March 25, 2008 at 9:07 PM
Coach Ed DeChellis talks about Jamelle Cornley and scheduling for next year.
March 24, 2008 at 3:49 PM
Hello baseball fans, and welcome to the first installment of Penn State baseball. After some early season delay, we are up and running, and here to deliver the action from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. I'm Brian Eller, and I'll be taking you through today's game as the Nittany Lions take on Canisius.
Game Notes: Penn State(5-11) vs. Canisius(13-2)
Probable Starters: Penn State- Ryan Stobart 0-1, 7.31 ERA, 20 H, 10 ER, 5 BB, 8 SO
Canisius- Josh Sawatzky 2-0, 5.73 ERA, 9 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 7 SO
Gametime Temp: Really Cold Degrees
Gametime Attendance: Nobody is Here
After the first inning Penn State has the early one run lead. Golden Griffins starter Josh Sawatzky walked the first three batters, and after a team meeting on the mound, Nittany Lion catcher Joe Blackburn knocked in his sixth RBI on the season with a fielder's choice.
Well Canisius got its first hit of the game with a leadoff single, but Lion pitcher Ryan Stobart turned away the next three batters, keeping the home team's 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second. For Penn State, Rick Marlin, Ryan Boonie, and Grant Youngblood will come up. Boonie played his way into the starting lineup during this past weekend's series against Lehigh, and is currently batting .273 with 0 HR and 3 RBI.
On a side note, there appears to be a few scouts in the stands behind home plate. What this means and who they're after I'm not sure. Who knows, maybe people outside State College are starting to hear about my writing skills.
To the top of the third we go with the score still 1-0 in favor of the Lions. Amazingly, Penn State is being no hit right now, with the only run coming off of one of six BB on the day. As right fielder Adam Donato steps to the plate for the Griffins, Canisius has now batted around. Stobart is still throwing strong for Penn State, with his fastball clocking in around 87 mph.
Penn State now in a little hot water with one out in the top of the third. Canisius has runners at the corners, with slugger Branson Joseph, who leads the vistors in home runs this season with 4, at the plate. Will Stobart be able to keep the scoreboard a goose egg???
Well Joseph was caught looking at a fastball, and now it will be up to catcher Kevin Reimer to put his team on the scoreboard. But just one pitch in that half of the inning is over, as a short grounder to short is scooped up and fired over to first for the out. The score remains 1-0 PSU.
2-0 Penn State, bottom of the third
After centerfielder Brian Ernst got on base with a single to right field, first baseman Cory Wine sent him home with a two out single to right center. Catcher Joe Blackburn hit a chopper to third base just before Wine's at bat to move Ernst over to third, and Wine's eighth RBI gives the Lions the two run lead, and Stobart some more breathing room heading to the fourth inning.
By the way, those scouts have yet to approach me about a job at the New York Times or wherever they're from. Jerks.
3-2 Canisius, top of the fourth
Penn State coach Robbie Wine is making his first visit to the mound as the Golden Griffins have tied this game at two. After back to back singles by Kevin Mailloux and Ryan Asis, Kevin Mahoney tripled to right center to clear the bases, giving Canisius some momentum. Apparently the visit didn't do much good, as Connor Burke hit a sacrifice fly to send in Mahoney from third and give Canisius the 3-2 lead.
We are halfway through today's game and score remains 3-2 Canisius. A relatively uneventful half of the inning for Penn State at the plate. Both bullpens are seeing their first action of the day, with left hander David Lutz warming up for the Lions.
As we start the sixth innning no changes on the scoreboard. Despite some stirring in the Lion bullpen Stobart has come out to start the sixth inning. He has allowed three runs on seven hits, but is still throwing in the high 80's.
4-4, top of the seventh
Penn State has tied the game after lead off man Wes Borden hit a two run single sending in Grant Youngblood and Lou Picconi. As we start the seventh, Stobart is back out for Penn State, but had walked Alec Cabello to start the inning. Actually as we speak coach Wine has trotted out to the mound, and it looks like Stobart's time on the mound may be coming to a close.
Indeed Stobart's outing is finished after going 6 2/3 innings. The right hander gave up four runs and eight hits, and David Lutz will come in to try and pick up the win for the Lions. Now a break in the action. Comments
March 21, 2008 at 7:54 PM
Finish your hot dog, wipe the relish off of your mouth and key the stadium organ music. It's time.
Welcome to Inside the Dugout, your online, 24-hour source for everything Penn State baseball.
I'm Travis Johnson. My partners and I, Brendan Shorts and Brian Eller will utilize this flashy cyber-forum to relay team news and take you inside each Penn State ball game. If you're lucky, we might just make you laugh occasionally.
So snoop around, click on things and familiarize yourselves with us. As always we're open to suggestions and criticisms.
Just for clicking practice, check this out. In the meantime, we'll see you in left field.
March 17, 2008 at 9:14 PM
One day after the men's brackets were released, the women's brackets were announced.
As has been expected for some time now, the field of 65 will not be including the Lady Lions.
Four Big Ten teams made the field. Iowa as a No.9 seed in the New Orleans Region, Ohio State as a No.6 seed in the New Orleans Region, Purdue as a No.9 seed in the Oklahoma City Region, and Minnesota as a No.9 seed in the Greensboro Region.
Four other Lady Lion opponents from this season made the tournament. Duke (No.3 seed in Oklahoma City Region), Old Dominion (No.5 seed in the Greensboro Region), Pittsburgh (No.6 seed in Spokane Region) and Syracuse (No.7 seed in Oklahoma City Region)
Without further ado, here are the first round matchups
No.1 Connecticut vs. No. 16 Cornell
No.8 Texas vs. No.9 Minnesota
No.5 Old Dominion vs. No.12 Liberty
No.4 Virginia vs. No.13 California-Santa Barbara
No.6 George Washington vs. No.11 Auburn
No.3 California vs. No.14 San Diego
No.7 Iowa State vs. No.10 Georgia Tech
No.2 Rutgers vs. No.15 Robert Morris
No.1 Maryland vs. No.16 Coppin State
No.8 Nebraska vs. No.9 Xavier
No.5 West Virginia vs. No.12 New Mexico
No.4 Vanderbilt vs. No.13 Montana
No.6 Pittsburgh vs. No.11 Wyoming
No.3 Baylor vs. No.14 Fresno State
No.7 Texas-El Paso vs. No.10 Western Kentucky
No.2 Stanford vs. No.15 Cleveland State
New Orleans Regional
No.1 North Carolina vs. No.16 Bucknell
No.8 Georgia vs. No.9 Iowa
No.5 Kansas State vs. No.12 Chattanooga
No.4 Louisville vs. No.13 Miami (Ohio)
No.6 Ohio State vs. No.11 Ohio State
No.3 Oklahoma State vs. No.14 East Tennessee State
No.7 Marist vs. No.10 DePaul
No.2 LSU vs. No.15 Jackson State
Oklahoma City Regional
No.1 Tennessee vs. No.16 Oral Roberts
No.8 Utah vs. No.9 Purdue
No.5 Notre Dame vs. No.12 Southern Methodist
No.4 Oklahoma vs. No.12 Illinois State
No.6 Arizona State vs. No.11 Temple
No.3 Duke vs. No.14 Murray State
No.7 Syracuse vs. No.10 Hartford
No.2 Texas A&M vs. No.15 Texas-San Antonio
March 17, 2008 at 1:06 PM
I waited long into the night for the College Basketball Invitational bracket to be released, and I eventually had to go to bed before it came out.
Ultimately, Penn State was not included in the inaugural CBI when the bracket came out this morning, and only three of the 16 teams in the field came from one of the six power conferences. Some notable teams from power conferences that weren't in the field: Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Alabama and Illinois.
Here's the full bracket.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Wake Forest was not interested in the CBI.
On the surface, it seems like the CBI had trouble filling out its field.
March 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM
Steve here again from Conseco Fieldhouse, but perhaps I should be calling it Kohl Center South. There is a lot of Wisconsin red littering the crowd here as we get ready for tipoff between Wisconsin and Michigan.
I have also seen a lot of Ohio State and Michigan State fans here for what is today's featured matchup.
Wisconsin is off to a 4-0 start here. More to come later.
16:19 left in the first half
Wisconsin 8 Michigan 0
John Beilein was forced to spend a timeout before the first media timeout to keep this one from getting out of hand. Wisconsin has had its way down low so far, and Michael Flowers just scored on a breakaway to put the Badgers up 10. This one has blowout written all over it.
10:03 left in the first half
Wisconsin 13 Michigan 7
A 7-3 run for the Wolverines has stopped the bleeding and prevented this one from getting out of hand early on.
Most have probably already heard about this, but Chris Babb, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Texas and a three-star recruit, has verbally committed to Penn State, according to various sources. Wayne has tried getting in touch with Babb's high school to no avail. We'll have more on Babb as soon as we can get it, but the coaching staff can't comment until a player signs a letter of intent.
This is a huge coup for Ed DeChellis, as Babb was a player being recruited by other Big Ten and Big 12 schools.
7:51 left in the first half
Wisconsin 15 Michigan 9
Another low-scorer in the noon game here at Conseco Fieldhouse. Michigan has done a nice job containing the Badgers, but the Wolverines need to get it going on offense to have any hope of pulling the upset, never an easy task against Bo Ryan's Badgers.
Ryan, however, just got t'ed up and Michigan will have free throws and the ball after this timeout.
3:30 left in the first half
Wisconsin 22 Michigan 13
The Wolverines got as close as 15-13, but a 7-0 Wisconsin run has put the Badgers back in control.
Although the matchup between these two teams may not be that intriguing or important to the NCAA tournament picture, this is a matchup of two titans of the coaching world, Bo Ryan and John Beilein. Watching Ryan stalk around the sidelines and gesture is almost as entertaining as the game itself (especially when both teams are shooting as poorly as they are today). Ryan got particularly upset when Michigan's Manny Harris got open for a 3-pointer after some nice passing by the Wolverines. Harris, however, missed the shot.
Wisconsin has gotten a balanced scoring attack, as the Badgers have four players with at least four points, led by Jason Bohannon with six.
Wisconsin 26 Michigan 18
The Wolverines have done a nice job keeping it close, but will have to improve their shooting if they hope to have a chance here.
The Wolverines have shot an abysmal 21 percent from the field, including 3-for-11 from 3-point range. Wisconsin hasn't done much better posting a 41 percent mark from the field.
One interesting stat is the work the Wolverines have done on the offensive glass, grabbing six offensive rebounds. Pretty impressive against the Badgers, one of the biggest teams in the conference.
The arena is really starting to fill up, but the crowd is mostly Wisconsin fans. I saw a horde of Indiana fans checking in to a Hampton Inn last night, but the Hoosiers don't play until the last game tonight. I would imagine we'll start seeing some Hoosier red soon.
They are having a musical chairs game between Wisconsin and Michigan fans right now, and a Wisconsin fan just checked a Michigan fan out of his chair to win, much to the delight of the partisan crowd.
15:49 left in the second half
Wisconsin 31 Michigan 23
The Wolverines cut the lead to 26-23 on an Anthony Wright 3-pointer, but the Badgers responded with a run of their own to keep their lead comfortable.
It doesn't look like Michigan is capable of pulling off the upset, but the Wolverines responded nicely to Wisconsin's early surge and it is pretty clear that John Beilein's system is starting to take hold with this team. Once Beilein gets some better perimeter shooters on his roster (or improvement from his current team) the Wolverines will be a force.
14:24 left in the second half
Wisconsin 35 Michigan 23
Jason Bohannon just fed Marcus Landry with a spectacular behind the back pass on a fast break that led to a pretty sweet tomahawk dunk in what was the best play we've seen so far in this tournament.
Beilein just called timeout, so we'll see if Michigan can stop what is now a 9-0 Wisconsin run. This feels like a pivotal point in the game, as the Wolverines can either fight back now or allow the Badgers to run away with it.
11:20 left in the second half
Wisconsin 37 Michigan 28
Anthony Wright knocked down a trey after the last timeout to get the deficit down to nine for the Wolverines, where it has remained for the time being.
Brian Butch will head to the line for Wisconsin after this timeout.
6:25 left in the second half
Wisconsin 46 Michigan 32
The Badgers have kept a pretty comfortable lead here and appear to be headed to the semifinals despite a rather uneven performance offensively. Hard to find fault with their defensive performance, though, as it looks like the Wolverines will be hard pressed to score 40 in this one.
2:52 left in the second half
Wisconsin 46 Michigan 34
Much like yesterday, Michigan is playing in a game without much second-half scoring. However, the Wolverines are on the wrong side of the score this time.
Not much has happened since my last post, and it looks like Michigan doesn't have enough time to score the points it would need for a comeback.
Wisconsin 51 Michigan 34
John Beilein sat with had hands crossed behind his head, as he could only look on with frustration as his team futilely tried to score on Wisconsin.
It's the end of what had to be a pretty tough year for Beilein, one of the most successful active college coaches. His Wolverines shot 20 percent from the field, a totally pathetic figure for a Division I college team.
For Wisconsin though, their season is really just beginning. After an early exit from the NCAAs last year, the Badgers are playing for perhaps a two-seed in this year's draw.
The Ohio State team just came out to the floor to a chorus of boos from the many Michigan State fans in attendance today.
Once again, I'll be turning the blogging over to Wayne as I go in search of snacks again.
No. 4-seed Michigan State vs. No. 5-seed Ohio State
Day 2 continues with the game of the tournament so far, as the previous four games featured just one team with a winning record.
There's a lot at stake in this contest, as the Spartans are trying to improve on their seed for the NCAA tournament. On the other end, the Buckeyes could probably clinch an NCAA bid with a win over Michigan State.
Though some of that has to do with Ohio State's recent wins against No. 17 Purdue and No. 19 Michigan State, a lot of it comes from the carnage that is the bubble picture: Maryland, Villanova, Baylor, Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State, Mississippi, Dayton, Massachusetts, UAB, Houston and New Mexico all lost yesterday. So, while a win might not be necessary for Ohio State, it would put it close to lock status.
In the season series, MSU and OSU split their meetings, with each winning at home. The Spartans won by six in East Lansing, Mich., and Ohio State won, 63-54, in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday. The Buckeyes' win was their second in a row over a ranked foe, as they upset No. 17 Purdue in overtime.
MSU-9. OSU-6; 15:49 left in first half
Michigan State's leader, Drew Neitzel, got the game going with a 3, and the teams have been exchanging buckets since then.
Both the Buckeyes and Spartans are doing well on the offensive glass, so if either team can keep that up, it could be in good shape.
MSU-16, OSU-11; 11:33 left in opening half
When Ohio State is slow getting back on transition defense, the Spartans are making them pay. Michigan State has also been successful forcing turnovers and convering them to easy dunks.
Ohio State's Kosta Koufos has been big off the bench, as he leads the team with five points, including its only 3-pointer.
MSU-20, OSU-16; 7:22 left in first half
What an impressive dunk by Koufos. It seems that today is going to be a dunk contest. His one-handed slam really brought the Buckeye faithful back into the game after OSU fell behind by six.
Even though both squads are shooting less than 50 percent, the quick pace of the offense keeps the score relatively high-scoring despite the misses. On a sidenote, Ohio State's Jamar Butler and Michigan State's Goran Suton have picked up their second fouls, so its likely they will sit on the bench the rest of the half.
MSU-27, OSU-22; 3:25 left until halftime
After getting cold from beyond the arc, Neitzel finally hit a 3 to push the lead to five. He leads all scorers with 11 points.
Both teams are flying all over the court on both offense and defense. Physical blocks and loose balls are really exciting the fans here, who were looking for a fast-paced game like this after the previous four games were played at a much slower pace.
MSU-30, OSU-30; halftime
The game's become a Koufos vs. Neitzel showdown. The two have combined for 27 points in the first half, including seven 3-pointers. Koufos could be headed for a double-double, with 13 points and five rebounds.
Though the game is tied, Ohio State got the bigger cheer as the teams headed to the locker room because Butler's 3 right before the buzzer. There were only three free throws attempted in the half, which only furthers the fast pace.
First half stats
Shooting: MSU-40.6 percent to 38.7 percent
3s: Both made four
Rebounds: Both with 17 (both with five offensive rebounds)
Free throws: OSU-2-for-3, MSU-0-for-0
Fouls: MSU-5 to OSU's 4
Leading scorers: MSU-Neitzel with 14, OSU-Koufos with 13
MSU-33, OSU-32; 15:05 left
With Lighty's layup to start the second half, the Buckeyes tak the lead for the first time. It was short lived, however, as Neitzel continued his torrid shooting by nailing another 3-pointer--his fifth of the game.
After that though, the offenses have stalled. Bad shot selection and turnovers are plaguing both teams, as the shot clock is winding down more this half. Only two field goals have been made this half, and there hasn't been one since since Neitzel's 3 with 18:28 left.
MSU-39. OSU-36; 11:59 left
The fans have gotten progressively more and more unhappy with the officiating this game, and it finally erupted when a technical foul was called on Ohio State's Othello Hunter against Souton. The technical gives the Buckeyes theur eighth of the half, which means Michigan State is in the bonus the rest of the game.
With the foul, the Spartans promptly hit four straight free throws. But, as has been the case all afternoon, Koufos came up huge for the Buckeyes with a one-handed slam.
MSU-47, OSU-40; 8:57 left
Quietly but quickly, the Spartans take their biggest lead of the game. Neitzel goes over 20 points with the last made basket, and the Buckeyes continue to falter offensively. Making matters worse for them is that Michigan State is already in the double bonus and Koufos has three fouls, but he will re-enter the game regardless.
MSU-54, OSU-48; 3:32 left
The Spartans were about to put the game away, but Ohio State is refusing to go away.
Both teams are shooting plenty of 3s, especially the Spartans. Michigan State has been in a scoring drought lately, allowing the Buckeyes to stay in the game. Both teams are in the bonus now, so MSU lost the edge it had there.
In foul trouble: MSU's Morgan and Suton with four; OSU's Hunter with four.
MSU-56, OSU-53; 2:08 left
The Buckeyes continue to creep closer, thanks to the presence of Hunter, who now has 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Spartans haven't scored with a field goal since 5:28.
Tough loss for Ohio State. They cut the deficit down to three points, but Neitzel saved the game for Michigan State with a 3-pointer after good ball movement from his teammates. Neitzel finished with a game-high 28 points.
The Spartans furthered their case for potentially a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament while also keeping the rival Buckeyes on the tournament bubble.
And with that, I say good-bye. We'll be making our way back to Penn State. Though the eight-plus hour drive is long, at least the OSU-MSU game will leave a lot to talk about, as will the remaining games today and the rest of the weekend.
March 13, 2008 at 2:06 PM
Hello, basketball fams. As Steve said, this is Wayne taking over.
Conseco Fieldhouse is a great building. It's decently sized, but it isn't so huge it makes you feel like you are a mile away from the action.
Any, after the Michigan-Iowa game set basketball back 20 or so years, it's now Penn State's and Illinois' time to shine and bring excitement.
The Fighting Illini (13-18, 5-13 Big Ten), despite the on-court struggles, still brought a large number of supporters to paint Conseco bright orange. But on the other side, there doesn't seem to be very many Penn State supporters, except for a small gathering behind the team bench.
As for the game itself, the Nittany Lions (15-15, 7-11) go for the three-game sweep of Illinois this season. Penn State won by four in Champaign and also took the game in the Bryce Jordan Center, winning 52-51.
But it's important to note that during those games, the Lions had either Geary Claxton or Jamelle Cornley. And in the first meeting, Penn State had both.
This time around, the Lions will be starting four freshmen. So far, Penn State is 1-1 when doing so, with the win coming against No. 22 Indiana on Sunday. But this is certainly the biggest game yet for Penn State, as it will be forced to win away from home if it wants to keep its postseason chances alive. And recent history won't be on the Lions' side, as they have lost seven straight road games. Ironically, the last win away from University Park came against the Illini on Jan. 6.
G Talor Battle-10 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.1 apg
G Stanley Pringle-6.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.3 apg
F Jeff Brooks-3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.9 apg
F D.J. Jackson-5.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.7 apg
F Andrew Jones-3.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.4 apg
G Trent Meacham-10.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg
G Demetri McCamey-7.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.2 apg
G Chester Frazier-4.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.6 apg
F Brian Randle-9.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.4 apg
C Shaun Pruitt-12.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.9 apg
ILL-13, PSU-12; 15:00 left in first half
It's been a 3-point contest early on, as the teams have attempted eight 3s already, hitting five. The game has been back and fort for the first five minutes, with both teams shooting relatively early each possession. After the Lions took a brief 12-7 lead, it only took 45 seconds for Illinois to hit back-to-back 3s. Both were wide open, with Penn State looking like it wasn't even going to challenge the look. Thus far, the transition defenses have been suspect for both teams.
ILL-20, PSU-17; 10:57 left in first half
Illinois is shooting a hefty 63 percent, so Penn State can take solace that the Illini probably can't keep this hot streak going the entire game. Regardless, the Illini are on a 13-5 run, and the Lions seem to have trouble getting good looks at the basket if they can't get out in transition. Penn State has been effective on offensive rebounds thus far, however, with Brooks and Jones saving empty possessions with second- and third-chance points.
ILL-31, PSU-25; 6:49 left in first half
The scoreboard may have been stuck at the same score for a couple minutes, but the offensive fireworks kept coming. Both teams are shooting above 5o percent from the field, with Penn State shooting a blitzing 5-for-7 from 3. All five starters have scored for both teams, with Meacham and his three 3s leading the way. On a side note, Penn State's Danny Morrissey came off of the bench earlier and has already picked up three fouls, so he will most likely sit the rest of the half.
ILL-33, PSU-29; 3:55 left in the half
The Lions have weathered the storm. Despite the Illini dominating underneath the glass on the offensive end and not reaching the charity stripe yet, Penn State has survived thanks to missed layups by the Illini and good cuts and passes in the paint. Pringle has really stepped up, scoring eight points alongside Battle and his eight points. But the bigmen for the Lions have been pushed around repeatedly on the defensive end.
ILL-37, PSU-31; 1:46 left in opening half
Battle made a nice move to cut the deficit to two, the closest Penn State got since 15-14. After staying out of foul trouble most of the half, Illinois has found some trouble. Randle will sit for the rest of the half after picking up his second foul, as will McCamey.
ILL-39, PSU-37; halftime
It took almost the entire half, but the Lions finally got to the foul line, when made both free throws. Another Illini, this time Tisdale, is in foul trouble, as he will start the second half with three fouls. It continues to be the Battle-Pringle show, as the duo has combined for 18 points already. Battle's driving layup with less than two seconds left.
Also, during his halftime interview with ESPN, Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said Pringle is suffering from a back problem. It will be interesting to see if/how many minutes Pringle will get in the second half.
First half stats
Shooting: PSU-57.7 percent to 44.8 percent
3s: ILL-6 3s to 5 3s
Free Throws: ILL-7 made FTs to 2
Rebounds: ILL-16 to 11 (ILL: 10 offensive to PSU's 5 offensive)
Leading Scorers: PSU's Battle with 12 points; ILL's Meacham with 11 points
ILL-45, PSU-41; 15:51 left
The good news for the Lions is Pringle seems to be gutting it out, as hit bucket to start the half temporarily tied the game.
The bad news for Penn State is Illinois has made defensive adjustments. It seems that whenever Battle and Pringle try to get inside the lane, the Illini are sliding over a double-team. This will put more pressure on the forwards to score. For Illinois on offense, McCamey and Randle have been the go-to guys this haf.
ILL-51, PSU-47; 11:38 left
Randle is killing the Lions. He has 13 points including three on a nice 3-point play where he made a driving layup while being fouled by Jones. For a little bit, it seemed the game was getting away from Penn State, but a 3 by Morrissey has made the score where it currently stands.
For Penn State, Brooks has entered into foul trouble. He has been an impact player today, grabbing eight rebounds and scoring six points. His fould will force him to sit for a bit.
ILL-51, PSU-49; 8:56 left
The Illini faithful and team is starting to get frustrated with the officiating. Two points were wiped off the board, and a steal directly under Penn State's basket were both deemed in violation through a travel and a foul.
Brooks has re-entered the game for the Lions, replacing Jackson. He even provided the game's only points for the last 2:56 on a nice jumpshot. But for the teams in general, scoring has become more than just difficult--both have just 12 points this half.
ILL-53, PSU-49; 7:32 left
Randle strikes again. That makes it 15 points for the 6-foot-8 senior. Penn State continues to leave him open on the side of the basket, and Randle continues to hit the open jumpshot.
Jones picks up another foul, his third. The Lions also have just two field goals in the last 4:17.
ILL-60, PSU-52; 5:36 left
The tide has turned for the worst for Penn State. Morrissey's second 3 of the game silenced Illinois for a bit, but Illinois reponded with a 4-0 run that included a fourth foul on Brooks and Battle getting hit in the mouth. Battle is staying in the game, but was shaken up for a few seconds.
Offensively, the Lions are relying on Morrissey and Walker to bail them out and hit 3s to keep them close. On defense, Penn State is just unable to handle the ball movement by the Illini lately, causing easy looks and foul shots for Illinois, where it is shooting 13-for-15. Penn State has only been to the line once this game.
ILL-62, PSU-59; 3:30 left
Brooks fouled out with 4:36 left and Jones picked up his fourth with 4:03
Battle is trying to take the game into his own hands, as his 3-point play cut the Illini lead to five, the smallest since the game was 56-52. Penn State then continued its rally with a nice pass to a cutting Jackson to cut it down to three.
PSU-63, ILL-62; 51.2 seconds left
Randle fouls out with 2:51 left. He was the main scoring threat for the Illini today.
Battle and Jones continue the run, as Penn State takes the lead for the first time since 12-10 when Jones his both his three throws. Illinois is really stumbling offensively, as it hasn't scored since 4:52 and has ben held without a field goal the last five minutes.
ILL-64, PSU-63; FINAL
Tough, tough loss.
After missing its first chance to win, Illinois got the ball out of bounds and scored when Frazier hit a turnaround layup with around four seconds left. Battle's desperation 3 at the buzzer didn't fall in what is probably Penn State's last game of the season.
March 13, 2008 at 12:14 PM
We've made our way to our assigned seats, and we got stuck in the media overflow section, so we're up high, like we would be at the Bryce Jordan Center. It's not horrible though, because our view is probably better than it would be if we were on the floor, but stuck in the corner.
So far, we have seen a lot of Illinois orange littering the sparse crowd. Other than that Penn State should feel right at home here at Conseco Field House, as the arena is mostly empty right now.
Michigan is off to a nice start here in the opening game. The Wolverines lead Iowa 15-7 with 11:39 left in the first half.
15:40 left in the first game
Michigan 44 Iowa 29
Michigan has led for most of this game. Iowa has hung around, but hasn't been able to string together a significant run to cut into the Wolverines' lead.. The Wolverines led by as many as 14 in the first half. DeShawn Sims of Michigan leads all scorers with 14 points.
We've spotted our first Penn State fans of the tournament. There's a family sitting near us, and what looks like the Penn State parents' section behind the Iowa bench. Geary Claxton's family is there, and I would imagine that Jeff Brooks has a contingent of friends and family as well. His hometown of Louisville is not far from here.
11:32 left in the first game
Michigan 44 Iowa 30
Not much has happened since my last post. A lot of outside shots have rimmed out on both sides. Iowa is shooting only 38 percent from the field and both teams are showing why the bottom of the Big Ten is considered extremely weak.
7:08 left in the first game
Michigan 44 Iowa 34
We haven't seen a field goal in this game since 18:12 left in the second half. Iowa has crept slowly back into it with free throws, and definitely still has a chance to win this thing the way Michigan has struggled on offense. If the Hawkeyes can get hot they can come back quickly as the Wolverines have been absymal on offense this half.
5:51 left in the first game
Michigan 44 Iowa 36
Michigan is doing its best Penn State impression. The Wolverines haven't scored since 15:52 left in the second half, and have allowed the Haweyes -- who have only played slightly better -- to crawl back into this one.
3:13 left in the first game
Michigan 49 Iowa 37
Anthony Wright (a Northern Virginia guy, like myself) just knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Wolverines up by 12, which seems like an insurmountable lead the way this game has gone.
Even when Michigan isn't scoring, Ekpe Udoh is an exciting shot blocker to watch. He just denied Iowa's Jake Kelly, and Iowa committed a shot-clock violation on the ensuing inbounds play.
Michigan 55 Iowa 47
Hopefully this first game isn't an indication of things to come here in Indianapolis. The Wolverines led for the entire game in what was extremely sloppy and poorly played offensive game.
I'm going to turn the blogging duties over to Wayne. I'm heading down to the hospitality room in search of some snacks.
March 13, 2008 at 11:15 AM
Well we finally made it to Indianapolis. Steve coming to you from the media workroom here at Conseco Field House. Lots of media here already. It's quite a different atmosphere here than at the typical Penn State home game.
We got in around 9 last night but couldn't get Internet until now. We walked around town after we got in last night, and there wasn't much going on. There are a lot of Iowa fans here, which makes sense considering the Hawkeyes tip off against Michigan in about half an hour. I haven't seen many fans of other schools yet, in fact I can say that I haven't seen one Nittany Lions logo yet. Hopefully action will pick up around here once the tournament gets under way.
I'll have some updates from the first game and plan to update during the Penn State game like I would during a normal home game. The Lions are scheduled to tip at approximately 2:30 p.m.
March 10, 2008 at 8:23 PM
The Big Ten named its all-conference team and gave out its individual awards tonight, and the results have to be a bit disappointing for Penn State.
Jamelle Cornley made third team all-conference as voted by the media, but only received an honorable mention from the coaches. Mike Walker was a Sportsmanship Award honoree, but Talor Battle was not named to the all-freshman team.
Indiana's D.J. White was named the Player of the Year by both the coaches and media, and fellow Hoosier Eric Gordon was named Freshman of the Year by both as well (no surprise there).
Media First Team:
Eric Gordon, Indiana
D.J. White, Indiana
Jamar Butler, Ohio State
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Brian Butch, Wisconsin
All-Freshman Team (only the coaches selected this)
Eric Gordon, Indiana
Manny Harris, Michigan
Kosta Koufos, Ohio State
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
E'twuan Moore, Purdue
Here's a link to the complete list of awards.
We'll be leaving for Indianapolis on Wednesday, and will be updating the blog throughout the Big Ten Tournament.
March 10, 2008 at 1:24 AM
With Sunday over, so is the end of the regular season. With all the games completed, the bracket for the Big Ten tournament is finalized:
No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Michigan, Thursday at noon
No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 10 Illinois, Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m.
No. 6 Minnesota vs. No. 11 Northwestern, Thursday at approximately 5 p.m.
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. Game 1 Winner, Friday at noon
No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Ohio State, Friday at approximately 2:30 p.m.
No. 2 Purdue vs. Game 2 Winner, Friday at approximately 6:30 p.m.
No. 3 Indiana vs. Game 3 Winnner, Friday at approximately 9 p.m.
Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner, Saturday at 1:40 p.m.
Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner, Saturday at approximately 4:05 p.m.
Semifinal Winners, Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Note: all times are EST
March 10, 2008 at 1:02 AM
Sunday didn't start out well for Penn State, but it certainly got better.
First, the team announced junior forward Jamelle Cornley would miss the rest of the season -- Big Ten tournament included -- because of chronic pain in his left knee. Cornley was the Nittany Lions' leading scorer (12.1) and rebounder (6.0) among active players.
But instead of succumbing to the bad news, Penn State came together and played on of its best defensive games of the season in its upset of No. 18 Indiana, 68-64, in overtime. It is the fifth straight home win over a Big Ten team, the longest streak since 1996.
"I think it's about confidence," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said at the postgame press conference. "They really think that they should win at home and protect the home court and I think everyone was telling them that they couldn't beat Indiana and I kept telling them I thought they could do some things."
The Lions (15-15, 7-11 Big Ten) started four freshmen, and D.J. Jackson led the team with 13 points and 10 rebonds. His crucial 3-point play with 23 seconds left tied the game and force overtime.
The four starting freshmen combined for 41 points, with Jeff Brooks making the most of the opportunity by notching career-highs in points (12) and minutes (32).
Though the Hoosiers (25-6, 14-4) were led by freshman sensation Eric Gordon and his 26 points, he shot just 8-for-24 from the field and missed 12 of his 16 3-point attempts. The most successful Hoosier statistically was D.J. White, who posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
With the win, Penn State's chances for a postseason bid improve. If the team doesn't win the conference tournament, the Lions could play in the NIT or the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), which will compete with the NIT for teams.
"Anytime you can play extra games, I think it is important," DeChellis said. "Get some energy going into the conference tournament. I think that anytime you can play in the postseason, it's different. It's postseason play. I think anytime you can get your young kids into that realm, it's important. We would welcome an opportunity to play."
March 7, 2008 at 2:11 PM
I just got off the phone with Sports Information Director Brian Siegrist, who said that Jamelle Cornley is "questionable" for this Sunday's game against Indiana.
It was pretty clear on Wednesday night that this team needs Cornley to have any shot against the conference's top teams, so the team has to be hoping Cornley can at least play. The Nittany Lions are different when he's on the court, even if he's not 100 percent.
Ed DeChellis and his players have talked a lot about how important these last few games are in terms of seeding, and Sunday is crucial for the Lions heading into the Big Ten tournament. Win, and Penn State secures the seven seed. Lose, and the Lions are relegated to the eighth seed by virtue of Iowa winning a tiebreaker due to the Hawkeyes' win over Ohio State.
The difference between an eight and seven seed won't make a huge difference in the first round, as Michigan is locked into the ninth seed and Illinois is the tenth. So either way, Penn State will play Michigan or Illinois in the first round. Either would be a winnable game.
But, the winner of the eight vs. nine game will have to play conference champion Wisconsin in the second round, something I imagine Penn State players and fans wouldn't be thrilled about doing again. The winner of the 7 vs. 10 game would get either Purdue or Indiana, which although not an easy matchup, is more manageable, at least for Penn State, than playing Wisconsin.
DeChellis has never beaten Wisconsin in his five-year tenure. In fact, the Penn State coach has never come within double-digits of the Badgers. So it's not ridiculous to say the hopes of a deep run at the tournament next week hinge on the outcome of the Indiana game.
March 5, 2008 at 10:06 PM
In honor of the Lady Lions facing Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, we here at the CoQuestioner have decided to post the video that has been making the rounds on the internet lately.
Last week, Michigan blew a 20-point lead in a 69-67 loss to Wisconsin, and Wolverine head coach Kevin Borseth decided to vent his frustrations, to put it nicely.
In less than a week, the clip has reached must-watch status on the popular site youtube.com. There are several different versions of the clip, one of them receiving over 100,000 hits.
So without further ado,
March 1, 2008 at 7:41 PM
Live from Penn State - it's Saturday night!
Tonight, two Big Ten behemoths will clash in a matchup for the ages. Or not. Either way, they still have to play the game, so we still have to be here.
It's senior day today, but that's going to have to take a back seat to the real celebration, State Patty's Day. I don't get it, but I don't have to because I'm wasted (just kidding?).There's a lot of green in the student section and I also saw EMTs wheeling in a gurney before tip-off. Always a good sign.
It's about ten minutes until game time and the Bryce Jordan Center PA guy is honoring the Nittany Lion seniors, Mike Walker, Geary Claxton and Brandon Hassell. Needless to say, Geary Claxton received the loudest ovation.
(Walker and Hassell are in the starting lineup tonight, despite usually coming off the bench.)
Time for some ball.
15:29 remaining in first half - Penn State can't get the ball down low at all, but a pair of 3s by Talor Battle and Mike Walker have them on the board. Michigan leads 8-6 behind six points from Manny Harris.
13:39 - Jamelle Cornley just picked up two quick fouls, an offensive for sending a Michigan player to the floor while backing him down and a technical for arguing the call. This is the loudest the BJC crowd has booed in a while, so at least we know the still care. Cornley took a seat on the bench.
12:54 - After another Manny Harris 3 (he's got 10 points), Brandon Hassell got fouled at the other end but missed both shots. Penn State leads 13-12.
7:36 - Talor Battle now leads all scorers after another 3. He's got 12 and the Lions lead 25-19 thanks to 61.5 percent shooting from the field and 5-for-10 from 3-point range.
3:52 - Battle is carrying the Lions with 15 points. He's shooting 5-for-6 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3. No other Lion has more than six points. PSU leads 32-38.
Penn State leads 37-29 at half thanks to Talor Battle's 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Manny Harris has 13 for Michigan with three boards. The Wolverines are shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor. The Lions have led by as many as nine points, but have turned the ball over nine times as well.
Jamelle Cornley only played six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. If he can put together a second half performance similar to the one against Iowa, it may be lights out for Michigan.
16:18 left in second half -
- Michigan pulled to within one, trailing 41-40 to PSU. Battle and Harris are dueling, with Battle having the edge, 17 points to 16. Battle has also done a lot more work on the glass and feeding his teammates.
12:50 - Battle stole the ball and ran the length of the court, but was rejected by Ekpe Udoh and fell awkwardly on his back. He was down for a moment, then was escorted back to the locker room area. Bad news for Penn State if it's serious. 45-42 PSU.
11:39 - Harris just hit another 3 and is tied for the game high in points with 19. Penn State's lead was cut to 47-45, but during the timeout, Battle trotted back out onto the court and is pacing around by the Lions' bench.
8:56 - Battle re-entered the game to an ovation from the crowd. The Lions are trailing 49-47 and will need him to pick them back up in the final minutes.
7:39 - A pair of threes from Mike Walker and Talor Battle has the Lions back on top, 53-49 and the crowd on its feet. This is the most energy in the BJC since the opening tip and John Beilein will try to get his team settled during the timeout.
6:03 - Two more 3s by Battle and Walker have the Lions ahead by ten. The crowd is going nuts, as is battle, who currently has 25 points (a career high), 10 rebounds (also a career high), and four assists, despite missing a few minutes of the second half while hurt. Claxton's 29 points against Lehigh is the Lions' season high so far, but you can expect Battle to make a serious run at 30.
3:25 - No, this is not a mistake, Walker and Battle just hit another trey apiece, giving the Lions a 65-52 lead. Penn State is shooting better from 3 (57.1 percent) than it is from the floor or the free throw line (47.7 and 55 percent, respectively). Maybe the Wolverines should defend the 3-point shot, but that's just one man's take on the situation.Battle's at 28 with plenty of time remaining, but there isn't enough clock left for him to get the triple-double (he needs five more assists).
1:10 - It took a bit long for it to be official, but a Hassell steal and dunk at the other end put Penn State up 67-58. I'm going to call this one in the bag. Feel free to go to bed... or start drinking heavily. It is State Patty's Day, after all.
39.4 seconds - 67-61 PSU. Not as in the bag as I thought. But it's still looking pretty good for the Lions. It will come down to free throws at this point. Michigan is out of timeouts. Thank God, The last minute of game time has taken something in the area of four hours.
End of Game
The Talor Battles 69 - The Manny Harrises 61. Two in a row the Lions. Happy days are here again at Penn State. Comments