay-up and one. Grant now has 11 points with a free throw coming after a TV timeout.
PSU 15, Bucknell 4 15:47, 1st half
Grant is lighting it up so far, already netting nine points. Novacek has the only points for the Bison so far, getting both on entry-passes for lay-ups. Bucknell tried to get it back to her before a media timeout, but the pass was thrown out of bounds. That makes five turnovers already for the Bison. Not the best way to start a road game against a team they're 0-8 against.
PSU 15, Bucknell 2 16:29, 1st half
The fans are standing until the Lady Lions score their first bucket. Trogele scooped up consecutive rebounds and worked the ball around to Grant, who stuck a 3-pointer and let the fans sit at about 19:20. Grant went 2-for-3 from distance in the first minute plus.
The Bison have been sloppy with the ball early on, committing turnovers on errant cross-court passes and double-dribbling. Penn State's full-court press forced another one following a nice Williams drive and lay-up. The Lions are running up and down the floor so far; just what they want to do.
Yet another turnover by Bucknell off the press. Grant and Mark have started Penn State off well from the charity stripe, hitting three of four free throws.
Welcome to a special Tuesday edition of the Lady Lions live blog. Your friendly neighborhood reporter Dan Rorabaugh here bringing you all the action from the BJC. After dropping four of its last five games, including a heart-breaker Sunday against Dayton, Penn State needs one tonight to avoid dipping below .500 for the first time this year. We'll see how the Lady Lions do in containing Bucknell guard Amanda Brown, who comes in averaging 15 points per game. The Bison also boast two starting post players averaging nearly seven rebounds a game -- sophomores Joyce Novacek and Cosima Higham.
Here are the starting lineups:
Penn State: G Tyra Grant, G Brianne O'Rourke, G Mashea Williams, F Julia Trogele, F Rashida Mark
Bucknell: G Amanda Brown, G Morgan Wrightson, F Lauren Schober, F Joyce Novacek, F Cosima Higham
Penn State went 1-1 in a pair of big games last week, beating Georgia Tech on the road in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday and losing to Temple on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State's 7-2 record places it in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten, tied for fifth with Iowa. CBS Sports currently ranks Penn State at No. 124 in the nation in its RPI rankings, with the No. 208 toughest schedule. With that said, here's the weekly look at how Penn State's opponents fared in the last week (Dec. 1-7).
-William & Mary L 64-61 at Loyola (Ill.), L 66-50 vs. VCU
-NJIT L 60-39 vs. Stony Brook, L 46-42 at Maryland-Eastern Shore
-Hartford W 97-82 vs. Lafayette, L 70-64 vs. La Salle
-New Hampshire W 57-52 at Colgate, W 64-61 vs. Brown
-Penn L 69-47 vs. Villanova, L 76-65 vs. Navy
-Rhode Island W 85-72 at Northeastern, L 66-65 at Providence
-Towson W 82-64 at Maryland-Baltimore County, L 90-79 vs. Hofstra
-Georgia Tech L 85-83 vs. Penn State, W 63-51 vs. Vanderbilt
-Temple L 68-52 vs. Miami (Ohio), W 65-59 at Penn State
-Army L 59-43 vs. Presbyterian
-Mount St. Mary's L 80-75 vs. Sacred Heart, L 66-65 at Central Conn. State
-Lafayette L 97-82 at Hartford
-Sacred Heart W 80-75 vs. Mount St. Mary's, W 96-86 vs. Farleigh Dickinson
Around the Big Ten
-Northwestern W 59-43 vs. California Riverside, W 73-59 vs. Florida State, W 63-36 vs. DePaul
-Wisconsin W 74-72 at Virginia Tech, L 61-58 at Marquette
-Purdue L 76-60 vs. Duke, W 90-42 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
-Minnesota W 66-56 vs. Virginia, W 71-54 vs. Cornell
-Michigan State L 98-63 vs. North Carolina, W 75-59 vs. Bradley
-Indiana L 83-58 at Wake Forest, L 70-54 vs. Gonzaga
-Michigan L 75-70 at Maryland, W 81-73 vs. Duke
-Iowa L 57-55 at Boston College, W 61-36 vs. Bryant
-Illinois L 76-74 vs. Clemson, W 76-42 vs. Georgia
-Ohio State W 73-68 at Miami (Fla.), W 67-62 at Notre Dame
Non-Conference Opponents' Record: 37-57
Big Ten Opponents' Record: 60-16
Total Opponents' Record: 97-73
After a solid start in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Big Ten fell short and lost 6-5. That makes the ACC a perfect 10-for-10 in the series history. Michigan held a lead over Maryland for much of the game but couldn't finish things out Wednesday night, meaning both Northwestern and Michigan State had to win in the Challenge's final time slot. The Wildcats surprised by ripping apart Florida State in the second half, but North Carolina showed its dominance against the Spartans at Ford Field.
But, by the end of the week, the Big Ten made up for its Challenge misfortunes. Outside of Penn State's loss to Temple, Saturday proved to be a big day for the league. Ohio State managed to pull of a big win against Notre Dame in Indianapolis despite the return of Luke Harongody to the lineup. Harongody scored 25 but Ohio State's Evan Turner stole the show with 28. And this came after the Buckeyes won on the road at Miami earlier in the week.
Michigan also had a huge day Saturday, making up for the Maryland win with an upset of Duke in a rematch of the 2K Sports Classic title game from Nov. 21.
Outside of the Big Ten, things weren't as successful. Temple was handled by Miami (Ohio) before making the trip to Happy Valley, and Rhode Island lost a heartbreaker to Providence. The only win that might be considered noteworthy would be Georgia Tech's 12-point victory against Vanderbilt.
Ohio State entered the AP Top 25 poll at No. 21 this week after its victories over Miami and Notre Dame. The school is ranked for the first time since 2007, when the Greg Oden-led edition of the Buckeyes finished the regular season No. 1.
One school that is surprisingly unranked this week is Michigan. The Wolverines remain on the outside looking in, receiving 119 votes, the third-highest total of unranked teams.
Even more surprising is the fact Northwestern received four votes. Yes, the same school that has been a bottom-feeder in the Big Ten for years is now one of EIGHT schools in the conference either in the poll or receiving votes after it topped Florida State and DePaul last week.
Penn State, Iowa and Indiana are the only three Big Ten schools without any votes.
Oh, and that school in Chapel Hill that produced the greatest hoopster of all time remained a unanimous No. 1.
Rank-Team-(First place votes)- Record-Total votes-Prev. rank
Sorry for the belated update, but here are your results from the Nittany Lion Open which took place Sunday in State College. Penn State made a good showing, crowning champions in half of the weight classes. It also had one runner-up, two fifth-place finishers, and one sixth-place finisher. Let's take a look at each weight class and how the Lions did in each bracket:
125-pound weight class: Brad Pataky and Eric Caschera
Pataky went 6-1 on the day. He was upset in the second round when he was pinned by Prescott Garner from Navy. However, he quickly rebounded and won his next five matches. He pinned two of his seven opponents and also had a technical fall. Pataky finished fifth overall in the bracket.
Caschera went 0-2 on the day, being eliminated quickly from the tournament. He did not place, and he lost to both Allan Stein (Navy) and Ilyass Elmsaquri. (Rider)
133-pound weight class: Jack Chidester, Tim Haas, Adam Lynch, Bryan Pearsall and Jake Strayer
The day started with a wrestle-off between Haas and Strayer, who were meeting in a pig-tail. Strayer won the match 10-2, and since pig-tail losers don't make their way into the wrestle-back bracket, it was the only match Haas wrestled in.
Strayer finished the day 6-0 with three majors and three pins. He won the Open championship and earned the starting position at 133 for the Lions.
Chidester lost both of his matches, finishing 0-2. He did not place in the tournament. He was wrestling unattached.
Lynch had an impressive day, going 5-2 and finishing sixth in the bracket. After starting the day 1-1, Lynch won four straight matches, which included two majors. He lost in his final match to George Ester of Lock Haven.
Pearsall, too, wrestled unattached, and finished the day 2-2. He had an early pin against his first opponent, Austin Clouse. (Navy) He did not place at the Open.
141-pound weight class: Frank Molinaro, Colby Pisani and Jarret Freeman
Molinaro went 5-0 on the day and won the championship at his weight. He had three pins and one major on the day. He won in the final round with a pin in the second period against Rutger's unattached wrestler, Trevor Melde. This is Molinaro's first title at the Open.
Both Freeman and Pisani went 0-1 on the day, and did not place at the tournament.
149-pound weight class: Bubba Jenkins and Christian Harr
Jenkins won his second straight NLO title by going 5-0 on the day. He had four majors and one technical fall in the tournament. Jenkins remains perfect on the season, improving his record to 10-0.
Harr had an impressive day as well, finishing 3-2. He started the day 1-1 before winning three straight matches. He lost his final match to Penn wrestler Bret McCurdy, 3-8. Harr did not place at the Open.
157-pound weight class: Dan Vallimont, Nick Fischer and Shane Everett
Vallimont rebounded after a slow start to his season by going 5-0 and winning the bracket. He had a pin, a technical fall and two major decisions on the day. He won in the final round by majoring unattached Steve Fittery.
Everett went 1-2 on the day and did not place. His only win came in his first match against unattached Keith Ryan.
Fischer wrestled unattached and finished 0-1. He did not place at the Open.
165-pound weight class: Tim Darling, Shane Donnelly and Mark Friend
Darling led Penn State's 165-pound contingent, going 5-1 on the day and finishing fifth in the bracket. He started off the day with two wins before losing to unattached Josh Asper, 10-12. He went on to win three straight matches, which included two pins.
Friend was upset in the first round and ended up forfeiting out of the tournament. He finished 0-2 on the day and did not place.
Donnelly wrestled unattached and went 0-1. He did not place at the tournament.
174-pound weight class: Quentin Wright and Matt Dodds
Wright continued to make an impression in his first collegiate season, finishing 4-1 on the day and being named the runner-up at the Open. He won four straight matches before losing 12-6 in the final round against Matt Letts who was wrestling unattached. He had one pin and one major in the Open.
Dodds went 1-2 on the day and did not place. His only win came against Binghamton's Anthony Esposito in his first match.
184-pound weight class: Phil Bomberger
Bomberger wrestled in only one match at the Open. He finished 0-2 on the day and did not place after getting pinned by Binghamton's Josh Patterson, whom he lost to for the second time. He forfeited out of the tournament after that match.
197-pound weight class: Nathan Andrews, J.R. Brown and Jack Decker
Andrews finished 2-2 on the day, alternating wins and losses between his four matches. He recorded one technical fall on the day, and did not place.
Brown finished the day 1-1 and did not place. His only win came in the first round against unattached wrestler Henry Turner.
Decker ended 2-1 on the day. He pinned unattached wrestler Jack Callender in the third period before being pinned in his final match by Hudson Taylor of Maryland. He did not place at the tournament.
Heavyweight: John Laboranti
Laboranti wrestled unattached and finished 5-0, winning the NLO crown. He had one pin in his second match against unattached Robert Ryhal. This is Laboranti's second NLO title, and he improved his unattached record to 8-1 on the day.
There you have it, the results from the Nittany Lion Open. Come back later this week to check out more information about the No. 13 Penn State wrestling team.
Hello all, I'm Collegian Icers reporter Dean Myers and I'll be with you for tonight's game pitting the No. 3 Penn State ACHA Division I Icers (which gets my vote for mast rediculous first referance in the history of writing) against the No. 8 West Chester University Golden Rams at the IceLine Arena in West Chester.
For those of you who didn't catch last night's first game of the home and home series (played at Penn State), here's a quick recap:
* The Icers won 3-2 by way of a shootout in which the only shooter to miss was defending ACHA Player of the Year, Jim Gehring. He did, nowever, put home the Rams' two regulation goals.
* 50 penalty minutes were handed out between the teams in what became a rather chippy game. Two third period fights only conributed to the "drama." Thanks to that pair of extra-curricular activities, Marek Polidor and Craig Brooks are suspended tonight for Penn State.
* Icers goals were scored by Ryan Paradis and Steve Thurston.
Word is that senior goalie Nick Signet will get the call in net, tonight. It would be the second night in a row he gets the start if true.
After last night's game Coach Balboni let it be known that the emotional (fight-filled) showing was not Penn State hockey. We'll see if West Chester agrees to a fight-free game after last night's game in which the Icers completely out-physicaled them.
It is indeed Nick Signet in goal for tonight. He's joined by an all-senior starting line-up for the Icers, with Andrew Magulick and Steve Thurston partnering in defense and captain Frank Berry, Brandon Rubeo and Steve Peck playing up front.
The game starts and Penn State has a line change. The O'Brien, Zimmel and Kirstein line is out there. Will Kirstein start the physical play up right away?
I'd say no, the Golden Rams are applying sustained pressure, but Signet is holding his own. Scratch that. Gehring just scored his 3rd goal of the weekend and 21st of the season a little more than a minute into the game. Score: WCU 1, Icers 0
West Chester keeps the pressure on, but Signet holds. Penn State composes itself and controls the puck for a bit before the puck gets turned-over in front of Signet, but the goalie holds again. Busy start for No. 33, tonight.
Zimmel powers down the wing, centers to Kirstein, but the shot is wide. That's the end of Penn State's best chance so far.
Luke DeLorenzo in the corner, plays it up to Magulick who shoots it. Rebound bounces out to DeLo and bounces over his stick. He had an open net there. Taylor Cera gets in on the fun, with a backhand attempt but as with the previous two chances, no goal.
The Icers will go on the power play. With the momentum and building pressure do they even it up here? Kirstein fires one off the post. Now Thurston plays it down low to Peck, and it's a GOOOALLL!!! (My best soccer goal call impersonation. Not nearly as colorful in type as it is out loud) Peck's 8th of the season. Score tied. Score: Icers 1, WCU 1
West Chester speeds toward Signet, but again, the senior is there. Score still tied.
Brandon Rubeo's headed to the penalty box, at 9:03 in the period he gets called for interference. Both of Gehring's goals came on the power play last night, so the Icers need to be careful here. DeLorenzo gets ahold of the puck and speeds past Gehring, in on goal and sends a backhand high. Gehring called for hooking DeLorenzo as he sped by, looks like the Icers don't have to worry about Gehring scoring on this power play... Time for some 4-on-4 action. More space usually means more offense, but both penalties are over and the game's still tied.
Icing call moves the face-off into the West Chester zone. Conte with a shot off of the face-off win and it's a blocker save for WCU's Hackney.
Zimmel and O'Brien just wheeled back into the offenzive zone, Zimmel keeps it and it's another Hackney save. He had 61 of those last night. By now that picture has to be familiar to the Icers.
Icers shot goes off the post! They keep the puck in the offenzive zone, down to Peck.Steve Peck just had an open look at the net but couldn't control the puck.
Now West Chester on offense, another Signet save.
This game is awfully fluid, as Nick Seravalli just had a shot for the Icers. Icers keeping the puck in the offensive zone now... West Chester is on offense almost immediately... Now Paradis skates back into the offensive zone. Peck with a shot, but it's out of play.
1:03 left in the period and Icers freshman Paul Daley just had a beauty of a chance, but you can probably guess what the result was. Hackney isn't moving. DeLo just sent another one off the post. Maybe Hackney's just lucky tonight.
End of 1st Period, score tied at 1.
Early on in the new period, Icers give up another goal. 23 seconds in to be exact. Robert Bushman contributes the first WCU goal this weekend NOT from Gehring. Score: WCU 2, Icers 1
WCU stays on the offensive, and Taylor Cera drops to the ice to block the shot. He heads to the bench. Cera's just returned from his second noteable injury of the season, let's hope it's nothing too serious.
And here it is. A scrum breaks out in the corner. For the Icers, John Conte. For WCU, Dave Bixler. Not a full fledged fight, though. Two minutes for roughing for both. Have to wonder if Balboni will have any words for his assistant captain after what happened last night. More 4-on-4 hockey coming... Bushman sends one off the post, but the score's still the same.
Cera's back on the ice, good to see he's not seriously hurt.
Hits are starting to pick-up. And now the Icers return to the power play. Kirstein just had a golden chance on the man-advantage saved by Hackney, who jumpes on the rebound. Power play is over with no damage done. Icers still trail by one.
WCU just fired a shot on Signet, who had to dive on a rebound with the Golden Rams crashing the net. Another scrap breaks out. Two more players head to the box for roughing, with Magulick heading off for the Icers. Almost immediately, Kyle Mills gets called for a hook on Gehring. Two Icers senior defensemen in the box. Goal WCU. This one comes from Bushman, his second of the game, and Mills is right back out of the box. Icers trail by two. Score: WCU 3, Icers 1
Icers head on the powerplay now, a chance to climb to within one. Peck fires one off of Hackney's pad. Kirstein shoots one off of Hackney's shoulder. Ryan Paradis heads to the box, though. Power play over. Icers still trail by two.
Gehring fires a rebound just outside the post. Another rebound comes off of Signet, but again, WCU doesn't make him pay.
DeLorenzo and O'Brien have a 2-on-1 and it's a SAVE. Now O'Brien mixes it up behind the net. Both he and his dancing partner get two minutes for roughing and two minutes for holding. The score mighty not be the same as last night, but the physicality is progressing the same way... This is the third almost fight of the night.
DeLorenzo wins a draw in the WCU zone, but the Golden Rams clear and it's a giant slapshot from Patrick Johnson for his 13th goal of the season. Score: WCU 4, Icers 1
The Icers RESPOND! Not even a minute after WCU took a 4-1 lead, Cera sends one home for his first of the year. He said early this week that this is the first time that he's felt 100 percent in a while. Looks like he was telling the truth. Score: WCU 4, Icers 2
The buzzer sounds and the period is over. Even though the Icers are down by two, they had a lot of chances turned away by Hackney that period. You have to think the Cera goal will give the team a bit of a lift heading into the intermission.
End of 2, the Golden Rams lead by two, 4-2.
Third period underway. Shot totals for the game are in, and after two periods the Icers held a 29-28 lead in shots on goal, so their current deficit isn't a product of not having chances...
West Chester is controlling this period so far, as they've had Signet under constant pressure. He's denying the Golden Rams in their quest for a fifth goal, but he had help as WCU have had at least one hit post this period.
WCU goes on the power play after Kirstein bowled into Hackney. He'll be gone for two minutes for goaltender interference. Cerutti steals the puck at center ice and gets hauled down as he skates in on net. And the refs award him a PENALTY SHOT! A short-handed penalty shot from Cerutti could draw the Icers to within one, but Hackney makes the save! Icers still trail by two and Kirstein is still in the box. Penalty is over, but Cerutti had a golden chance to bring the Icers that much closer to a comeback.
WCU takes a slapshot from the point and Signet saves it, but it bounces off his chest and right onto Gehring's stick. Goal WCU, as Gehring puts home his 22nd of the year.Score: WCU 5, Icers 2
And again the Icers come right back. Paradis scores just 16 seconds after Gehring scores. The Icers are within two again. Score: WCU 5, Icers 3
And just like that the Icers center the puck to Zimmel in the offensive zone and he's brought down. The Icers will have a power play with a little less than 10 minutes remaining and down by two. DeLorenzo just fired a shot off of Hackney's shoulder that popped up and onto the top of the net. 33 seconds left in the power play, and the Icers still havent converted. Zimmel skates in on Hackney and it's another save. Penalty's over, Icers fail to pull within one.
7:01 left in the game and Conte gets sent to the box. If the Icers are going to have any chance to mount a comeback, they'll need to kill off this penalty. DeLorenzo steals the puck, he's skating in on goal and Gehring steals it from behind. WCU back on the offensive. Bushman completes his hat trick. Score: WCU 6, Icers 3
Five minutes left in the game, and an Icer comeback looks fairly remote, now.
A little over three minutes left and the Icers will get another chance with the man advantage. Signet heads to the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Peck fires one off of the crossbar! DeLorenzo fires one too, but Hackney covers.
Time out, Penn State. Coach Balboni recognizes that, however small a chance the Icers have of mounting a comeback, his team needs to score here.
Back on the Ice and Pat Johnson takes down Kirstein. Uner Three minutes to play and another WCU player heads to the box. With Signet on the bench, the Icers have a three-man advantage. DeLo fires one off the post. Peck fires one right back. Zimmel puts home the rebound. His 10th goal of the year. Score: WCU 6, Icers 4
DeLorenzo skates in, fires another, and Hackney gloves it down. The Icers are peppering Hackney now, but he manages to freeze the puck. Whatever Balboni said in that timeout seems to working. And with 1:20 left, Gehring now heads to the box! Not only does he get penalized, but he's been shown the door. The Icers have 1:20 to finish any comeback, and to do so, they'll need two goals here.
One minute to, Icers still trail by two. WCU clears. DeLorenzo hustles back and sends the Icers back on offense. Traffic infront of the net and Hackney keeps it out! Line change and with 27 seconds left,the Icers comeback attempt looks near impossible now. Kyle Mills fires one, but Hackney gloves it.
WCU holds on to win and denies the Icers in their comeback bid. Final Score: WCU 6, Icers 4Comments
That'll do it here from the Bryce Jordan Center for tonight. Again, the final score:
Temple 65, Penn State 59
Morrissey back at the line for the last two... he converts on both and the lead is 6 for the Owls.
Inge at the line for 2. The first hits the front of the rim but bounces forward and in, and he also hits the second.
Morrissey misses a 3 and that will probably do it for Penn State as Ryan Brooks will shoot 2.
Temple's small student section was just chanting "Overrated." I'm not sure how that applies. Don't you have to be rated to be overrated?
That's the game as Temple wins 65-59.
Morrissey picks up a foul to send Guzman to the line for 1-and-1. He misses and PSU grabs the rebound. Battle is fouled with 39 seconds left by Lavoy Allen and will shoot 2.
Battle hits the first but misses the second. Ryan Brooks hits another pair of free throws for Temple. 8 point lead.
Morrissey just got fouled and will go to the line for 3 shots. That's the third time Penn State has been fouled on a 3 point attempt. Hopes of a comeback are slipping away with 21.7 seconds left. Morrissey hits the first and Temple calls a timeout.
0:21 second half
Temple 62, PSU 55
And the life is taken out of the BJC as Temple beats the PSU press and Ryan Brooks gets an open lay-up. 58-51, Penn State misses and Ryan Brooks is now at the line for a 1-and-1. He calmly hits both and just like that all of Penn State's momentum is gone.
Battle beats his man to the basket and gets a wide open lay-up. Temple takes a timeout as it almost got a 5 second call on the in-bounds attempt.
0:55 second half
Temple 60, PSU 53
Penn State comes up with a steal on the in-bounds and Danny Morrissey buries an off-balance 3. What a shot by Morrissey. Timeout Penn State, that is their final one of the half.
1:19 second half
Temple 56, PSU 51
Penn State is in big trouble as Inge might have got away with a walk and connects for 2. Battle just can't get open and throws away a pass to the Owls.
Battle gets off a 3 and is fouled by Inge. The shot fell short so he'll shoot 3. Battle misses the first but hits the last 2.
Now D.J. Jackson is at the line shooting 2, as Penn State is in the double bonus. Jackson clanks the first off the back of the iron but hits the second. The Temple lead is 9.
PSU gets a break as Olmos misses an open hook shot, but Battle misses on the other end and picks up a foul after the rebound.
Battle picks up his fourth foul, and that is Penn State's seventh. Guzman at the line for a 1-and-1. He hits the first and misses the second.
What a pass by Jeff Brooks as he finds Battle cutting down the lane. Timeout Penn State.
1:20 second half
Temple 56, PSU 48
Battle gets an open look off of a screen but throws up a brick from a few feet behind the 3 point line. Inge responds by knocking down a 3 for Temple. The lead is back up to 9, but Jeff Brooks immediately cuts it down with a fade-away jumper.
5:15 left to play and Dione Christmas is finally on the scoreboard with 2 points to put Temple up 51-42. Christmas averaged 21.8 points per game coming into tonight.
Cornley at the line for 1-and-1. He misses the front end but Brooks gets the offensive rebound... and then air balls a 3.
Lavoy Allen with a turn around jumper and the lead is now in double digits for the first time. Ryan Brooks picks up a foul to send Battle to the line for 2. He hits the first and misses the second. Cornley gets another offensive rebound but is blocked on his follow up.
3:41 second half
Temple 53, PSU 43
Inge hits both free throws for Temple and the Owls show a 1-3-1 full court press. Christmas picks up his third foul. Never thought there would be under 8 minutes left and Christmas would have 3 fouls, 0 points.
7:33 left second half
Temple 46, PSU 40
Still no sign of Pringle. From up here in press row, it was hard to tell what happened. All I noticed was the referee blowing the whistle and Pringle quickly limping to the bench before taken back by the trainers. Temple took the lead shortly after the Pringle injury and Penn State has struggled since.
And the free throw woes continue. Battle misses a pair out of the timeout. Penn State is just 7-13 from the line.
Jeff Brooks is still without a field goal, but he was fouled and is at the line. He hits both free throws and the lead is down to 4.
Perhaps the reason Penn State has been able to shoot so poorly and stay so close is that Dionte Christmas has yet to score for the Owls. He's 0-6. Cornley hits a shot down low to cut the lad for two and then causes some concern in the arena as he was slow to get up. Looks like it was just a problem with his shoe as he appears fine.
Lavoy Allen gets an easy slam for Temple on an in-bounds pass. 42-38 Owls. The ball is stolen from Cornley on PSU's ensuing possession and Allen hits Semaj Inge with a great pass down the lane. Inge finishes for 2.
Battle fights through traffic and kicks to Brooks, who hits a nice jumper. Lead back to 4.
Under 8 timeout and Temple will be at the line for 2 when we return.
7:51 second half
Temple 44, PSU 40
Let's see if the Ed DeChellis timeout can settle down Penn State here. Simply put, Penn State needs to start hitting its shots. Still only 29 percent for the game from the field. That won't get it done.
The loss of Stanley Pringle appears to really be hurting Penn State right now. The Lions are struggling to create anything on offense... as D.J. Jackson knocks down a 3 to end the Temple run.
11:31 second half
Temple 40, PSU 34
Temple with a quick basket out of the timeout and Ryan Brooks scores. Morrissey is now 0-3 as he comes up empty from downtown.
Jones gets the feed down low and his shot just misses but he'll head to the line after a foul by Olmos. He hits 1-of-2 at the line.
Ryan Brooks hits a 3 for Temple, Battle misses one for PSU and Allen puts in 2 more for Temple. All of a sudden the Owls have stretched the lead to 40-31.
13:26 second half
Temple 40, PSU 31
Sergio Olmos gets the scoring started in the second half with an easy bucket down low for Temple. But Andrew Jones answered right back with a basket against Olmos.
Christmas misses a 3 and Cornley got called for a questionable foul on the rebound. Olmos misses a shot anyway, PSU looks to cut the lead. Talor Battle is just having a really tough time getting a good look. His shot was blocked, but he gets a steal on the other end and takes it in for a lay up.
And we're tied as Jones hits another shot in the post. D.J. Jackson with a nice blocked shot, forcing a desperation 3 as the shot clock was going down, but the Owls got the long rebound. Ryan Brooks knocks down a 3.
15:47 second half
Temple 33, PSU 30
Matt Brown here to take you through the rest of this game. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I don't have more to add on the mascot game. I'm holding our for a frisbee dog appearance at halftime some time this year.
We'll see if Penn State can turn its shooting around. At this point, the Lions should be pleased that they're only down by four considering the shooting percentage. 2:45 until we start back up.
Before I turn it over to Matt Brown, here's a look at the first-half stats...
The obvious stat that stands out is the Lions' poor shooting from the field. The taller Owls have given PSU fits down low, altering many shots and blocking others. Temple has pretty much neutralized PSU's speed and is connecting on its end.
Michigan and Ohio State have pulled off upsets already today with wins over Duke and Notre Dame, respectively, so it's pretty obvious this game could go Temple's way. Penn State definitely doesn't want to be on the other end of an upset on a day when their arch-rivals pulled off shockers and earned the Big Ten some brownie points with the selection committee for later on in the season.
And as Brown predicted after I spotted the Spikes' mascot before the game, there is a mascot basketball game going, which is by far the most entertaining action on the BJC floor tonight.
He may (or may not) have more on that, as he takes over this blog for the rest of the evening.
Looks like these fans aren't just loud tonight, but smart, as well. During the timeout they started a "We Want Newsome!" chant. Newsome, a Scout.com five-star prospect from Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., is one of the recruits seated behind the basket. He runs a 4.5 40 and, according to Scout, is the No. 8 QB prospect in the nation.
Allen hits a three to put Temple up seven. Cornley responds with his second three of the night.
Yes, you read that right.
Allen misses a three as time winds down, bringing us to halftime.
Temple 28, PSU 24
Looks like Battle was honored as PSU's student-athlete of the week, along with Megan Hodge from the women's volleyball team. That's two players from teams our missed colleague, Nate Mink, covers. The trouper could not be here tonight because his other team had an NCAA tournament match at Rec Hall earlier.
Micheal Eric puts it in to give Temple a five point lead, but Cornley responds for the Lions with a three. Inge drills a jumper on the next possession to put Temple up four.
Daryll Clark is shown on the scoreboard screen, as it appears he, Jay Paterno, Mike McQueary and a number of other well-dressed PSU football players and recruits are seated behind the home basket. I'm lovin' Clark's gray suit with stripes.
Back-to-back Cornley lay ups ties the game and brings the crowd to its feet. Inge responds with a lay-in of his own to put Temple back on top.
Inge then steals it from Cornley and finds a streaking T.J. DiLeo for the lay-in. Temple calls a timeout two possessions later.
1:52, first half.
Temple 25, PSU 21
The Lionettes come out during the break to dance to "Sweet Dreams." The catchy tune makes me wish for a moment that I was partying with the rest of the Collegian staff at the formal tonight, but being the dedicated reporter I am, I'm here with you guys.
...There's always the after-party.
Ramone Moore fouls Stanley Pringle out of the timeout, putting the Lions in the bonus already. Pringle knocks down a pair to put PSU up four.
The speedy Pringle then comes up with a loose ball and takes it coast-to-coast for the lay-in, but he gets called for traveling right before going up. He really appears to be too fast for his own good at times.
Two Owl possessions later, Pringle come down awkward on his ankle, forcing him to go to the bench. Doesn't look too serious, but we'll kee you updated with his condition.
Luis Guzman takes it to the bucket and draws the foul on Battle, his second. The Bronx native knocks down the free throw to put the Owls up one.
And another foul, this one a close call on Jackson, who picks up his second. The angry crowd voices their displeasure with a chant that sounds an awful lot like "grass-goal". Fortunately for them, Inge misses both free throws.
Lavoy Allen lays one in to put Temple up three. Almos misses a jumper on the Owls' next possession, and Brooks steps out of bounds on a 3-point attempt from the corner for PSU, bringing us another break in the game.
7:03, first half,
Temple 17, PSU 14
Christmas is obviously the leader of this Owl team. He's the back-to-back Atlantic 10 scoring champ and shows no signs of slowing down, averaging 21.8 points per game through this young season.
I'll refrain from the million jokes I have about Christmas coming to Penn State before finals this year, so I'll let the Temple athletic department do it.
Christmas is on the front cover of the Owls' media guide in the team's red road jersey amid a green background with a Santa hat on top of the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship Trophy. The headline? "Five Months of Christmas."
...I couldn't even come up with that one.
Meanwhile, back on the court....
...After several scoring exchanges, Almos gets fouled by Jackon after hitting a lay-up. the center can't connect from the line, however, as Temple trails by two. Danny Morrissey replaces Jackson.
And Jeff Brooks now comes in for Jones, giving the Lions three guards, the 6-5 Cornley and the versatile 6-8 Brooks.
After no scoring and several more fouls --- the teams have combined for 11 in the first eight minutes so far --- there's a timeout on the floor.
11:56, first half,
PSU 12, Temple 10
The Lions seemed to have washed the bad taste out of their mouths from their last game, as D.J. Jackson sinks a pair of free throws after being fouled by Dionte Christmas. Battle drills a three on the next possession to put Penn State up 5-0 quickly.
After hitting a pair of free throws, Semaj Inge finds an open Sergio Olmos underneath for the dunk, making it 5-4.
Talor Battle responds, drilling a three and getting fouled right in front of the Temple bench. The point guard hits the free throw, and the Lions have a five-point lead once again just like that.
This crowd is by far the most animated I've seen since the Michigan State upset last February, as they are in on every possession.
Andrew Jones gets fouled by Christmas underneath, his second. And with that, we have our first break in action.
15:58, first half
Penn State 9, Temple 4
Hey folks, Matt Fortuna here to bring you the action from inside the Bryce Jordan Center, where the Nittany Lions host the Owls from Temple.
About five minutes 'til tip-off, and it's easily the biggest crowd of the season at the BJC so far....T.I. may top that tomorrow night, however.
Making its debut at the BJC is the S-Zone, seated high above the basket on the Penn State side. I gotta admit, it's lookin' good.
When the lights went out before the Lions came out for warm-ups, the fans brought out those blue light-up shakers, which actually looked pretty cool.
Not taking part in the lay-up lines tonight is Adam Highberger, who is on crutches after reportedly having teared his ACL in practice. The walk-on had a medical redshirt last season after tearing one ACL over the summer. Early word is he hurt his other leg this time. Poor guy.
Check The Collegian Web site for a Web update, and check the paper Monday for analysis of the game.
Another tough loss for the Lady Lions, who fought back to take the lead, but couldn't capitalize. They are now 4-4 on the season.
Janessa Wolff hits a three, cutting the lead to three. Dayton makes one of two free throws. With 16 to go Dayton leads 65-61. Washington calls timeout.
Trogele fouls out after scoring 12 points and 8 rebounds. PSU down six with a minute to go.
Just a personal note. They have to get rid of the 30-second break after a foul out. Why reward a team for having a player foul out?
After falling behind by ten the Lady Lions cut it to six with 1:37 to go, on a pair of buckets off of turnovers.
But the Flyers, who have shot well from the line in the second half, continue to make their free throws.
3:42 to go 2nd half: Dayton 56, Penn State 49
Grant scores for the Lady Lions, followed by a defensive stop. It'll be PSU ball coming out of the TV timeout.
The Flyers lead is now nine after a pair of missed free throws by Trogele, and a turnover, leading to an easy short jumper by Dayton's Kayla Moses.
If Penn State is going to come back, it's going to have to start soon. Just over four to go, 56-47.
The Lady Lions are back in the full-court press, trying to create turnovers, but Dayton continues to break it with ease.
After coming all the way back to take the lead, the Lady Lions will once again be forced to fight back, as they now trail 54-47.
7:41 to go 2nd half: Dayton 50, Penn State 46
Great hustle play by Meredith Monroe.
With two Flyers standing on the sideline waiting for the ball to go out of bounds, the junior forward dove into the stands, tipped it back in over the defenders' heads to Mashea Williams.
Williams proceded to score, giving the Lady Lions their first lead of the ball game.
Kristin Daugherty responded with a 3-pointer however, putting the Flyers are back on top. Casey Nance added a bucket for the Flyers who now lead by four.
11:31 to go 2nd half: Dayton 44, Penn State 40
The Lady Lions, who rebounded so well in the first half, are once again having trouble on the glass. Dayton has scored four of its last seven points on second chance opportunities.
But even with the rebounding troubles, the Lady Lions have shored up their zone defense, and their transition offense.
When one thing goes right, something else goes wrong. That's what today's been like for the Lady Lions, but they have done enough right to stay in the game, and make the final 11 and a half minutes interesting.
Janessa Wolff has 12 after a couple of layups.
16:22 to go, 2nd half: Dayton 37, Penn State 32
The Lady Lions have cut the lead to five just four minutes into the second half, led by Brianne O'Rourke and Julia Trogele. Dayton, after making its first shot, has gone relatively cold recently, missing four straight. It isn't completely Dayton's poor shooting though, as the Lady Lion defense seems to have turned the intensity up just a bit.
Still down five -- a lot of basketball left.
Halftime: Dayton 35, Penn State 26
After a sloppy start, the Lady Lions fell into a 13-point hole, but have cut the lead down to nine, and played with a lot more intensity in the final five minutes.
That said, they still have a tough road ahead of them if they want to get back into the game. The Flyers are shooting 50 percent to the Lady Lions' 26, and every time Penn State has gone on some sort of run, the Flyers have answered with their hot shooting.
Some stats to note, aside from the shooting percentages:
-Emily Phillips is tied for the team-lead in rebounds with three.
-Dayton is 5 of 11 from 3-point range
-Patrice Lalor has 11 points in the first half for the Flyers, after only averaging 4.5 on the season so far.
2:54 to go first half: Dayton 29, Penn State 22
Freshman guard Emily Phillips has come into the game and provided a spark on both ends of the floor for the Lady Lions forcing a turnover, and hitting a three. A Brianne O'Rourke 3-pointer cut the lead to seven, but Dayton answered right back onr of its own, before O'Rourke found Phillips open in the corner.
The Lady Lions appear to have finally woken up, but they have dug themselves a nice hole to climb out of, and if the Flyers to continue shooting the ball so well, it may be difficult.
The Lady Lions are back in zone defense.
7:13 to go, first half: Dayton 26, Penn State 14
3 for 17
That is what the Lady Lions are shooting from the floor this game, and Washington is not pleased, nor should she be. Heading into the game, this figured to be the Lady Lions toughest non-conference test at home, and its living up to that prediction.
However, in the last few minutes the Lady Lions have been able to string together some defensive stops and some free throws, courtesy of the bonus. We'll see if they can cut into the 12-point Dayton lead before halftime.
Another note, the Lady Lions just went to a full-court press, that the Flyers have broken quite easily.
Dayton hit a three, and after a timeout by the Lady Lions, took a charge. The Dayton bench is going crazy after every Flyer point or defensive stop, and the Lady Lions look a little shaken up by it. Still relatively early, but it's now 17-6 Flyers..
11:48 to go 1st half: Dayton 14, Penn State 6
Trogele just picked up her second foul, and Washington had to take her out of the game. She was one of the few players who seemed in synch on offense today. The FLyers are starting to hit some of their jumshots, and now lead, 14-6. The Lady Lion offense will need to wake up soon before it digs too big of a hole for itself.
The Lady Lions have been playing most of the game in man to man. For most of the season they have played zone, but Washington has switched it up for the game today.
15:55 to go 1st half: Dayton 5, Penn State 2
Dayton opened the scoring with a Patrice Lalor 3-pointer, and followed later with a back-door layup by Marie Rosche. The Lady Lions have had plenty of opportunities for points, but have missed on layups, easy passes and free throws.
The best example coming when Mashea Williams looked like she could have had a three-point play, but missed the layup and proceded to miss two free throws, including an air ball on the second.
The Lady Lion offense looks sluggish early, but the pressure defense is doing its job. Tyra Grant took yet another charge. It's becoming commonplace for the junior to pick up offensive fouls. Another game, another charge taken by Grant. Grant has both the Lady Lions points on a pair of free throws.
Before we get to the lineups, a nice moment before the game as Washington presented Grant with flowers at center court for recording her 1000th point. grant is the 31st Lady Lion to do so, and the 14th to do so as a junior.
No surprises in the lineups, here they are:
It's been a long time since we've come to you live from the Bryce Jordan Center, but after being away for more than two weeks, the Lady Lions return home to face the 5-3 Dayton Flyers in one of their final non-conference matchups.
Hey folks it's AJ Cassavell, keeping you up to date on all the action as the 4-3 Lady Lions look to respond after a loss at Florida State in the women's ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The two programs meet for the first time in history today.
The last time the Lady Lions left the BJC floor, they were 3-0, coming off three consecutive impressive wins. Although they return home 4-3, coach Coquese Washington said she liked the way her team fought even in some of the away losses.
But Washington wouldn't call anything a moral victory.
Come March, the committee won't take moral victories into account when the Lady Lions are hoping to put on their dancing shoes.
The Lady Lions have two non-conference games after this one, against Bucknell, and then against No. 1, potential best team ever, UConn, before opening conference play on Dec. 21 against Michigan State.
Tyra Grant, who scored her 1000th point against Florida State, will lead the Lady Lions , as she has all season, averaging 18.3 ppg.
Dayton has three double-digit scorers in its arsenal--F Justine Raterman, G Kristine Daugherty and F Kendal Ross--none of whom are seniors.
I'll be back in a few with the starting lineups.
Day 2 of the women's ACC/Big Ten Challenge contained more Atlantic Coast dominance, but with a few Big Ten home wins and one near road upset. For the day, the ACC went 4-2, and after its sweep of Day 1 has already clinched another year of the challenge. That makes it 2-for-2 on the women's side and 10-for-10 in the men's edition. Anyone else noticing a pattern here?
The Terrapins trailed by three at the half, but the second-half resurgence of Kristi Toliver helped bring the Terps back and taking their seventh straight victory. Toliver scored 22 of her 24 points after the intermission, going 5-for-10 from the field and knocking down all 10 of her free throws (she went 12-for-12 from the charity stripe on the game). Maryland guard Marissa Coleman notched a double-double by scoring 16 points and collecting 12 rebounds.
Clemson 78, Northwestern 75 (OT)
This was somewhat of a shocker. The Wildcats were 2-6 coming into this game and just came off a crushing loss to Marquette after holding a lead late in that game. But behind Amy Jaeschke's 12 reobunds and career-high 34 points, Northwestern gave now 6-2 Clemson a run for its money. The 'Cats led 67-64 with five seconds to go, but then Clemson's Lele Hardy -- who finished with a team-high 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds -- nailed the tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded. A Sthephany Thomas trey with 36 seconds remaining in the extra session put the Tigers ahead for good.
This one was not so surprising. Iowa scored only 14 first-half points and turned the ball over 28 times. The Dukies, however, shot less than 40 percent from the field for the game and were out-rebounded, 44-39.
Hey, the Big Ten finally got one! Thursday's victory made it seven in a row for the Badgers, which were led by Alyssa Karel's 14 points. Four Badgers scored at least eight points, and one of those -- junior guard Rae Lin D'Alie -- put up eight of her nine in the final six minutes. The Hokies kept it close, though, as guard Lindsay Biggs and forward Utahya Drye were the game's top points-scorers, the two teams both finished with 39 rebounds and Virginia Tech shot better than Wisconsin for the game.
Minnesota managed to one-up Wisconsin's impressive winning streak by extending its own to eight after thumping the Eagles. Katie Ohm led the way for the Golden Gophers, notching 23 points and going 7-for-11 from 3-point territory. The team shot 50 percent from distance. Minnesota had four players record double-digit points, including a double-double by Jackie Voigt.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin and Minnesota's winning efforts won't be enough to salvage this challenge for the Big Ten. Oh well, there's always next year...
On the day the men's teams of the Atlantic Coast Conference won its 10th straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the women's teams showed that maybe, just maybe, the ACC is the better of the two conferences. In Day 1 of the second annual women's edition of the challenge, the ACC swept all three games against the Big Ten.
Following are links to the official box scores to each game held Wednesday night.
Most surprising of the first three games came from the Yellow Jackets, knocking off a ranked Spartan squad. Michigan State out-rebounded the Jackets, but 28 turnovers will just about always lead to a losing effort. Every Spartan but one recorded at least one turnover. The interior-dominated Spartans got to the foul line only five times and made just two free throws. Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery led the Jackets with 20 points and seven boards.
Today's slate of games includes two that can be seen on the Big Ten Network: game-of-the-day No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 17 Purdue at 6:30 p.m. and No. 20 Virginia vs. Illinois at 8:30.
Perhaps taking a cue from Penn State football fans, Purdue students camped outside Mackey Arena Monday night in anticipation of the Boilermakers' contest against No. 4 Duke. Despite concerns about the weather and students missing classes, members of the "Paint Crew" --- the fan club of Purdue coach Matt Painter --- were able to work out a deal with the university so that they could camp out for four games this season. Wisconsin, Indiana (huh?) and Ohio State are the other three games.
Purdue, of course, ended up getting smoked by the Blue Devils, 76-60. The Big Ten/ACC Challenge enters its final night with the conferences tied at three wins apiece.
Lastly, if you caught Sportscenter last night or this morning (and I'd assume most of you usually do), then you saw the incredible finish to last night's game between two SUNY schools, Oswego and Geneseo. It drew the No. 1 play on SC's "Top 10" of the night. I mention this not only because of the thrilling ending, but because the Oswego player making the block right before the game's final shot, Conor Monaghan, is a Xavier High School product, just like yours truly. I like the aggressiveness, Conor. Coach McGrane would be proud.
The Nittany Lion wrestling team switched positions with Boise State in the latest Intermatwrestle.com rankings, moving into the 13th spot.
The rankings, which were released today, also include new individual rankings.
As predicted in the wrap-up of the Sprawl and Brawl Duals, Tim Haas has broken the individual rankings, emerging as the No. 20-ranked wrestler in the nation. Haas is one of only two seniors to be ranked at the 133-pound weight class.
Vallimont and Jenkins stayed put in the rankings, but Quentin Wright moved down another spot from 17th to 18th at the 174-pound weight class.
Bomberger, the 184-pounder, stayed put at 16th after falling a couple spots the week before.
Check out tomorrow's Collegian for Jocelyn's feature on Dan Vallimont and Thursday for an update on Andrew Haile.
Hey, who says the men get to have all the fun? The second edition of the women's ACC/Big Ten Challenge tips off Wednesday and will run through Friday.
Last year, the ACC took home the title, winning eight of 11 match-ups. Only Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State -- which pulled off a shocker at home against then-No. 11 Duke -- won for the Big Ten.
Here is this year's schedule:
Wednesday, Dec. 3
No. 21 Michigan State (6-1) vs. Georgia Tech (5-2)
4:15 p.m. at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, Ga.
This game will pit the Spartans and Yellow Jackets against each other for the first time. Michigan State is coming off its first loss of the season to the hands of No. 14 Notre Dame, while Georgia Tech's two losses have come against No. 1 Connecticut and No. 9 Texas.
No. 2 North Carolina (8-0) vs. No. 18 Ohio State (6-1)
7 p.m. at Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Big Ten Network
This could well be the best game of the challenge. There ought to be some terrific battles down low as UNC's Jessica Breland, averaging 13.5 points and 7 rebounds per game, will being going mano-a-mano with the Buckeyes' Jantel Lavender, who leads the Big Ten in scoring (21.7 points per game) and rebounds (12.1 per game).
Penn State (4-2) vs. Florida State (5-2)
7 p.m. at Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
Both teams are coming off some tough losses. The Lady Lions went 1-2 over Thanksgiving break, losing to No. 24 Pittsburgh and No. 5 Texas A&M. Florida State was stunned by Valparaiso in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational on Saturday.
Thursday, Dec. 4
No. 8 Maryland (6-1) vs. No. 17 Purdue (5-1)
6:30 p.m. at Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Ind.
TV: Big Ten Network
Both teams are coming back to the lower 48 from tournaments in Cancun, Mexico, and Honolulu. After dropping their first game to No. 22 TCU, the Terrapins have won their last six games by double digits. Purdue lost its first game of the year to No. 4 Stanford but won its last two games in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic.
Northwestern (2-5) vs. Clemson (5-2)
7 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C.
Winless in two games on the road this year, the Wildcats are led by 6-foot-5 center Amy Jaeschke's 16.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Clemson comes into the challenge on a three-game winning streak behind junior Lele Hardy, who's averaging 19 points per game.
Iowa (4-3) vs. No. 12 Duke (4-1)
7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.
Iowa dropped its last two games in the U.S. Virgin Islands against South Florida and No. 3 California. The Blue Devils just got back Joy Cheek after the forward had suffered a knee injury and were nearly upset by Western Kentucky on Friday.
Boston College (5-1) vs. Minnesota (7-1)
8 p.m. at Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minn.
The Golden Gophers are riding a seven-game winning streak behind the one-two combo of Emily Fox and Katie Ohm, who average 15.4 and 14.6 points per game, respectively. The Eagles, meanwhile, ride behind ACC player of the week Mickel Picco.
Virginia Tech (5-1) vs. Wisconsin (6-1)
8 p.m. at Kohl Center, Madison, Wisc.
The Hokies suffered their first loss of the year in a blowout by No. 16 Vanderbilt. Wisconisn, on the other hand, is rolling through a six-game winning streak, topped by a 59-58 win over No. 10 Baylor.
No. 20 Virginia (5-2) vs. Illinois (3-4)
8:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall, Champaign, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
It's been a rough couple of weeks for the Illini as the team has lost its last four games, including a 79-52 loss to Maryland on Saturday in Cancun. Virginia, too, is coming off a loss, to 7-1 Gonzaga.
Friday, Dec. 5
Indiana (4-2) vs. Miami (5-2)
7 p.m. at BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Fla.
After losing two straight in the preseason women's NIT, Miami is on a four-game winning streak behind freshman forward Shenise Johnson's 14.1 points per game. The Hoosiers are led by senior forward Amber Jackson, who was named Big Ten co-player of the week.
North Carolina State (4-3) vs. Michigan (4-3)
7:30 p.m. at Chrisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV: Big Ten Network
NC State has lost two straight and three of its last four. The Wolfpack's last two losses were both by 16 points. Michigan had a current three-game winning streak, which began with a 50-42 victory over No. 16 Vandy, before losing Tuesday night to USC in Los Angeles.
With the fourth ACHA Division I ranking of the season coming out just before Thanksgiving break, this will be our only opportunity to take a look at the new standings. The fifth ranking of the season will be unveiled this Friday.
The biggest story over break was the clash of No. 1 vs. No. 2 when Illinois faced off against Lindenwood. However, another story of note is No. 4 Liberty falling to an ACHA Division II team. Read on for the details.
1. Illinois (34 1st place votes) - Record: 14-2-0 Last Week: The Illini haven't played since the weekend of Nov. 21. They split a pair of games with No. 2 Lindenwood, taking Friday's game, 4-0, before being blanked Saturday by a score of 5-0. Up Next: Illinois will play Eastern Michigan at home to close out the fall semester.
2. Lindenwood (7) - Record: 19-2-1 Last Week: Lindenwood held off No. 6 Oklahoma, winning 5-3 on Friday and 4-3 in overtime on Saturday. Up Next: The Lions will travel to No. 10 Kent State this weekend for their final two games of the semester.
3. Penn State - Record: 13-3-0 Last Week: Penn State last played on the weekend of Nov. 21, splitting two games at No. 11 Rhode Island. The Icers took Friday's game, 3-2, but fell in Saturday's contest by a score of 5-2. Up Next: The Icers will play No. 8 West Chester in a home-and-home series this weekend. Friday's game will be played in State College before the two teams travel to West Chester for Saturday's game.
4. Liberty - Record: 14-5-1-1 Last Week: The Flames beat ACHA Division II Davenport (ranked No. 1 in the Division II Central Region) 5-4 on Nov. 22, but then fell to the Panthers the next day by a score of 7-2. Up Next: Liberty will take on another ACHA Division II team Friday when they host Virginia Tech, the No. 13 team in the Division II Southeast Region.
5. Delaware - Record: 11-3-2 Last Week: The Blue Hens haven't played since the weekend of Nov. 21 when they beat Drexel twice (5-2 Friday, 5-3 Saturday). Up Next: Delaware will face No. 17 Stony Brook at home this weekend.
6. Oklahoma - Record: 14-3-0 Last Week: The Sooners lost two tough games at No. 2 Lindenwood, falling by a score of 5-3 Friday before dropping Saturday's game in overtime (4-3). Up Next: Oklahoma will welcome No. 11 Rhode Island this weekend.
7. Iowa State - Record: 17-4-1 Last Week: The Cyclones beat Navy on Saturday by a score of 5-2. Up Next: Iowa State will play No. 12 Ohio at home this weekend.
8. West Chester - Record: 14-5-0 Last Week: The Golden Rams went 2-1 at the Navy Tournament. West Chester lost its first game, 7-1, to No. 7 Iowa State before rebounding with wins over Washington & Jefferson (8-5) and host Navy (6-2). Up Next: The Golden Rams will take on No. 3 Penn State in a home-and-home series this weekend.
9. Central Oklahoma - Record: 12-6-1 Last Week: The Bronchos beat No. 13 Michigan-Dearborn by a score of 9-5 on Friday. The following day they fell to No. 19 Western Michigan, 3-1. Up Next: Central Oklahoma will take on No. 12 Ohio at home this coming Monday and Tuesday in the teams' last two games of the semester.
10. Kent State - Record: 12-7-1 Last Week: The Golden Flashes crushed Rutgers 12-3 on Saturday, then lost to Robert Morris the next day by a score of 5-4. Up Next: Kent State will take on No. 2 Lindenwood at home this weekend to finish their fall semester portion of the schedule.
That's all for this week's Roundup. Be sure to check back with Between the Pipes for the latest news on the Penn State Icers, and we'll check out the freshest batch of rankings next Tuesday.
The Big Ten got off to a good start last night in the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, as Wisconsin survived a furious Virginia Tech comeback led by A.D. Vassallo and won thanks to a Trevon Hughes floater with under a second to play.
The Big Ten has never won the challenge but will enter Day 2 with a 1-0 advantage.
Iowa at Boston College, 7 on ESPNU
Ohio State at No. 21 Miami, 7 on ESPN
Clemson at Illinois, 7:30 on ESPN2
No. 4 Duke at No. 9 Purdue, 9 on ESPN
Virginia at Minnesota, 9:30 on ESPN2
Wednesday night's schedule:
Indiana at No. 15 Wake Forest, 7:15 on ESPN
Penn State at Georgia Tech, 7:30 on ESPN2
Michigan at Maryland, 7:30 on ESPNU
No. 1 North Carolina at No. 13 Michigan State, 9:15 on ESPN at Ford Field
Florida State at Northwestern, 9:30 on ESPN2
Obviously the big games to watch are tonight's Duke-Purdue clash and tomorrow's North Carolina-Michigan State showdown at the 2009 Final Four site in Detroit. Ohio State-Miami is pretty intriguing as well.
Penn State's last road game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was also at Georgia Tech, as the Nittany Lions fought hard against the Yellow Jackets but fell 77-73 -- although Thaddeus Young was not suited up for the game. Last year, Penn State defeated Virginia Tech at the Bryce Jordan Center, 66-61. Wednesday's game will mark Penn State's first appearance on the ESPN networks this year with John Saunders and Bob Valvano calling the action from Atlanta.
While the Big Ten got off to a nice start, it's still hard to imagine it ending the ACC's run. Let's just hope the games continue to be as exciting as the Wisconsin-Virginia Tech finish. It should be a fun couple of nights for watching college basketball.
The WNBA's first dynasty has struggled on the court the last few years, but the bottom was finally hit with the announcement of the disbanding of the Houston Comets.
The team, which won the league's first four championships, is being shutdown because it can't find any owners, according to an ESPN story.
While the league says the rest of the teams are safe, it's sad news that one of the more prominent franchises in the league's 12 seasons is being shut down.
The list of players who suited up for the Comets (especially during their four-year title run from 1997-2000) is truly astounding:
And, of course, Penn State coach Coquese Washington. She played for Houston from 2000-02 and won the WNBA championship in 2000. In her second season with the franchise, she started at point guard for all 32 games.
Ironically, one of the most memorable moments in league history came in 1999, when Houston lost in Game 2 of the Finals to the New York Liberty. New York's Teresa Weatherspoon hit a half-court shot as time expired to win the game in front of a sellout crowd in Houston. The win kept the Comets from winning the title (but that didn't keep some fans from releasing confetti prematurely...only slowly did the cheers die as fans realized NY had won). However, Houston would win the title the next game.
But the moment is probably the best in league history.
Here's a clip of it below. The video isn't fully cooperating, so here's the posted link. "The Shot" starts at 6:48. And it's shown clearer the second time, so if it's hard to see because it's blurry at first, just wait for the replay.
The look on Thompson's face from 7:18-7:21 is priceless, isn't it?
I actually have a little anecdote to go along with that story. I was downstairs playing video games when "T-Spoon" made the shot, and I heard screaming from upstairs. My mom, a Liberty fan, was, shall we say, very excited with the shot. My friend said afterward he thought my mom screamed because saw a mouse.
But I digress...
Back to Houston.
From 1998-2000, Houston posted a record of 80-14. It beat New York three times in four seasons for the title.
But in recent years, two of the "Big Three" (Cooper, Swoopes and Thompson) left, with only Thompson remaining. Longtime coach Van Chancellor also left in Jan. 2007 and is now the head coach at LSU.
Although the franchise hasn't reached the playoffs the last two years, it's still unfortunate to see one of the WNBA's flagship franchises disbanding.
After all, it was the league's first dynasty. I guess it's fitting that it's another first: the first franchise that won a title to be disbanded.
A day later than usual this week, but it's once again time to take a look at how Penn State's opponents fared last week (Monday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 30). The Nittany Lions went 2-1 for the week in three games at the Palestra in Philadelphia. They beat Penn on Tuesday before picking up a loss to Rhode Island and win over Towson in the Philly Hoop Group Classic. With the consolation game against Towson, the Tigers will now be included in this weekly wrap-up.
-William & Mary W 73-53 vs. Radford, W 74-63 vs. South Carolina State, L 80-74 at Liberty
-NJIT L 61-48 at Towson, L 50-38 vs. Hartford, L 55-47 vs. Monmouth
-Hartford L 94-72 at Rhode Island, W 50-38 vs. NJIT, L 103-63 vs. Niagara
-New Hampshire L 63-61 at Marist
-Penn L 85-73 vs. Penn State, L 73-63 at Albany
-Rhode Island W 94-72 vs. Hartford, W 77-72 vs. Penn State, L 78-64 vs. Villanova
-Towson W 61-48 vs. NJIT, L 64-47 vs. Villanova, L 78-54 vs. Penn State
-Georgia Tech W 74047 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, W 79-76 vs. Jacksonville
-Temple L 83-73 at Buffalo
-Army L 80-73 at Brown, L 66-54 at Harvard
-Mount St. Mary's L 72-60 at George Mason W 78-69 vs. Boston U.
-Lafayette L 73-59 at Colorado, L 82-78 at Central Connecticut State
-Sacred Heart W 63-57 vs. Yale
Around the Big Ten
-Northwestern L 57-53 at Butler
-Wisconsin L 76-57 vs. Connecticut, W 67-46 vs. Milwaukee
-Purdue W 71-64 vs. Boston College, L 87-82 vs. Oklahoma
-Minnesota W 88-67 vs. Eastern Washington, W 90-76 vs. North Dakota State
-Michigan State L 80-62 vs. Maryland, W 94-79 vs. Oklahoma State, W 65-57 vs. Wichita State
-Indiana L 88-50 vs. Notre Dame, L 80-54 vs. St. Joe's, W 81-79 at Chaminade, W 72-57 vs. Cornell
-Michigan W 83-49 vs. Norfolk State, W 66-64 vs. Savannah State
-Iowa W 75-41 vs. SE Missouri State, L 87-68 vs. West Virginia, W 65-63 vs. Kansas State
-Illinois W 69-63 vs. Kent State, W 48-44 vs. Tulsa
-Ohio State W 61-57 vs. Bowling Green, W 59-22 vs. Samford
Non-Conference Opponents' Record: 28-42
Big Ten Opponents' Record: 47-8
Total Opponents' Record: 75-50
The Big Ten finally started to gather some losses this week as it faced some tougher competition. Indiana had the roughest week, as it traveled to the Maui Invitational and was blown away by Notre Dame and St. Joe's before just barely squeaking by the great Chaminade. Tom Crean has his work cut out for him in his first year in Bloomington.
Ohio State barely got past Bowling Green but then went out and held Samford to 22 points -- only six of which came in the first half. Samford went just 9-48 (18.8%) from the field in that contest. Ouch.
Michigan needed overtime to beat the mighty Savannah State Tigers. So there were certainly a few games that were closer than they should have been in the Big Ten, but no one really had a terrible loss... unless you include Michigan State getting smoked by an unranked Maryland team at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
The Big Ten also came up short in the biggest matchups of the week, as Purdue fell in a close one against Oklahoma in the finals of the NIT, while Wisconsin was manhandled by Connecticut in the Paradise Jam.
Outside of the Big Ten, Penn State's opponents have not held up well. Only Rhode Island, Georgia Tech and Temple have records above .500, and Temple just lost to Buffalo. The Lions lost to Rhode Island on Friday, so this week's games against Georgia Tech and Temple are cleary very, very important in terms of getting a couple of non-conference wins over bigger name teams.
North Carolina remained at the top of the AP poll released Monday. It received all 72 first-place votes. The Tar Heels went 4-0 this past week, including a 15-point win over Notre Dame to win the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Irish actually jumped up a spot despite the loss. Carolina, meanwhile, followed its trip to Hawaii with a 116-48 thrashing of UNC-Asheville last night ... without Tyler Hansbrough.
Syracuse entered the rankings at No. 16 after defeating Florida and Kansas to win the CBE Classic. Its fellow Big East squad, Louisville, fell to No. 11 after 68-54 loss to Western Kentucky.
On the Big Ten side of things, Purdue moved up one spot to No. 9 despite its loss to the Blake Griffi...err, Oklahoma Sooners. Michigan State fell eight spots to No. 13 after getting smacked by Maryland.
...annnd Wisconsin fell out of the rankings after its 19-point loss to Connecticut. Ohio State, Michigan and Illinois all collected votes.
The rest of the poll is below...
Rank-Team-(First place votes)- Record-Total votes
1. North Carolina (72) 7-0 1,800
2. Connecticut 6-0 1,723
3. Pittsburgh 7-0 1,592
4. Duke 7-0 1,526
5. Gonzaga 5-0 1,489
6. Oklahoma 6-0 1,437
7. Notre Dame 5-1 1,359
8. Texas 5-1 1,231
9. Purdue 5-1 1,086
10. Tennessee 5-1 1,016
11. Louisville 2-1 1,003
12. UCLA 4-1 966
13. Michigan State 4-1 946
14. Xavier 6-0 902
15. Wake Forest 6-0 736
16. Syracuse 6-0 668
17. Villanova 6-0 570
18. Memphis 4-1 526
19. Arizona State 5-1 401
20. Georgetown 4-1 388
21. Miami (FL) 4-1 309
22. Davidson 5-1 286
23. Florida 5-1 281
24. Baylor 6-1 272
25. Marquette 5-1 221
Others Receiving Votes
Kansas 186, Dayton 109, Wisconsin 100, Clemson 72, Ohio State 52, Florida State 28, Brigham Young 23, Michigan 18, LSU 16, Washington State 15, Illinois 12, UAB 8, Texas A&M 6, Butler 6, Missouri 6, Saint Mary's 5, USC 2, Navy 1, Nebraska 1.
A quick note of importance for the Lady Lions, and for the rest of NCAA Division 1 women's basketball.
The UConn Huskies are good, maybe even too good.
They were too good for No. 4 Oklahoma on Sunday, knocking off the Lady Sooners, 106-78. The game was supposed to be a battle of powerhouses, and a chance for someone other than UConn to assert themselves this season. Instead, the Huskies proved once again that the road to a title still runs through Storrs.
As for the Lady Lions, they played the No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies tough last Friday, losing by just four. It was a good non-conference test for the Lady Lions, but "test" doesn't accurately describe the task the Lady Lions have this Dec. 14, when they travel to Madison Square Garden to face the Huskies.
UConn's Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore are early All-America candidates, and the Huskies are 5-0 with five double-digit wins.
The Lady Lions have looked good at times this season, but if UConn plays like they did Sunday, in might not matter. It may be early to talk about undefeated seasons, but if there ever was a team that could start looking four months ahead it is UConn.
The Lady Lions' best strategy will be to do everything they can to head into the game 7-2, and then hope for the best.
Either way though, it can't hurt a program, to play the best team in the nation in the best arena in the nation.