Since Penn State began playing basketball in the Bryce Jordan Center, there have been many occasions in which the team's fans left the arena with the sour taste of defeat in their mouths. However, there have been some memorable victories for the Lions at the BJC. One of those contests happened last night as Penn State stunned No. 4 Michigan, 84-78.
See how that win stacks up against nine others in our list of the Penn State's 10 biggest wins at the Bryce Jordan Center:
1. Penn State 64, No. 23 Illinois 63 - March 5, 2009: With Penn State trailing by one and eight seconds left on the clock, there was nowhere the ball was going but the hands of Talor Battle. Off a missed free throw by the Illini, Battle took the ball the length of the court, knifed through all five defenders and his layup rolled around the rim, off the backboard and through the net to send the BJC into a frenzy. A good portion of the 13,091 fans in attendance, who were clad in white, rushed the floor to celebrate with Battle and his teammates.
2. Penn State 84, No. 4 Michigan 78 - Feb. 27, 2013: Penn State fans don't need a reminder about this one. In arguably the biggest upset in the nation this season, the Lions, who entered the game with an 0-14 Big Ten record, battled back from a 15-point deficit in the final 10 and a half minutes to stun the fourth-ranked Wolverines. In what is currently by far the biggest win of Patrick Chambers' tenure in Happy Valley, the Nits outscored Michigan 33-12 in the last 10:39 and all of their starters scored at least nine points. Jermaine Marshall led the way with 25 points, the final two coming on a left-handed scoop layup that gave Penn State a three-point advantage with just about a minute remaining.
3. Penn State 77, George Mason 73 (OT) - March 17, 2009: It looked like Penn State was destined for the NCAA Tournament after the team's win against Illinois in March 2009, however, that wasn't the case. The Nittany Lions had to settle for the National Invitation Tournament. With Penn State trailing George Mason by three points with 4.8 seconds left, it looked like Penn State was destined for a first-round exit from the NIT, however, that was not the case. Enter Battle, again. The then-sophomore drove down the right side of the court, and buried a wild pull-up, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to force overtime. The Lions went on to not only win the game, but the whole tournament.
4. Penn State 74, No. 5 Purdue 63 - Feb. 21, 1998: This was Penn State's first big upset at the BJC. Peter Lisicky and Jarret Stephens combined for 36 points in the stunner against the Boilermakers. At the time, it was the Lions' first win against a top-5 opponent in 50 years. And besides Wednesday night's upset of Michigan, it's the only time Penn State has sent a top-5 opponent home from the BJC with a loss.
5. Penn State 98, No. 6 Illinois 95 (OT) - Jan. 31, 2001: Though the 2001 team's two most famous victories (Michigan State and North Carolina), both came on neutral courts, the Lions got the best of sixth-ranked Illinois on a January night at the BJC. It took five extra minutes to decide the contest, after Illinois' Frank Williams hit a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but Penn State prevailed in the extra period. Titus Ivory scored a game-high 27 points, while the Crispin brothers (Joe and Jon) combined for 34 points.
6. Penn State 56, No. 17 Wisconsin 52 - Jan. 29, 2011: As far as months go, January 2011 was likely the best in history for Penn State at the BJC. Penn State beat three ranked opponents at home in the same month, but this victory against the Badgers stood out the most. With 14,292 fans filling the BJC, Battle — Penn State's all-time leading scorer — dropped 20 of his game-high 22 points after halftime as the team picked up a win to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume. Wisconsin held a nine-point lead after the first 20 minutes, but Battle and his teammates stormed back. Jeff Brooks added 12 points, while Andrew Jones corralled 14 rebounds.
7. Penn State 57, No. 16 Illinois 55 - Jan. 11, 2011: No heroics for Battle this time. The guard's layup attempt with the game tied and the clock winding down didn't fall. But luckily for Battle and the Lions, Andrew Jones was there to put the miss home with a dunk just before time expired to give Penn State a thrilling victory over a top-20 team. Battle did finish with 26 points, which included a 3-pointer he drained from the edge of the Nittany Lion logo near halfcourt.
8. Penn State 65, No. 10 Temple 64 - Dec. 1, 1998: The Lions squeaked by their highly ranked intrastate rival more than 14 years ago for a rare nonconference addition to this list. Joe Crispin, a sophomore at the time, hit a game-winning jumper with 20 seconds left and finished with a team-high 18 points.
9. Penn State 68, No. 17 Indiana 64 - March 9, 2008: No Geary Glaxton, no Jamelle Cornely, no problem for the Lions against the No. 17 Hoosiers. Claxton and Cornley were the Lions' two most productive players five seasons ago, but were both sidelined against Indiana. Penn State got 41 points from its freshman, including double-digit performances from D.J. Jackson (13), Jeff Brooks (12) and Talor Battle (10), and beat an Indiana team led by future first-round NBA selections, Eric Gordon and D.J. White.
10. No. 20 Penn State 76, Minnesota 61 - Jan. 11, 1996: The Nits opened up the BJC in style with a 15-point beating of Minnesota. In the inaugural game at the arena, 14,852 people packed the seats of the new home of Penn State basketball. Calvin Booth scored 17 points, as Penn State rattled off its 12th straight win to start the season.
On Wednesday, the first day of the Big Ten swimming and diving championships, the Penn State men's swimming team set a school record in the 200-medley relay.
Going into Thursday the Lions sit in sixth place out of 10.
The team of Nate Savoy, James Wilson, Sean Grier and Shane Austin finished with a time of 1:25:38, good for a fourth place finish. The previous record was set last year at the Big Ten championships by a team featuring Grier and Austin.
The 200 Medley team also qualified for an NCAA "A" cut.
In the other race of the day, John Hauser, Nick Ankosko, Austin and Matt Salig finished eighth in the 800-freestyle relay.
There are some names in sports that you have to double take while scanning a roster, or watching a sport event.
If you're a Penn State fan, there's one on the men's lacrosse team. Junior midfielder Tom LaCrosse has five goals and one assist in three games for No. 8 Penn State this season. And yes, his name is Tom LaCrosse.
In light of LaCrosse, I decided to create a list of the Top Nine most destined sports names. Why nine? Because I couldn't think of 10.
Honorable Mentions: Seven Costanza, Boobie Miles. If only they weren't made up in pop-culture.
9. Sonny Sixkiller
Born on Sep. 6, 1951, Sonny Sixkiller was given the No. 6 at the University of Washington. Sixkiller was the quarterback and threw up six points on the scoreboard. He tallied 35 career touchdown as a Husky.
8. Roland "Rollie" Fingers
One of the best relievers in baseball has the name Fingers...destiny.
The three-time World Series champ had a remarkable career with the Athletics and the Brewers, redefining the modern relief pitcher.
Fingers ended his career with 341 saves and 1,299 strikeouts. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1992 as the second reliever ever to be inducted.
7. Simon Gagne
Recently acquired Philadelphia Flyer Simon Gagne last name translates to win in French. Fitting for the left winger who just won the Stanley Cup last season with the Los Angeles Kings. Now Philadelphia fans hope Gagne can bring the same luck in his second stint with the Flyers.
6. Larry Playfair
"I remember my mom telling me 'You've got to learn to control your temper," Playfair told a Buffalo Sabres magazine. "I'd get mad really quick about stupid things, I mean anything. I remember once, [in midget hockey] we lost a playoff game, and we were going down the line, shaking hands, and I just drilled a kid right in the head, I was just so mad."
What a nice guy.
5. Hubert Green
Green is a former professional golfer who won 23 golf tournaments on the PGA and Champions tour. He must have landed the ball on the green quite often.
4. Homer Bailey
For a pitcher, "Homer" might not be the best name to have. Luckily for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey, homers don't bother him too much.
Last season he gave up 26 home runs in 33 starts. Not too shabby for a guy named Homer.
3. Quentin Jammer
A cornerback, who's goal is to jam a wide receiver, named "Jammer"? That's a match made in heaven.
San Diego Charger Quentin Jammer also had three interceptions last season. Think there's somebody with the last name "interception"?
2. Prince Fielder
It's a great name in general, but Prince Fielder was born to play baseball. He also has the genes from his father Cecil, a Detroit Tigers legend with 319 career home runs.
Prince isn't the best fielding first baseman, but he holds his own, posting a .992 fielding percentage in 2012.
He also belted 30 home runs last season for the 2012 pennant-winning Tigers.
1. Usain Bolt
The fastest man in the world [for a 100m, let's see him run a 5K] has the last name Bolt. If that's not fate, I don't know what is.
In case you forgot, Bolt holds the world record in the 100m with a time of 9.58 seconds set in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He also became the first sprinter ever to win the 100m and 200m in two consecutive Olympics this past summer in London.
After this list, I'm really debating naming my kid Forty. What do you guys think?
Come back tomorrow when I bring you the second part of the two-part series with the Top 10 list of the greatest names ever in sports.
Here's a preview, former New York Ranger Per Djoos. I kid you not, it's pronounced "Pear Juice."
Tweet us your reactions to the list @TDC_Sports and @ZackNeiner
The significance of Penn State’s meeting on Wednesday night against Michigan extends beyond another conference game as Rare Disease Day will be acknowledged.
The day will be celebrated prior to the tip, as Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes will host a push-up challenge. Penn State’s chapter will attempt to reach 7,000 push-ups in honor of the day. The event is open not only the Penn State football team, but to all Penn State fans and students as the group tries to match the nearly 7,000 rare diseases through push-ups.
Uplifting Athletes is a nonprofit organization that associates with football programs at 14 different universities. Every campus’ goal is to raise awareness for the rare disease that each is assigned.
The challenge will begin one hour prior to gametime at 5:30 p.m. in Portal 31 of the Bryce Jordan Center. Attendees will also have the opportunity to buy the “Iron Lion” t-shirts, as well. Proceeds of the shirt sales will go directly to the Kidney Cancer Association, the disease sponsored by Penn State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes.
For fans and students who are unable to make the push-up challenge, they can participate in the cause virtually by using “#BTNLiveBig @UpliftingAth”. Uplifting Athletes will count push-ups through photos and videos fans tweet in order to achieve their goal.
During the 10 years of the chapter’s existence, it has raised over $700,000 with an excess of $110,000 coming just last year.
Throughout the entire month of January, coach Mark Pavlik’s catch phrase was “January volleyball” for describing his No. 9 Penn State squad. His team always has to work out the kinks early on.
When the calendar flipped a page to February, the coach changed the term to “February volleyball.” In the second month of the season, the team is steadily progressing, according to Pavlik.
So before the calendar turns a page and Pavlik starts using March volleyball, it’s time to reflect on how the Nittany Lions have developed.
- Penn State went 6-2 and 5-1 in conference play in the month of February. Penn State was also 5-1 at home.
- The Lions won four matches in sweeps in February.
- Penn State averaged more kills per set this month (13.76). Last month, the Lions averaged 13.04 kills per set.
- The Lions’ hitting percentage also went up this month, hitting .287, .030 more than last month.
- Penn State was also blocked 7.81 per match this month, down from last month’s total of 9.43.
- The Lions did go 1-1 two straight weekends in the month, including a loss to Harvard. It was the first loss in conference play in 61 matches with a conference foe.
- Penn State averaged 5.57 aces per match in the first month of the year. In the second month, Penn State only averaged 4.75 aces per match.
- In February, Penn State sided-out 65 percent of the time. In January, Penn State sided-out 68 percent of the time.
- Opponents also hit .244 in February. In January, opponents only hit .188 against Penn State
Despite losing the doubles' point early on, No. 48 Penn State swept singles play at the Sarni Tennis Center in University Park on Sunday and cruised to an easy 6-1 victory over No. 49 Virginia Commonwealth.
Chelsea Utting and Jaqueline Zuhse continued their personal hot streaks, as neither one has lost a singles match all year. Zuhshe in particular played well against VCU, winning her match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
No. 36 Petra Januskova also played well, winning her singles match 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to improve to 7-1 on the year.
The trio of Januskova, Utting, and Zuhse continues to be a big part of the early season success the Nittany Lions have had. Including their 5-2 victory over West Virginia on Saturday, the Lions are now 9-0 on the season.
And with only one loss amongst its top three lineup, Penn State looks ready to make some noise in Big Ten play this season.
Penn State rebounded nicely from a 6-1 loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday, dominating William & Mary 6-1 on Sunday to improve its record to 5-6 on the year and earn a split in its weekend series.
"Today we came out alot more focused and poised," coach Jeff Zinn said. "We were determined to play well in all facets of the match, and I thought we all played well today."
Penn State almost swept doubles play, as Russell Bader and Guanhua Chen led the way by winning the No. 1 doubles spot, 8-6. Bryan Welnetz and CJ Griffin followed them up by provided the clinching doubles point with their 8-1 victory in the second slot.
Bader and Welnetz in particular were strong for the Nittany Lions on the day. Welnetz knocked off William & Mary's Aaron Chaffey in the No. 1 singles slot, 6-3, 6-4, and Bader grinded out a victory in the second slot, 3-6, 7-6, 10-5.
The duo will continue to be important heading into Big Ten conference conference play, which starts at home next week against No. 4 Ohio State.
"Its great to start off with the best in the conference, the players are looking forward to the challenge," Zinn said.
With a strong day one performance under its belt, the men’s team turned its momentum into a third place Big Ten finish Saturday, on the heels of some impressive individual performances.
Sophomore Robby Creese, freshman Brannon Kidder, and senior Casimir Loxsom paced the team with their three individual victories.
Loxsom stole the show, winning the men’s 600-meter in record setting fashion. His time of 1:15.42 is a new Penn State record, a new Big Ten record and the fastest time ever run by an American.
Creese, after anchoring Penn State’s Big Ten Champion distance medley relay on Friday, continued his championship caliber weekend by winning the mile run with a time of 4:01.51 to bring home Penn State’s first Big Ten championship in the mile.
Kidder, also a member of the Penn State distance medley relay, brought home Penn State’s fifth 800-meter Big Ten title in the last six years with a time of 1:49.73.
Penn State’s total of 87 points was just three off of Wisconsin’s Big Ten Championship total of 90.
The Nittany Lion women also put forth a solid team effort to amass a total of 73 points on the weekend, good for a fourth place finish.
Juniors Mahagony Jones and Marlene Rickets paved the way for the Lions, earning silver medals on Saturday in the 60-meter dash and the triple jump respectively.
Jones had a busy weekend and earned points in both events she competed in. Jones finished second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.42, and fourth in the 200 meters with a time of 23.56.
Ricketts turned in a lifetime-best 42-04.75 in the triple jump for a second place finish. Her effort is good for second best in the Penn State record books.
Jones and Ricketts were backed by a number of top five finishes in track events as well as a fifth place finish from junior captain Melissa Kurzdorfer in the weight throw.
Illinois took home the women’s Big Ten Team Championship with a point total of 115 edging out second place Wisconsin by just three points.
Full men's and women's 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships results can be found here.
Friday was junior outside hitter Peter Russell’s birthday, and the Maryland native record 15 kills and was named the Mike Anderson Player of the Match.
Tonight was little brother Aaron’s night to shine as the sophomore outside hitter set a career-high 22 kills helping No. 9 Penn State defeat Princeton in four sets, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 27-25.
With the win, the Nittany Lions improved to 6-1 in the EIVA and 12-3 overall.
“I was looking at Taylor [Hammond] on the floor,” the younger Russell said. “He would come up to me and say ‘you’re getting this ball. Put it away for me.’ That’s an honor, but it’s also a big task, I guess. I was able to pull through. It was fun. I had fun competing.”
Aaron surpassed his career-high of 17 kills, which he set earlier this season against Hawaii, while hitting .395.
Senior Tom Comfort added 14 kills, and both Matt Seifert and Peter Russell recorded nine.
“He just kept hitting the same shot real affectively, and we couldn’t stop him,” Princeton coach Sam Shweisky said. “If I were him, I’d keep doing that too.”
Princeton, who outhit Penn State .234-.219, stuck with the Nittany Lions as the teams were tied 27 times in the first three sets. All 13 of the lead changes also came in the first three sets.
While the Tigers outhit Penn State, the Lions finished the match with a season-high 59 kills. Princeton recorded 47.
“When you get down to matches like this, it boils down to how many opportunities you have to get kills,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. “That 12-kill difference between us and them, I think ,was really the difference in the match.”
A tie game blew open in the seventh inning, extending Penn State's losing streak to three games on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (1-3) ultimately lost 4-1, but took a 1-0 lead right out of the gates against Liberty (2-2).
With two outs and runners on first and second, J.J. White battled with Flames pitcher Carson Herndon, fouling off five pitches on a 2-2 count. He then singled up the middle, driving home James Coates.
That was the only run the Lions scored, though. The Flames tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth inning with a double from Danny Grauer.
The seventh inning then put the Flames up for good. Cody Lewis, who filled in for starter Dave Walking on Feb. 15 en route to picking up the Lions' first win of the season, gave up three earned runs on two hits this time. He recorded one out before being replaced by Jack Anderson, who gave up only one hit for the rest of the game.
Lewis began his short stint well, striking out the first two batters he faced. However, the second strikeout was a wild pitch, and Grauer, who was batting, reached first base. A walk and a single loaded the bases, and Lewis was yanked after a two-run single by Trey Wimmer.
One last rally by the Lions was stopped short in the top of the ninth. Steve Snyder and Taylor Skerpon both reached base with one-out singles, but Coates and J.C. Coban struck out to end the game.
The Lions and Flames finish their series tomorrow with a double-header. The first game is scheduled to start at noon, with the second game following at 3:30.
The men’s and women’s contingents of the Penn State track and field team both got off to great starts Friday evening at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
The Nittany Lion men showed up in great form Friday, as many advanced to Saturday’s finals in their individual events, in addition to some big achievements in the group events.
"We had a near perfect day on the men's competition," coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said of her men’s team in a press release.
For the second straight year, the men took the distance medley relay at the Big Ten championships, with a foursome of Brannon Kidder, Matt Gilmore, Ryan Brennan, and Robby Creese.
In addition to winning the distance medley, Kidder and Brennan were two of the four participants in the 800-meter dash to advance to Saturday’s final, the others being freshman Za’Von Watkins and senior Ricky West.
Creese, as well as senior Tyler Corkdale also both advanced to Saturday’s final in the mile-run.
Lastly, junior Brandon Bennett-Green and senior Emunael Mpanduki advanced to the final for the 400-meter dash, and sophomore Sancho Barrett advanced to Saturday’s 60-meter hurdle final.
The Wisconsin men are currently leading the pack with 39 points after five events. The Nittany Lion men are in seventh place with 13 points.
The women’s team also got off to a hot start, including strong performances from senior Jane Swenson, juniors Melissa Kurzdorfer, Marlene Ricketts, and Brittney Howell, as well as junior Mahogany Jones.
"Our ladies showed up in championship form," Sullivan said. “I look forward to another Big Ten battle."
The women’s distance medley relay team of Abbie Benson, Dynasty McGee, Sarah Jane Underwood, and Marta Klebe finished fifth, but set a season-best time of 11:21.39, which also stands as the fifth fastest in Penn State history.
The true standout of the preliminaries on Friday evening was the sprints and hurdles group, which had Jones, set a personal record of 23.47 in the 200-meter dash. Jones will be competing in the finals for that event, as well as the 60-meter dash during Saturday’s finals. Teammates Kiah Seymour and Kirsten Nieuwendam will join Jones in competing in the 200-meter dash final.
Shelley Black, a freshman, advanced to the finals for the 60-meter hurdle, after achieving a personal record of 8.45 on Friday.
The Nebraska women are leading the early points race, with 50 points after six events completed. The Lion women are currently in sixth place with 19 points.
Penn State was on the right track after 20 minutes but could not string together three successful periods and suffered a 4-1 road loss to Robert Morris on Friday night.
The Colonials (12-14-3, 8-10-1 CHA) entered the contest winning only two of their 14 games since regular season action resumed at the beginning of the calendar year. After one period, it appeared possible that the Nittany Lions (7-23-2, 1-16-2 CHA) could break a skid of their own, taking a 1-0 lead on the strength of a goal by center Emily Laurenzi.
The Lions' defensive effort held the shutout until about halfway through the game. But Rebecca Vint, who now leads the Colonials in goals and assists with 15 apiece, knotted the game up at the 10:22 mark of the second period. Minutes later, Dayna Newsom tallied a powerplay goal for the Colonials to take the lead.
The second period comeback was fueled by the team's 30 shots to the Lions' five. The Lions, who were ultimately out-shot 63-14 on the night, managed to take only four shots in the final stanza to cement the defeat.
The Lions are now 0-11-1 since their last win, which wrapped up a sweep of Chatham at home on Jan. 5. They play the Colonials again at 3 p.m. on Saturday in their final game of the regular season
No. 9 Penn State returned to Rec Hall Friday night and defeated EIVA foe George Mason 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22) to move to 11-3 (5-1 EIVA) on the season.
Penn State took the first set by four points in a competitive affair that saw the Nittany Lions keep the lead for the duration of the opening set.
Senior Tom Comfort led all hitters with five kills in the opening set and finished with a team-high 18 kills.
“I had a few kills where I just put the ball in play, they were just going up to block and I guess you could call them a few lucky kills,” said Comfort.
Brothers Aaron and Peter Russell followed up Comfort’s effort with four and three kills in the first set, respectively.
Both Russell brothers logged double digits kills as Peter, who was celebrating his 21st birthday, had 15, while Aaron added 13 of his own.
“The rest of the team made us look good and it was just a total team effort tonight for sure,” said Peter Russell.
Penn State took the second set in similar fashion. The Russells and Comfort kept up their efforts as well, with Comfort logging five more kills.
George Mason found a way to pull out the third set behind strong play from senior Mark Jones who had six kills in the third set and finished with a game-high 21 for George Mason.
“Mark Jones went off tonight but you couldn’t tell because we were giving up points left and right by not scoring on the left side,” said George Mason head coach Fred Chao.
Junior Pat Sibley added five kills of his own in the third set victory for the Patriots.
The Lions had a scare in the third set as redshirt freshman Matt Seifert had to leave the game after diving for a ball.
Seifert who did not register a kill the entire set, was replaced by senior Ian Hendries who also failed to record a third set kill. Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said after the game that Seifert would be fine and is expected to play tomorrow night against Princeton.
The Nittany Lions were able to narrowly hold off the Patriots once again in the fourth, and ultimately final, set.
“I thought at the end of the match when it mattered most, our servers performed really well,” said Pavlik.
The Nittany Lions return to Rec Hall Saturday for the second day of EIVA conference action when they take on Princeton.
When Germantown Academy standout Julian Moore’s name is typed into Google, the search engine instead shows results for “Julianne Moore”, a British-American actress.
It makes sense. The latter Moore has been nominated for four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, among other accolades.
But while the Hollywood star is known across the globe, the 6-foot-9 forward with a similar name should soon be widely recognized at the Bryce Jordan Center in less than a year.
Listed as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Moore is a late bloomer from the Philadelphia area and an underrated signing for coach Patrick Chambers.
When putting together a story on Penn State building a recruiting-base in Philly, I talked to Moore about everything from his commitment to Penn State, his style of play and the energy of Chambers.
First question for you Julian, when were you first recruiting by coach Chambers and what had you sold on the coaching staff?
Moore: They started talking to my high school coach toward the end of my junior season and over the summer we started to build more a relationship. Coach Chambers personally came out to see me at the Reebok Breakout Camp [in the summer]… I also went to a camp for recruits up there, they gave me a tour of the school, I played against some of the kids on the team and met all the guys. They’re some of the best kids in the country honestly. They are a really high-energy program, they never give up and the coaches are always pushing you to try and be better.
You mentioned that when you visited you played with and met some of the guys on the team. What did you think of guys like D.J. Newbill and Brandon Taylor, guys like you from in or around Philly?
Moore: I think D.J. is an amazing leader, especially with the position he’s been thrown into. He’s handling the team really well. When I was there, his leadership showed off the court, too. Brandon I think I actually played the summer of my sophomore year and he gave me some work back then, but we’ll see what happens next year [laughs], but he’s a really nice person off the court and a great competitor on it.
When you look ahead to next year, Penn State is going to stacked at the guard position with Tim Frazier coming back, [Jermaine] Marshall, D.J. Newbill and John Johnson, the transfer from Pitt. So where do you see yourself in the frontcourt as a 6-foot-9 true freshman next season?
Moore: I hope to contribute to the team any way I can and get better every day. Hopefully that means playing time and getting out there and mixing it up. I know they’re going to be stacked at guard, but I know I can contribute a lot on the inside and a little bit on the outside.
About your game in general, are you a kind of player that likes to set up in the low post or more like a Dirk Nowitzki shooting mid-range jumpers?
Moore: Honestly I do a lot on the floor and that’s why coach Chambers and the staff liked me because I can fill a lot of roles. I’m big enough to small guys inside and I’m skilled enough against bigger guys to outwork them. I also like to take guys out a bit and blow by them or take a jumper. I’m a good rebounder, at least I think I’m a good rebounder [laughs]. I can get up and down the floor really well, too.
Coming from just outside Philadelphia, how do you think Penn State is perceived in and around the city?
Moore: When you say Penn State to people they either went there, they had a brother, sister or cousin who went there, so you have a giant alumni base and everybody knows something about the school. From the basketball side of it, a reason why I liked Penn State was because the Big Ten is the best league in the country without a question. It’s somewhat local, and my parents could come see me play against some of the best players and teams in the country. That’s kind of the general consensus is around here.
With that being said, can you talk about the influence of the Big 5 (Villanova, Temple, Penn, La Salle and St. Joe’s) in Philadelphia basketball and who recruited you throughout high school?
Moore: I received offers from Temple, Drexel, La Salle, Penn. I never received an offer from St. Joe’s, but they did express interest in me a little later. I also got offers from VCU and a couple of Patriot League teams and Ivy teams. Growing up in Philly, you always hear about the Big 5 teams. You know, they play well in their individual conferences, but when they come together for Big 5 games, it’s crazy. You’re fighting for bragging rights. You want to be the best team in the city, and that’s all that matters [in the Big 5]. And those games are insane at the Palestra. Going to games there was one of the reasons why I wanted to play college basketball.
Were you at the Penn State-La Salle game at the Palestra [on Dec. 5]?
Moore: Yeah I was there. Seeing all the alumni come to the game made it a really cool game to go to.
Last question. I can tell from just hearing him after games and seeing him on the court that Chambers is a high-energy guy and brings a lot of passion. What do you think that says about a coach and a guy who you’re going to be playing for next year?
Moore: I mean he really cares and it rubs off on his team. We’ve hit a rough patch, but we’re still playing our behinds off even when the games aren’t going the way we want them to all the time. We’ll be better next year. Coach [Chambers] is one of the most energetic people I know and I can’t wait to play for him next year.
Last night at the women's Big Ten swimming championships, the 200 medley relay team of Mackenzie Powers, Merritt Krawczyk, Carolyn Fittin and Paige Whitmire set a new school record with a time of 1:37:97 to finish fifth in their race. The record setting race also gave the Lions automatic qualification for NCAAs later in the month.
Following up the record setting performance of the night before, Chelsea Weedman set a school record in the 200 individual medley this morning.
As of last night the Lions are in third place, with events lasting through Saturday.
Graham Pepperman's contributions to the women's hockey team aren't as easy to measure as goals or assists. But the Penn State alum has an important role in making sure the Nittany Lions are ready to perform at the best of their abilities each game.
Pepperman's responsibilities include sharpening skates, cleaning uniforms and fixing up any other piece of equipment that a player may need adjustments to. In this video, Pepperman explains his procedure for making skates' blades sharp and ready to go.
Check out women's hockey reporter Matt Nestor's full storyon Pepperman's responsibilities as an equipment manager.
With six seniors being honored on senior day, it was a sophomore that started Penn State's dominating performance by its lower weights against Rider Sunday afternoon. The Lions lead 23-0.
No. 2 NicoMegaludis faced off against Patrick Skinner at 125 pounds to start the dual. Skinner, who was 1-19 on the season entering the dual, was no match for the Penn State sophomore and was pinned in 3:48 to give the Lions a 6-0 start.
No. 14 Jordan Conaway, returning to Rec Hall for the first time since being nationally ranked, earned the Lions more bonus points with his 19-5 major decision victory over Mike Shupin at 133 pounds. Shupin fought on his back the last 30 seconds of the dual to prevent a technical fall victory by Conaway.
Senior Bryan Pearsall capped off his career at Rec Hall with a pin over Rob Cigna in 2:06 to push the Lions lead to 16-0.
At 141 pounds, No. 12 Andrew Alton continued the roll of bonus points by earning his team four points in a 12-4 major victory over Curt Delia.
No. 5 Dylan Alton capped off Penn State's perfect first half with a 5-2 decision over ZacCibula at 149 pounds.
David Taylor will start off the second half at 165 pounds with Penn State up 23-0.
Women’s lacrosse freshman goalkeeper Emi Smith had her first NCAA start Saturday in the team’s 13-12 overtime exhibition win against Penn.
Coach Missy Doherty named Smith starting goalkeeper earlier this month after a tough preseason battle with senior keeper AylaHalus.
“I was really excited about [Smith’s performance]. She has continued to get better and better all year, and she has just played like a solid goalkeeper in the cage,” Doherty said. “She has made the saves that she should, and she has backed up the D well, and I hope it gave her a lot of confidence going into the season.”
Smith came into the game confident in the support she would receive from her team to keep her going in her first collegiate start.
“It was nerve-racking, but I knew that my whole entire team was behind me, and supporting me the entire way through,” Smith said. “They’re just such a great team to be a part of. I wouldn’t have started without them. They gave me the confidence to build up my energy, so I could play for them and with them like one team.”
Halus started the second half to give her experience in a game setting, but Smith returned for overtime play.
"[Smith] played pretty consistently all game, so I think it is kind of hard to go out, and then come back in [overtime], but she responded well," Doherty said.
Smith said she was confident going into overtime because of her ability to perform well in pressured situations.
“I love pressure because it just gets the butterflies in the stomach going—I just love it,” she added. “I just wanted to do the best that I could. I just wanted to stand behind my team and put forth my best effort that I had and use all of my energy.”
If Smith continues to start, she will face many older, experienced opponents head on.
“That [will] just motivate me further to do well, and say, 'Hey, I’m a freshman. If I can stuff a senior or a junior, that’s awesome,' ” Smith said.
Rochester Institute of Technology scored a goal in each period of Friday's game to knock off Penn State, but all the Tigers needed on Saturday was their second period performance.
The teams were scoreless after one period of play Saturday, but the Tigers (14-13-5, 7-6-5 CHA) netted three goals in the second frame to blank the Nittany Lions (7-22-2, 1-15-2 CHA), 4-0, en route to sweeping the series.
RIT forward Kim Schlattman got the scoring started when she found the back of goalie Nicole Paniccia's net just over two minutes into the second period. Just over 10 minutes later, fellow Tiger forward Marissa Maugeri added a goal of her own. After assisting Maugeri's goal, Erin Zach scored the Tigers' third goal with just over a minute left in the frame.
Before the final buzzer sounded, RIT forward KourtneyKunichika joined the scoring party to make the final score 4-0.
Although the Lions got their lone goal in Friday's game on the powerplay from forward Taylor Gross, the team could not capitalize on any of the Tigers' five penalties Saturday.
The Lions will close out the regular season when they travel to Robert Morris for a two-game set. The Colonials swept the Lions earlier in the year when the two squads met at Greenberg Ice Pavilion in November.
After getting swept by Harvard in Cambridge the previous night, Penn State once again found itself behind enemy lines as it traveled to Fairfield, Conn., to take on Sacred Heart in a rematch from Jan. 25.
The second meeting between the two EIVA rivals was strikingly similar to the first game as Penn State once again swept Sacred Heart (25-17, 25-18, 25-23) to move to 10-3 (4-1) on the year.
The visiting Nittany Lions imposed their will on the home team in the opening set, winning 25-17 behind 16 combined kills.
Leading the way for Penn State was sophomore Aaron Russell and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert who each had four kills apiece in the first set.
The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first as Penn State took the second with a score of 25-18.
Penn State’s hitters held a comfortable kills advantage through two sets with a 29-16 edge in that department.
Head coach Mark Pavlik once again relied on his bench players as both Nick Goodell and Ian Hendries each logged three kills apiece in the second set.
The third and ultimately final set saw constant back and forth action with Penn State leading early and Sacred Heart eventually taking control midway through the set.
Sacred Heart led by as much as 18-14 in the third set, paced by sophomore Brad Borsay, who registered nine kills for the home team.
Penn State eventually rallied to go ahead 20-19 and retake the lead for good, finishing off their opponent behind strong play from Aaron Russell and Tom Comfort who had nine and eight kills apiece for the game.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall on Feb. 22., for its next match as it plays host to EIVA rival George Mason.
The Penn State men's 4x800 made a big splash on Saturday night, setting a facility record, a Millrose Games record, and tying the Penn State record for the event, with at time of 7:21.37.
In the Nittany Lions’ only event of the week, the foursome came out blazing. Za’Von Watkins, Brannon Kidder, Ricky West, and Casimir Loxsom came out in that order on their way to dominating the rest of the field.
In a season where they have set a collegiate record in the men’s 4x200 relay, the team is looking to always live up to high expectations.
Loxsom, one of two seniors in the group, said on Thursday that the team had eyes on “collegiate record of 7:17.45,” and while they didn’t come up exactly that fast, they took home first.
The Nittany Lions will now have six days off until next week’s Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio.
After Penn State (1-1) pulled away in the late innings of game one with East Tennessee State (1-1), the Buccaneers got their revenge on the Nittany Lions in game two.
The Buccaneers beat the Lions, 8-3, sustaining a late push to capture their first win of the season and hand the Lions their first loss.
Much like game one, Penn State jumped out to an early lead when right fielder Aaron Novak scored on an error by Bucs' pitcher Griffin Krieg in the second inning. Shortstop Taylor Skerpon followed that up with a single that drove in left fielder James Coates to put the Lions up, 2-0.
The Bucs countered in the next inning with scoring plays via a RBI double by first baseman Clinton Freeman and a RBI single by second baseman Derek Niesman.
The Bucs added one run in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to go up, 5-2.
The best chance of the day for the Lions came in the top of the eigth inning. Penn State loaded the bases with no outs before center fielder Steve Snyder hit a sacrifice fly to to drive home Elliot Searer, but then second baseman Luis Montesinos struck out and first baseman J.J. White grounded out to third to end the scoring threat.
After the Lions cut the deficit to two runs, the Bucs' Niesman homered to left field to bring home Freeman and left fielder Zack Thompson.
Freeman followed up by striking out the side in the top of the 9th inning to end the game.
The Lions only mustered up three hits opposed to the Bucs' 13, and Lions' pitcher Steven Hill suffered his first loss in his first appearance as he gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings.
The Bucs and the Lions will square off in a rubber match Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
It certainly wasn’t the way the No. 9 Penn State men's volleyball team wanted to bounce back after a loss to Ohio State last weekend, but the team fell to Harvard in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-23).
The loss is the second in a row for the Nittany Lions (9-3, 3-1 EIVA), and third this season. The Crimson out hit Penn State, .457-.244, and Penn State had 16 attacking errors.
Offensively, sophomore Aaron Russell recorded 11 kills, and his older brother, Peter, added 10 kills.
Penn State had only two blocks, while Harvard recorded seven. Harvard’s D.J. White recorded a match-high 13 kills, and Nick Madden recorded 10 for the Crimson (6-2, 2-1).
Penn State has lost its last six sets, stemming from a loss to Ohio State previously. This is not the first time Penn State and Harvard have met this season, as the Lions defeated the Crimson in five sets on Jan. 26.
The Nittany Lions will face Sacred Heart tonight in Connecticut at 8. Penn State downed Sacred Heart in three sets in January.
For a team that has struggled all season long to start strong in the first half, Penn State is hanging with Iowa after 20 minutes, trailing 38-34
Iowa dealt the first blow, building up a 17-7 lead seven minutes into the half.
The Nittany Lions managed to respond behind the inspired play of redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill. Penn State went on a 16-0 run to take a 23-17 lead of its own. During the run Newbill was active on both sides with one of his most notable plays coming with the block of an Iowa three. Newbill missed a lay up then sprinted back on the defensive end just in time to block a shot.
The Lions avoided their usual cold streak, shooting 45.2 percent in the half on 14-of-31 shooting even going 4-of10 from three.
With their lead gone, it was time for the Hawkeyes to strike again going on a 9-0 run up until 6:00 remained in the half.
The teams battled back and forth the rest of the half, but the Hawkeyes were able to end with the momentum when forward Aaron White hit a three-pointer from the corner at the buzzer.
Former Penn State wrestler Ken Chertow ended his youth training session Wednesday with a speech about the IOC's decision to cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. Chertow tells his athletes that the sport of wrestling can survive without the Olympic competition, but urged them to take action and fight the decision.
Coach Patrick Chambers and the men's basketball team held a special practice in Rec Hall Monday night as the Nittany Lions worked out in a practice open to the public for the first time this season.
Despite riding an 11-game losing steak, players appeared upbeat. The sounds of Meek Mill resounded through the gym, keeping the team loose.
Several coaches and players sported shaved heads following the example of Chambers, who decided to go bald in support of the Penn State Panhellenic/IFC Dance Marathon.
The second-year head coach stressed his message of “Attitude” as the Lions went through drills and scrimmages to simulate in-game situations. Physicality was a big focus in the drills from coaches whacking players with large pads as they drove to the basket to players knocking each other to take charges.
Players were awarded “Attitude” points for their effort in practice. Points were scored for defensive stops and extra hustle. During a closeout drill sophomore Kevin Montminy, redshirt sophomore D.J. Newbill and senior Nick Colella earned gold, silver and bronze and were exempt from wind sprints that other players had to run.
Toward the end of practice players broke off into 5-on-5 scrimmage between the starting, or “blue” team, against the “white” team. Redshirt junior Jermaine Marshall, who was pulled from the starting lineup against Nebrasksa on Saturday after scoring just seven points on 2-of-14 shooting against Iowa the game prior, did not play with the starters in the scrimmage.
Practice ended with players being called to shoot free throws, missed foul shots resulted in wind sprints. Junior Alan Wisniewski, who played his first significant minutes against Nebraska, and freshman Brandon Taylor ended practice hitting both of their free throws back to back.
Chambers thanked those in attendance as the team left the floor.
The Lions will look for their first conference win on Thursday night at home against Iowa. Chambers has pledged to give $10 to THON for every student who attends the game.
Patrick Chambers has said he's tried "everything" to get students to attend home games in the past two seasons.
However, the second-year men's basketball coach took these efforts to an entire new level Monday when he announced on State College's B94.5 radio station he'll be donating $10 to THON for every student who attends Thursday night's game against Iowa.
"This is what I want to do for THON," Chambers said on the air. "So, any student who comes to the game Thursday night at 9 p.m., I will donate 10 dollars per student."
Chambers has been a major proponent of the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon — which will begin just 21 hours after the Nittany Lions tip off in the BJC on Thursday — ever since taking over in Happy Valley.
His efforts to promote cancer awareness have been noticeable, having made a speech at THON last year and stressed the importance of the Coaches versus Cancer game earlier this season.
Chambers will likely be leaving a hefty mark on THON this year, as more than 1,400 students have purchased season tickets this year, according to the team's sports information director, Brian Siegrist.
"So if it's 200 [students], it's $2000," Chambers said. "If it's 500, it's $5000. And we can keep going."
However, the vocal coach made it quite clear that despite his team's recent struggles, students will have to stay the entire game if they wish to help lead to a donation.
"Now, you got to do me a favor," Chambers said toward students. "You got to stay the whole game. Don't leave at halftime on me. These guys are trying. They're out there practicing so hard. It's only a matter of time. We're close."
Siegrist said each student will receive a "pledge card" upon entering the facility, and as the game winds down, these cards will be collected to help calculate the total Chambers will donate.
Student tickets cost $5 for those without season tickets.
Check back to the Daily Collegian throughout the week for more coverage.
Penn State scored its third highest meet total of the season, yet lost to No.9 Nebraska 197.175-195.150 in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions performed well on the floor exercise, an area they had trouble in earlier in the season, posting a season high of 49.150. Sharaya Musser lead the Lions with a 9.900 score, while Lindsay Musgrove, Madison Merriam and Lexi Carroll all scored higher than a 9.800.
While the team did well on floor, the gymnasts experienced problems on the balance beam. As a team, Penn State accumulated a low 47.800 on the exercise.
Sidney Sanabria-Robles had the lowest score in the event for Penn State with a 9.100. Musser, who has scored the Lions’ top three scores on beam throughout the season, had a rare low-score routine, with a 9.225. Three other gymnasts tied for a 9.725 high for Penn State.
The Lions scored their highest total on vault with a 49.225. Each gymnast scored higher than a 9.800 and Merriam posted a 9.900.
Meanwhile, Nebraska scored a team total higher than 49.175 on each event in the meet, making it difficult for Penn State to reach the total the Cornhuskers scored throughout the meet.
Musser was the only Penn State gymnast to compete in the all-around earning a score of 38.825.
Two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Samantha Musto also competed in three events for Penn State in the meet. Musto competed in two events in the meet against Ohio State last week.
The Lions' next meet will be against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Feb. 16.
Even while in the middle of the Nevada desert, Big Ten gymnastics programs have been accustomed to finding themselves at the top of the standings after the scores are announced.
Penn State tied Michigan with top 10 finishes in eight events at this weekend’s Winter Cup in Las Vegas, which assembled 74 of the top gymnasts in the country vying to earn a place on the United States senior national team. Five of the six gymnasts representing the Blue & White this weekend advanced to the final round of competition on Saturday.
While the Nittany Lions had no individual event winners, they were the only team to place three gymnasts in the top 20 of the overall competition. Sophomore Matthew Felleman led the Lions with a combined score of 164.800 in two days of competition, placing ninth overall.
“It’s pretty exciting [finishing ninth]. It was nerve- racking competing against former Olympians,” said Felleman. “It gives me a perspective on what I have to do to going forward.”
Senior team captain Parker Raque and freshman Trevor Howard joined Felleman in the top-20 of the all-around competition, finishing in 15th and 19th respectively.
Sophomore Craig Hernandez, who is the NCAA scoring leader in the pommel horse, continued his streak of strong performances in Las Vegas. He rounded out the finals with a score of 14.450, earning the Libertyville, Ill. Native a place on the podium with a third-place finish.
The six gymnasts and coach Randy Jepson will return from Las Vegas this week and rejoin the team before traveling to Philadelphia to take on No.11 William and Mary and No.12 Temple in a tri-meet on Saturday.
In front of the largest crowd the men's volleyball team has seen this year, the Nittany Lions aimed to remain hot in a nonconference match with Ohio State.
The No. 9 Buckeyes had other ideas, sending the crowd of more than 3,000 fans home in disappointment by sweeping Penn State on Saturday night (25-22, 25-20, 26-24).
The Nittany Lions received ample support from Aaron Russell (16 kills) and Tom Comfort (13 kills), but collectively the unit struggled, hitting only .173 with 24 errors.
Much Penn State's struggles were due to the unfamiliarity of the opponent's strengths. Penn State had faced a string of smaller, less physical teams which allowed the Lions to overpower them.
Ohio State used its size at the net to dominate, hitting a clean .333 on offense and stuffing the Penn State attack with 10 blocks.
"When you can be physical, do some things and overpower some teams that's going to help," Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson said.
Despite the losing effort, coach Mark Pavlik found a silver lining. The team experienced its first real adversity since its season opener against UCLA, giving Pavlik the opportunity to see how his team handles that.
"When you come out of a match bruised, battered, and bloody, you don't want that to happen again," Pavlik said. "We expect a roller coaster at points, so let's see how this team responds to that. I don't think I'm going to be disappointed. They'll pull themselves together."
The match concluded a season-long homestand, where the Lions finished 7-1. Penn State hits the road for more conference action, facing Harvard on Friday and Sacred Heart on Saturday.
Hacking the Huskers: With 14:15 left in second half, Penn State had four players with at least three fouls. At that point in the game, Nebraska was already in the bonus, leading to more of an aggressive style by the Huskers. Entering the game, Penn State was called for 68 more fouls than any Big Ten opponent in conference play. Against the Huskers, the Lions finished with a total of 28 no-no’s with Ross Travis fouling out and three players ending up with four fouls (D.J. Newbill, Nick Colella and Brandon Taylor).
Field goals hard to come by: After converting just 20 percent (5-of-25) of their attempts from the floor in the first half, the Lions hit a few more shots in the second but still finished with a miserable 29.2 percent. By the end of the game, the Lions had one more field goal made than turnovers surrendered (14 to 13). That was also the fifth time in Big Ten play the Lions hit below a 32 percent clip from the floor.
Taking advantage of the “easiest shot in basketball”: Coming into Lincoln, Penn State held a -119 margin compared to Big Ten opponents in free throw attempts during conference play. And while they were abysmal from the field, the Lions shot well from the free throw line (23-of-32 for the game), especially in the first half. Despite making only five field goals in the opening 20 minutes, the Lions - particularly D.J. Newbill - drove the lane, drew contact and capitalized from the free throw line (16-of-21 in first half). Heading into the contest, Newbill ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 151 free throw attempts trailing only Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Iowa’s Aaron White and Illinois’ Brandon Paul.
Spreading the wealth: When Penn State and Nebraska last met, Huskers freshman Shavon Shields had a game to remember, totaling an explosive 29 points. As he finished with only one field goal made and seven points, Shields didn’t have the same impact offensively the second time around, but he didn’t have to. The Huskers - the Big Ten’s second worst distributing team prior to the game - compiled a less-than-spectacular 11 assists. Yet, the team had three players log double-digit scoring performances against Penn State, extending a three-game streak in that category.
Forgetting Jermaine Marshall: For the first time in 25 games, Jermaine Marshall’s name wasn’t announced in the Lions' starting lineup. Marshall - the team’s second leading scorer - reprised a bench role for the first time since late last season. A member of the Big Ten’s second-best backcourt duo, Marshall entered the game averaging 14.7 points per game, but had poor shot selection on Tuesday against Purdue (2-of-14 from the field). Marshall finished with 16 points, shooting 3-of-10 from the floor.
Wis-NEW-ski: Perhaps the biggest surprise of the game was the new face coach Patrick Chambers inserted into the rotation: former walk-on forward Alan Wisniewski. Wisniewski, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, saw his first quality minutes of his career against the Huskers and made them count. After logging six (yes, six) minutes of playing time this year, Chambers plugged his primary scout team player in for 17 minutes, including 15 minutes in the first half. The Michigan native had his best game in a Penn State uniform by far, scoring six points and ripping down eight boards. Considering the frontcourt’s struggles throughout the season, it couldn’t hurt giving another forward a shot. Now, the Lions could have another presence coming off the bench.
Trying to snap a winless drought in the Big Ten, Penn State has decent footing at halftime against Nebraska in Lincoln, trailing 33-26 at the break.
Despite holding a lead for a short while, the chronic problem for the Nittany Lions – poor shooting from the field – plagued them once again, finishing the first 20 minutes hitting just 5-of-25.
However, the bright spot for the Lions was their ability to attack the rim, draw contact and capitalize from the free throw line.
Facing big bodies in the paint like the Huskers' 314-pound forward Andre Almeida, the Lions still drove the lane and turned it into 16-of-21 from the charity stripe.
Slashing guard D.J. Newbill led the effort, sinking 6-of-6 from the line.
On a side note, former walk-on Alan Wisniewski played his first quality minutes in his career, tallying 15 minutes. During his time on the court, the 6-foot-9 sophomore scored four points, hauled in five rebounds, and had a nice sequence where he missed the second of two free throws, got the rebound and drew another shooting foul.
Jermaine Marshall – the Lions' second leading scorer – did not start tonight following a 2-of-14 shooting effort on Tuesday against Purdue.
Marshall went into the break with four free throws made, but an 0-of-4 showing shooting.
After the last women's hockey game played at Greenberg Ice Pavilion, coach Josh Brandwene, who played for the men's club team from 1987-1991, said there is not a finer group of people he would rather have spent his last game with at the arena than the Penn State women's hockey team.
In the final matchup before Penn State moves to Pegula Ice Arena, the Nittany Lions (7-20-2, 1-13-2 CHA) and Lindenwood (4-24-3, 4-9-3 CHA) battled back and forth the entire contest, which resulted in a 3-3 draw.
Much like in the first game of the series, the Lions jumped out to an early lead, but the Lindenwood countered. Forward Shannon Yoxheimer notched her thirteenth goal of the season when she went top shelf on Lindenwood goalie Nicole Hensley.
The lead lasted just over three minutes because Lindenwood forward Alison Wickenheiser received a cross-crease pass from fellow forward Allysson Arcibal and Wickenheiser put it in the back of goalie Nicole Paniccia's net for the tie.
Both teams also scored goals in the second period. The Lions wasted little time in the frame when forward Birdie Shaw scored her second goal of the season, but Lindenwood answered late in the period with a goal by forward Lyndsay Kirkham.
Midway through the second frame, the Nittany Lions killed off four straight penalties before Kirkham scored. Brandwene said after the game that he was proud with the penalty killing unit and noted how far it has come since the beginning of the season.
Following suit with the first two periods, Penn State scored early. Just five minutes in, forward Jill Holdcroft nailed home a rebound off of a Jordin Pardoski shot taken near the blue line. Lindenwood waited until only 42 seconds remained in the game to tie it when Arcibal also put a rebounded shot in the back of the net.
Paniccia said she thought Penn State played better than Friday's game and the Lions will build off of it, but she also noted how tough it was to have the win slip away late.
“It sucks,” Paniccia said. “It's not fun, but...I'm really proud of my team.”
The goal came with some controversy as Brandwene attempted to call a timeout before the faceoff that lead to Arcibal's goal, but he was denied the stoppage in play.
Brandwene said he did not know why he was rejected the timeout.
“Anybody ever seen that before?” he asked in his press conference following the tie. “I'm still a little bit confused myself...all I know is we battled hard.”
Brandwene and the Lions will close out the regular season with two consecutive away series. Penn State travels to RIT next to take on the Tigers for a two-game set. In the series played at Greenberg in October, the Tigers took game one, but the two teams battled to a tie the next night.
Brandwene said he likes the place his team is in, especially relative to Friday's game with the Lindenwood.
“The thing that I'm most proud of this team for is their resiliency,” Brandwene said. “No matter what they get handed, no matter what the scenario, they get right back up. They make it their business to improve.”
A few weeks after comprising half of Penn State’s collegiate record 4x200 relay team, Brandon Bennett-Green and Matt Gilmore kicked off the first day of action in Geneva, Ohio, posting season-best numbers in the 200-meter dash.
Depending on their event, the Lions are split this week competing either in Geneva, Ohio, or Seattle, Washington.
Gilmore and Bennett-Green led an array of Penn State successes Friday at the SPIRE Division I Invitational, at the SPIRE Institute. Bennett-Green, a junior, posted his season best time of 21.66, and Gilmore, a sophomore, posted his season best time of 21.73. Bennett-Green and Gilmore both won their respective heats, and finished second and third in the event overall.
Other notable times of Day 1 included senior Brooklyne Ridder, who ran a personal best 16:07.52 in the elite “invitational” women’s 5000M run in Seattle. This time was good for fourth on Penn State’s all time performance list, and was the fastest time in the Big Ten for this year. Her time here was more than seven seconds faster than her previous personal record, and more than 20 seconds faster than her previous indoor career low.
The Nittany Lions continue their action in Seattle and Geneva on Saturday.
The Nittany Lions (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) started off the dual with a 6-0 lead over Pittsburgh (8-5) after the Panthers forfeited the 125-pound weight class and Penn State did not look back en route to a 31-7 win.
Unranked redshirt freshman Jordan Conaway followed up Pitt's forfeit to NicoMegaludis and earned an upset victory over No. 16 Shelton Mack at 133 pounds. Mack took a 2-1 lead heading into the third period, but Conaway tied it up at three before earning a sudden victory in overtime.
Senior Bryan Pearsall was given a break against the Panthers and fellow senior Derek Reber earned the start for the night. Pitt sophomore Travis Shaffer spoiled Reber's first dual start for the Lions of the season and earned a victory by major decision to give the Panthers their first points on the night.
Both of the Alton brothers picked up victories by decision for Penn State. No. 7 Andrew defeated Ronnie Garbinsky, 14-7, and No. 5 Dylan knocked off Donnie Tasser, 7-3.
No. 2 David Taylor kicked off the upper five weights with a major decision victory against No. 17 Tyler Wilps at 165 pounds. No. 5 Matt Brown followed suit with a win by decision over P.J. Tasser at 174 pounds.
Although the Lions lost their first dual last weekend at the hands of Iowa, No. 1 Ed Ruth remained undefeated on the season with a major decision victory over No. 13 Max Thomusseit.
The most anticipated bout of the dual came at 197 pounds when No. 3 Quentin Wright faced off against No. 2 Matt Wilps. Wright did not waste much time and pinned Wilps just less than three minutes into the match.
Pitt's No. 8 Zac Thomusseit closed out the dual by defeating Jimmy Lawson in a close, 5-4 decision. After the match was over, the Lions were deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct because Lawson threw his head gear.
The Lions will take on No. 6 Ohio State next on Feb. 10 in Columbus, Ohio. Conaway will face his toughest test yet as he takes on No. 1 Logan Stieber, who is also the defending national champion in the 133-pound weight class.
Almost a month after Penn State lost its first match, that loss remains the only blemish on the team's resume.
The Nittany Lions swept Saint Francis (25-15, 25-21, 25-17) to claim their ninth consecutive victory, improving to 9-1 on the year, and a perfect 3-0 in the EIVA.
Penn State dominated the Red Flash in every aspect of the game, outhitting them (.455 to .133), out-blocking them (7.5 to 2.0) and serving more aces (6 to 2).
According to Saint Francis head coach Mike Rumbaugh, that last statistic dictated the entire match.
"One thing the Nittany Lions do well is whenever the pressure is on, they just bring the serve harder," Rumbaugh said. "I think they're the best serving team that we play year in and year out. They're very good at controlling teams just from the end line."
Saint Francis was kept under control for a vast majority of the match, only holding a lead for two points in the entire match. Penn State was able to sideout 75%, keeping the ball in its court and capitalizing on its lethal serving.
Redshirt freshman Matt Seifert led the team with 10 kills, a high for the redshirt freshman. Tom Comfort and Peter Russell continued their strong campaigns, adding nine kills apiece.
The Nittany Lions also reached a high this season, but not in a statistic on the court. Rec Hall drew in 1,222 fans for the Friday match, topping the previous 2013 attendance high of 768 set in the team's home opener against Lewis on January 18.
Penn State will likely exceed that number on Saturday, as Ohio State visits for the team's most anticipated home match of the season at 8 p.m.
The outcome was too familiar for Penn State, but under different circumstances.
The Nittany Lions (7-20-1, 1-13-1 CHA) fell to Lindenwood (4-23-2, 4-9-2 CHA) during a Friday afternoon matchup, 3-1. Unlike most losses, though, Penn State initially held a lead against the Lindenwood before dropping the contest.
After a pass from Birdie Shaw in the left wing connected with Emily Laurenzi's stick in transition, the freshman put away the Nittany Lions' only goal with a top-shelf score in the first period.
“[Shaw] made a beautiful pass back and I don't know how I got it into that top corner,” Laurenzi said. “It was pretty lucky.”
The lead would hold until the back end of the second period, when Lindenwood scored within a minute of its second power play attempt.
The other penalty committed by the Lions in the second frame, a tripping minor by Taylor Gross, proved to be another difference-maker. Her penalty extended into the final period of regulation, and 37 seconds after play resumed, Lindenwood took the lead.
Two power play chances by Penn State following the goal yielded nothing, and its own power play unit finished 0-for-4 on the day. In contrast, the Lindenwood's power play unit finished 2-for-4.
Coach Josh Brandwene said the team played a fantastic first period, but needs to be more consistent and sustain the rhythm it was in.
Goaltender Nicole Paniccia, who recorded 42 saves, said she thinks that rhythm was broken because the Lions got too comfortable with their lead.
“We're just going to try and put it behind us and get ready for tomorrow's game, learn from today and not do that,” Paniccia said.
The teams' two-game series will wrap up tomorrow at 2 p.m., in what will be the Lions' final home game at Greenberg Ice Pavilion.
The Penn State Ice Lions (22-4-1) were busy this past weekend, beating Rider, Saint Joseph’s and UM-Baltimore.
The Ice Lions 4-3 victory over Baltimore will keep them in their second place standing in the ACHA southeast rankings, giving them an automatic bid to the national tournament in March.
“It was a great test against a quality team that is a yearly contender for an autobid,” coach Matt Morrow said in an email. “It felt great to be able to come away with a solid victory.”
The team came out of the long weekend 3-0, extending its winning streak to 13 games.
“I was very impressed that our preparation for our first game of the weekend and our last game of the weekend were essentially identical, you couldn't really tell that the guys had played [120 minutes] prior to the UMBC game,” Morrow said.
The automatic bid will allow the team to bypass the regional tournament, and with one game left in the season, the Ice Lions are ready for post season play.
“It's important moving forward that we celebrate our successes, but that we continue to raise the bar for what we expect from one another, coaches included,” Morrow said.
The team will play its final game of the regular season on Sunday against Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J.
In a first half that saw seven different scorers for the Nittany Lions, Penn State looked confident and owns a 25-24 lead at the break over Purdue.
The Lions (8-13, 0-9 Big Ten) are looking to snap a winless drought in conference play against a middle-of-the-pack Boilermakers squad (11-11, 4-5 Big Ten).
Despite exiting the half early with three personal fouls, Lions’ big man SasaBorovnjak leads the team in scoring with six points. Borovnjak has looked comfortable with the ball on the block, sinking a couple turnaround shots over Purdue’s 7-foot center A.J. Hammons.
Hammons, who scored 49 points combined in the Boilermakers’ last two games, was held to six points on just 1-of-4 shooting from the field.
Penn State guard D.J. Newbill – the team’s leading scorer with 15.7 points per game – has two points and took only two shots, but was fluid at the point with six assists.
The Lions also hold the edge on the glass, outrebounding Purdue 21 to 18. The Boilermakers lead the conference in rebounds per game (40.5), while Penn State ranks ninth.
Mark Pavlik sat down with the Collegian's Darian Somers and Jon Wheel to talk about the Russell Brothers' favorite teams, and one of his favorite Rec Hall stories when the lights went out in the national semifinal.
Last week, Penn State received its first first-place vote of the season. So with sweeps over Pfeiffer and Mount Olive this past weekend, it seemed that the Nittany Lions would slide up a spot or two in AVCA rankings.
The Nittany Lions fell to No. 7.
Penn State was ranked No. 6 in the country, but several matches within the past week caused the Lions to fall a spot.
The biggest upset was Long Beach State’s 3-2 win over BYU in Utah. The 49ers were No. 7 last week. They sky-rocketed to No. 3 this week. BYU remained No. 1, but with a twist. The Cougars are tied for the spot with UC Irvine.
But the Nittany Lions did receive one first place vote this week, the only other team to do so.
Penn State is the only 8-1 team, but strength of schedule hurts the Lions. The only other team east of the Mississippi in the top 10 is No. 9 Ohio State, the Lions’ Saturday night foe. It was a one-spot jump for the Buckeyes.
Rankings (last week’s rankings)
T-1. BYU 8 first place votes (1)
T-1. UC Irvine 7 first place votes (2)
3. Long Beach State (7)
4. Stanford (3)
5. Pepperdine (4)
6. UCLA (5)
7. Penn State 1 first place vote (6)
8. USC (8)
9. Ohio State (10)
10. Cal State Northridge (9)
11. Pacific (11)
12. California Baptist (14)
13. Hawai’i (NR)
14. Lewis (15)
15. UC Santa Barbara (12)
How I would have voted the top 10
3. UC Irvine
5. Penn State
6. Long Beach State
8. Ohio State
10. Cal State Northridge
No. 6 Penn State returned to South Gym Saturday night and defeated Mount Olive in straight sets (26-24, 25-22, 25-22), moving to 8-1 on the year.
The momentum of the match volleyed back and forth between the two teams almost as much as the volleyball itself.
“I think Mount Olive presented a different sort of challenge, they have a different rhythm serving,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. “Once we settled down with our first contacts, our offense got in gear and I think we asserted ourselves. They made us play and I think we want that this time of year.”
The away team pressured Penn State the entire opening set and narrowly lost the competitive back and forth battle 26-24.
Aaron Russell was on the attack in the first set as he paced the Nittany Lions with eight kills and a .636 hitting percentage.
Setter Taylor Hammond logged 16 assists in the first set, well above his average of assists per set.
Fans in attendance were treated to more back and forth action from both sides of the net in the second set. The press even got involved in the action as Ben Casado of Mount Olive went crashing into the press table after attempting to keep the ball in play and save the set for his team.
Casado was walked off under his own power and play was stopped as trainers attended to him.
“He’s doing well [after the accident], he hates giving up on a play,” said Mount Olive coach David Heller.
Once play resumed, Penn State attended to business of its own and bested the Trojans 25-22 to take the second set.
The third set proved to be the final one as Penn State won another competitive set by the same score of the second, 25-22.
The Nittany Lions went to their bench once again as they got a productive match out of Nick Goodell, who hadn’t seen much action thus far this season.
Goodell, who paced the winners with a game-high 13 kills, was named the Penn State Mike Anderson Player of the Match.
“No matter who it is they can have their night to go off,” said Goodell. “Tonight was just the luck of the draw for me.”
Penn State returns home Feb. 8 against Saint Francis.
After losing a spirited contest 5-2 to No. 7 Mercyhurst on Friday, the Lions once again faltered in an equally physical 4-1 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Despite team improvements, Penn State still did not have an answer for Mercyhurst captain Christine Bestland. Bestland, who had a hat trick on Friday, added two more goals and an assist on Saturday.
It was an impressive night for the Nittany Lion penalty kill, however, who withstood a barrage of point shots and stymied all five Mercyhurst powerplay opportunities.
After a scoreless first frame, Mercyhurst potted two goals in each of the game's final two periods, building an insurmountable lead. Penn State's lone goal of the matinee contest came off of Jill Holdcroft's stick with just three seconds remaining.
Once again, the scoreboard was not favorable for the young Nittany Lions but Nicole Pannicia and the other 250 fans in attendance witnessed an improved team in white.
"Anyone who was here watching knows we gave them a good run," Paniccia said.
The Penn State track and field team put up an impressive showing at the Sykes and Sabock Challenge Cup, the team’s first scored meet of the season.
The meet, which was held at the Horace Ashenfelter III indoor track on Saturday, was highlighted by a number of standout performances from Penn State.
Arizona State graduate and 2012 Olympian Ryan Whiting smashed a facility record which lasted for 23 years. Whiting, who is a volunteer assistant for the team, had a shot put throw of 70-10, which marked the first time anybody bested 70 feet in the facility. Whiting topped the long-standing record by a total of five feet and three inches. The previous best was 65-7 by CJ Hunter in 1990.
Junior Mahagany Jones also made her mark at the meet, winning both the 60 and 200-meter dashes. The Ohio native accomplished the feat with times of 7.40 and 23.64, respectively. Jones’ performance at the meet lead to her winning the first annual John Lucas women’s Athlete of the Meet.
Redshirt freshman Robby Creese garnered the men’s version of the award after earning victories in both the 800-meter dash and the distance medley relay. Creese’s 800-meter time of 1:49.13 is ranked in the top 15 in the NCAA this season.
Both the men and women were able to secure victories in the weight-throwing events at the meet. On the women’s side, junior Melissa Kurzdorfer finished first in the 20-lb weight throw with a toss of 64-11.50. The mark bested Kurzdorfer’s previous best of 64-10.50. Those two throws rank as the third and fourth best marks in school history.
For the 35-lb weight throw, redshirt junior William Barr and senior NabilMubarik finished first and second, respectively. Barr threw a 66-05.00, which ranks second all-time in school history. Mubarik’s 64-11.50 moves him into a tie for fifth place on the school’s all-time list.
Senior Natalie Bower also found her way onto the Penn State record books by running the 2,000 steeplechase in 6:29.38. The time set a meet and facility record.
Penn State women's hockey head coach Josh Brandwene addressed the media after Saturday's loss at the hands of No. 7 Mercyhurst, 4-1. Brandwene discussed the importance of blocked shots and what they mean for his team.
Following a week filled with standout performances and a weekend matchup for the ages on the horizon, there’s a lot to address in this week’s edition of “Big Ten Breakdown”.
With that being said, let’s get to it.
Game of the Week: No. 13 Michigan State 80, Illinois 75
With Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota manhandling inferior opponents, some of the conference’s top dogs weren’t tested during the week.
However, that wasn’t the case for Michigan State as they overcame a double-digit halftime deficit and adversity to fend off Illinois on Thursday.
Not only were the Spartans down by 10 at the break, but they also dealt with injuries to guards Gary Harris and Travis Trice that took them out of the game.
Also, big man Derrick Nix didn’t start because of one missed class and one tutor session.
Regardless of hurt players and distractions, Sparty’s Keith Appling was there to save the day.
To say Appling was hitting on all cylinders would be an understatement, scoring 24 points, dishing seven dimes and hauling in eight rebounds.
After Sparty erased the Illini’s halftime lead, it was an entertaining battle back and forth ‘til the end.
With the victory, Michigan State helped maintain their status as a top team in the Big Ten, regardless if they’re given the respect they deserve.
Performance of the Week: Aaron White, Iowa
While Appling is certainly deserving of the honor as well, Aaron White put on a methodically impressive show Thursday night against Penn State.
Even though Penn State is undersized and White was expected to be effective, a career-best scoring game was a surprise.
After scoring just 25 total points the two previous game, White dominated the Nittany Lions by doing the simple things: taking makeable shots, drawing fouls and sinking free throws.
White scored a career-high 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and nailing 10-of-11 from the charity stripe.
And after the Lions started the game off to a quick 10-3 lead, it was White that generated a Hawkeyes 14-0 run with seven points in just over a minute.
Freshman of the Week: A.J. Hammons, Purdue
Yes, Purdue received a 97-60 whipping by Indiana, but the Boilermakers young big boy had himself a game.
Scoring half of Purdue’s points, Hammons hit 10-of-14 from the field for an incredible 71.4 percentage.
And while the Hoosiers’ Cody Zeller had a typical 19-point performance, the 7-foot-0, 280-pound Boilermaker still made his presence felt on the defensive end.
Topping his Big Ten leading 3.1 blocks per game, Hammons packed Indiana shot attempts left and right for five blocks.
At 11-10 overall, a NCAA tournament may not be in Purdue’s sights this year, but they’ll be deadly with Hammons coming back after a year of seasoning – assuming he doesn’t bolt for the NBA.
Matchup to Watch: Indiana’s Christian Watford vs. Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III
Perhaps the most anticipated collegiate basketball game of the year, this contest features national player of the year candidates in Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke.
However, the matchup to watch in this one is Indiana’s overlooked, seasoned scorer Watford and the Wolverines’ versatile freshman Robinson III.
While Watford has three more years of collegiate experience than his Michigan counterpart, both adaptable forwards play virtually the same role for their respective teams: a consistent third scoring option and reliable rebounder.
While the 6-foot-9 Indiana forward holds three inches on Robinson III, the Wolverines youngster is more consistent in the paint offensively.
Couple that with Watford’s proven capability to step back and knock down shots from downtown (4-of-5 from 3-point land on Wednesday against Purdue), it should be interesting to see which complimenting scorer performs better on the big stage.
Game to Watch: No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 3 Indiana
Reading the first sentence from the entry above should be enough to keep students in for a bit on Saturday night for the 9 p.m. matchup.
Honestly, college basketball may not see a game of this caliber until, well, maybe the last game of Big Ten play when these two teams meet in Ann Arbor.
In terms of on-court talent, there’s a plethora of future NBA players and potential lottery picks with Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo and Michigan’s Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.
After scoring just 11 points his previous two games, Zeller showed on Wednesday against Purdue why he’s one of the nation’s deadliest big men with a 19-point and 11-rebound performance.
And while Zeller was the subject of preseason national infatuation, it’s the Hoosiers’ Swiss Army knife Oladipo who’s got all bases covered, averaging 19 points, 6.3 boards and four steals per game in his last three contests.
For Michigan, the Big Ten’s highest scoring backcourt with Burke (17.9 points per game) and Hardaway Jr. (15.5 points per game) has the ability to take games over.
However, it’ll be tough to do on the road in Assembly Hall, one of the country’s most rowdy venues and a place where Indiana seems unbeatable.
With everything taken into consideration, this is not only the premier contest of the weekend, but could college basketball’s best game before March Madness.
After winning the first three duals and jumping out to a 13-0 lead, No. 3 Iowa had to hold on late in its 22-16 win over No. 1 Penn State on Friday night.
In a national title rematch from last year, No. 1 Matt McDonough and No. 2 NicoMegaludis wrestled another close bout at 125 pounds. Neither registered a takedown as the Hawkeye wrestler won 2-1 in the tiebreak period on an escape.
In the next two bouts, Iowa started to build its advantage. No. 2 Tony Ramos earned his team a full six points with a pin against Jordan Conaway at 133 pounds, and No. 8 Mark Ballweg defeated Bryan Pearsall 12-2 at 141 pounds to push the lead to 13-0.
After the Alton brothers split their matches with No. 8 Andrew winning 18-8 and No. 5 Dylan losing 4-3, the Lions trailed 16-4 at the break.
No. 2 David Taylor started the Lions rally by earning a technical fall against No. 13 Nick Moore to cut the score to 19-9.
After No. 4 Matt Brown was defeated by decision to widen the Iowa lead to 19-9 at 174 pounds, No. 1 Ed Ruth registered a 21-10 major decision over Grant Gambrall to earn four points for Penn State.
No. 3 Quentin Wright earned an 8-3 win at 197 pounds over No. 19 Nathan Burak, but the senior failed to pick up any bonus points, meaning that the dual would be decided by heavyweight as Iowa led 19-16.
With Penn State holding the tiebreak due to earning more points in the dual, the heavyweight fight between No. 17 Jon Gingrich and No. 6 Bobby Telford was a must win for both sides. It was Telford who was the aggressor, as he registered the first takedown to take a 2-0 lead in the bout. The Hawkeye wrestler spent most of the first period picking up riding time. Telford built up a 4-0 lead and would cruise from there, as Iowa held on to give Penn State its first loss, 22-16, snapping the team's 20-game winning streak.
Penn State will continue its road trip as it takes on No. 8 Illinois Sunday at 2 p.m.
After taking a break from EIVA conference play, No. 6 Penn State returned to Rec Hall Friday night to take on the Division II Pfeiffer Falcons of Conference Carolinas.
While the Nittany Lions came out sporting a new wardrobe - gray shorts instead of the traditional blue - their play on the court was far from taboo as they bested the Falcons in straight sets and moved to 7-1 on the season.
“Game two we got sucked in by their rhythm, and I think we made a lot of hitting errors,” said Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik. “By game three it looked like we were in total control and we got used to seeing what was on the other side of the net.”
Penn State took the opening set 25-15 behind the play of Nick Turko and Aaron Russell, who logged four kills and four digs, respectively.
Setter Taylor Hammond recorded 10 assists in the first set, which is in line with his season average.
Pavlik elected to sit the majority of his starters for the second set as the only regulars to see time in the second frame were Hammond, Turko and Connor Curry.
Pavlik’s band of super subs were able to dispatch the starters of Pfeiffer in a grueling back and forth set that saw Penn State win 25-22.
“Coach Pavlik has a great bench and guys are able to come off the bench and easily jump right into the game,” said Pfeifer head coach Greg Walker, who is a Penn State alum. “One video we watched in our preparation was Penn State’s game against Harvard when they rotated in a lot of guys so we were very familiar with all of their personnel.”
Nittany Lions highlighted in the second set were Nick Goodell, who had four kills, and Kyle Mars who tallied three kills.
Mars is coming off a productive weekend that saw him log a considerable amount of playing time and record seven kills in the previous match against Harvard.
Penn State was able to win the third set by a score of 25-18 and claim the match.
One member of Penn State appeared to have claimed something other than victory with his play against the Falcons.
“Somebody in the crowd kept calling me Scotty Locks,” said Kegerreis, whose head of hair rivals former Penn State quarterback Shane McGregor. “I was digging it man. I was really feeling it to be honest.”
Kegerreis led the home team with 11 kills and led all players with a .769 hitting percentage.
The Nittany Lions return to Rec Hall Saturday night at 7:00 pm against Mount Olive.
Although it was decided by three goals, Friday night's contest between conference opponents Penn State and No. 7 Mercyhurst was just as intense as most one-goal games.
The conference-leading Lakers (20-5-1, 11-2-0 CHA) ultimately won, 5-2, but the Nittany Lions (7-17-1, 1-11-1 CHA) never backed down and kept the game interesting until the final whistle.
Christine Bestland registered a hat trick for the Lakers and began the game's scoring with a score from a rebound. Celine Whitlinger, in net for the Lions instead of the usual Nicole Paniccia, conceded another rebound less than five minutes later.
Despite giving up the five goals, Whitlinger had a solid performance between the pipes, recording a career-high 59 saves.
After heading into the first intermission down 2-0 and trailing in shots on goal 30-3, the Lions came back swinging in the second stanza.
Following a third Lakers goal, Hannah Hoenshell picked up her eighth goal of the season and the team's first of the game to get the Lions on the scoreboard. A Mercyhurst penalty was assessed after the goal, and there were still signs of life in the Lions.
However, the brief rally was derailed when the Lions were called for four penalties during the final 12 minutes of the period.
Overall, both teams combined for a whopping 17 penalties - the Lions were given nine, while the Lakers were called for eight. Six of the Lakers' penalties came in the final period, which featured nine total trips to the penalty box between the two teams.
The penalties were not the only instances of aggression on the ice, though.
Plenty of small shoving matches followed whistles throughout the game, even as the Lions fell behind 5-2 in the third period after Bestland's third goal. Involved in several of those instances was freshman Jordin Pardoski.
“Today was definitely a physical game for both teams,” Pardoski said. “I think both teams were really amped up, especially our team, and we're just ready to go and we're ready for tomorrow.”
Pardoski also tallied the Lions' second goal at the 6:27 mark of the third period on a power play.
But Lakers' goaltender Stephanie Ciampa stopped the other 17 shots the Lions fired throughout the game and preserved yet another victory for the conference powerhouse.
The two teams will meet again at Greenberg Ice Pavilion on Saturday to finish up their two-game series. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.
Hershey, Pa. - Penn State was too much for Ohio Friday night, despite the Bobcats scoring first.
Nittany Lions’ coach Guy Gadowsky thought “here we go again” when the puck was deflected and had goalie P.J. Musico going the opposite direction. The Lions would not let allow another goal in the 6-1 win.
“We didn’t actually play a poor first period,” Gadowsky said. “Anytime you’re playing well and you have the first one scored against you, you have that mindset.”
Two unanswered goals from freshmen Casey Bailey and David Glen in the first period gave the Lions the lead for good.
Gadowsky added that it was important that the team had the lead heading into the first intermission.
“It gives you a little better feeling going into the second period,” Gadowsky said. “It’s unlike Michigan State [where] we played well but were down.”
The Lions then had their best period in the second. Penn State scored four goals in the second period with Kenny Brooks, Michael Longo, Mark Yanis, and Bailey’s second of the night.
Despite neither team scoring in the third period, Penn State’s old club rivalry with the Ohio Bobcats didn’t go anywhere as the hits came from all directions from the start of the opening faceoff.
Musico stopped 13 out of Ohio’s 14 shots while Nittany Lions finished the game with 37 shots on goal.
The two teams will face each other again at the Greenberg Ice Pavilion, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Three Stars: Third - David Glen, Second - Kenny Brooks, First - Casey Bailey
Penn State women's hockey head coach Josh Brandwene addressed the media after the Nittany Lions lost to No. 7 Mercyhurst, 5-2, on Feb. 1. Brandwene discussed the importance of the game and the physicality that came with it.