STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Penn State improved its accuracy from long range and took better care of the basketball in the second half Wednesday during a 74-67 win over Cornell.
Tim Frazier had 17 points for Penn State (8-5), Cammeron Woodyard and Trey Lewis added 13 each and Jermaine Marshall had 12. The Nittany Lions, who shot 38 percent from the field, connected on 7 of 14 3-pointers in the second half. Penn State had entered the game with a 32 percent conversion rate from the arc.
"I think that's the first time all year they shot that way," Cornell coach Bill Courtney said.
Cornell's Drew Ferry scored 20 points, making 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Shonn Miller scored 15 points and Galal Cancer added 10. The Big Red (4-6), which squandered an eight-point first-half lead, shot 38 percent from the field.
The Nittany Lions turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and trailed 31-30 at the break but committed only two turnovers in the second half.
"We just gotta slow down, and that's what we did in the second half," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We had a much better pace, and I think that's why we didn't turn the ball over as much."
Marshall's driving layup gave Penn State a 68-64 lead with 35 seconds left and Billy Oliver drew a charge by Cornell point guard Chris Wroblewski on the ensuing possession.
Woodyard made two free throws and Ferry answered with a 3-pointer to pull Cornell within three, 70-67. Free throws by Woodyard and Frazier accounted for the final margin.
Frazier, one of the few veterans on the team, hopes the late-game execution holds up when Penn State begins its Big Ten season at Michigan on Dec. 29.
"There's so many games where one possession means so much at the end," Frazier said. "We really need to focus on that; take care of the ball and take care of the little things."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Despite not playing its best basketball, the Cornell men's basketball team hung around all night but couldn't get over the hump in dropping a 74-67 decision at Penn State on Wednesday evening at the Bryce Jordan Center. Cornell slipped to 4-6 with the loss, while the Nittany Lions improved to 8-5.
Cornell freshman Shonn Miller had 15 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals to pace the Big Red, while Drew Ferry notched a game-high 20 points and chipped in six rebounds. Ferry nailed six 3-pointers. Galal Cancer was also in double figures with 10 points and seven assists. The Big Red was in constant foul trouble and was whistled for 29 fouls to just 13 against Penn State. The home team also forced Cornell into 16 turnovers.
Four players reached double figures for Penn State, led by 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists by Tim Frazier. Troy Lewis and Cammeron Woodyard had 13 points apiece, while Jermaine Marshall scored 12. Penn State held a 40-32 edge on the glass, including a 16-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
Cornell entered the game ranking among the national leaders in fewest 3-pointers allowed (5.2) and lowest opposing 3-point percentage (.269), while Penn State was shooting just .307 beyond the arc. Those numbers flew right out the window, as the Nittany Lions made 10-of-24 3-pointers. Cornell hit 11 triples of its own with six from Ferry and three more by Miller.
Much like on Monday at Illinois, Cornell made shots early to open up an eight point lead at 21-13 on a pair of free throws by Miller. Penn State took a brief lead in the sloppy first half on a jumper by Frazier with 2:37 remaining before halftime, but Cancer hit a pair of free throws to knot the game and then Ferry hit a 3-pointer to put the visitors back in the lead. Cornell was able to go into the break leading 31-30.
Because of foul trouble to Wroblewski and top post players Josh Figini and Eitan Chemerinski, as well as the loss of starting guard Miles Asafo-Adjei to illness, Cornell went with three freshmen on the court for much of the second half. Freshman Dave LaMore, who had seen action in just one game entering Penn State, had 13 productive minutes with four points, two rebounds and an assist. His hustle play to tip in a miss on the fastbreak tied the game at 55-55 with 6:26 left.
Penn State twice opened up a four point lead, but each time Cornell answered. When Chris Wroblewski hit a 3-pointer over a defender with under two minutes to play, the Big Red had again tied the contest (64-64). The Nittany Lions again pushed the lead to four on a pair of free throws by Marshall on what appeared to be an impressive clean block by Miller, followed by his driving layup after Wroblewski missed a potential game-tying jumper.
Ferry hit his sixth trey of the night to cut a six-point deficit to three with 20 seconds left, but Penn State salted the game away with four straight free throws sandwiched around a Big Red turnover.
The Big Red will take a few days off for the holiday before hitting the road again to meet Stony Brook on Wednesday, Dec, 28 at 7 p.m.
UNIVERSITY PARK — The fans cheered when Trey Lewis’ 3-pointers fell through the net. His coach was pleased with the way the freshman guard hounded the opponent’s top shooter. Lewis played a solid game at both ends of the floor Wednesday and was part of a strong long-range effort in the second half of Penn State's 74-67 win over Cornell in the Bryce Jordan Center. Lewis, now fully recovered from the ankle injury that had bothered him earlier in the season, was 4 of 6 from the 3-point line and one of four Nittany Lions in double figures with 13 points. Penn State (8-5) made 10 of 24 threes Wednesday, connecting on half of its 14 tries in the second half. “It felt really good to get out there and be able to give a contribution to the team,” said Lewis, who had scored a total of 15 points in five games since his 12-point effort against Youngstown State in late November. “My teammates did a really good job of finding open players tonight.” As he said that, he motioned to Tim Frazier, who added six assists to his 17-point, 11-rebound tally. But, for the second straight game, Frazier got scoring help from several sources. Jermaine Marshall, who had 12 points, broke a 64-64 tie with a pair of free throws with 1:27 to play, then made it a four-point game with his drive through traffic with 35 seconds left. Cammeron Woodyard, who had all 13 of his points in the second half, made four clutch free throws in the final minute, sandwiching them around a 3-pointer from Cornell’s Drew Ferry, who had 20 points and was 6 of 11 from the arc. It was a stark contrast to the way the Nittany Lions had gone down the stretch in losses to Mississippi, Lafayette and Duquesne earlier in the month. “We wanted to be able to finish out on a good note,” Frazier said. “Those three losses earlier prepared us for these two games, where we knew we had to finish strong.” The Nittany Lions have struggled in the first half for much of the season and Wednesday was no exception. They shot 31 percent from the field and committed 10 turnovers in the first 15 minutes. Penn State erased an early eight-point deficit to take a 28-26 lead but trailed 31-30 at halftime following a 3-pointer by Ferry. Patrick Chambers’ team came out firing in the second half, though. A pair of threes by Lewis 30 seconds apart made it 49-42 Penn State with just over 12 minutes remaining, then two threes by Woodyard — less than two minutes apart — made it 59-55 with about six minutes to play. Billy Oliver, who had nine points, added two threes of his own in the half. It didn’t look like a Penn State team that had shot 32 percent from 3-point range in its first 12 games. “They haven’t really shot that well all year,” Cornell coach Bill Courtney said, shaking his head. “You have to give them credit for making the plays.” Shonn Miller had 15 points and Galal Cancer added 10 for the Big Red (4-6), which shot 37.7 percent to Penn State’s 37.5. Cornell committed 16 turnovers, which Penn State turned into 16 points. Penn State turned the ball over just twice in the second half and connected on 13 of 17 free throws in the final 20 minutes. The Nittany Lions now turn their attention to a Big Ten season that will require similar poise on a nightly basis. Penn State visits Michigan on Dec. 29. “We’re building here,” Chambers said. “These kids are playing hard. They’re getting better every day, every game. Even when we lose I feel like somebody’s getting better.” Notes: Penn State’s 30 bench points were a season- high. … The Nittany Lions out-rebounded the Big Red 40-33. … Oliver had nine of just 15 points by the Penn State frontcourt.
The non-conference portion of the season is over, and Penn State came out of it OK with an 8-5 record.
Now the Nittany Lions are about to enter a different world.
Even though coach Patrick Chambers said the team has made big improvements, it remains to be seen if this young, inexperienced PSU squad is anywhere near good enough for Big Ten competition.
"We're building here," Chambers said after Wednesday night's hard-fought 74-67 win over Cornell at Bryce Jordan Center. "We're building a great foundation. These kids are playing hard. They're getting better every day."
The slow but steady improvement has been good enough against eight teams so far. But those eight opponents PSU has beaten have a combined record of just 32-58.
The next four opponents are a combined 40-6 (Michigan 9-2, Northwestern 10-1, Purdue 10-3, Indiana 11-0).
The Big Ten has been one of the nation's best conferences in recent years, and that's also the case this season with six teams in the Top 25. The Lions will learn quickly what the league is all about when they travel to No. 20 Michigan to open conference play Dec. 29.
"I think you're going to see a team that's not afraid to compete," Chambers said before later adding, "We've got to go in saying, 'We're Penn State, we're here to compete.'"
The most important thing the Lions will have to do in conference play, Chambers and the players said, will be valuing each and every possession. They did a good job of that late in Wednesday's game to finish off Cornell and close out the non-conference schedule on a positive note.
Cornell (4-6) tied the game at 64 on a 3-pointer by Chris Wroblewski with 1:53 remaining. The Lions took the lead right back as Jermaine Marshall drew a foul and hit both free throws with 1:27 to go.
Wroblewski missed from the left baseline on Cornell's next trip, and after a PSU timeout, Marshall was fouled as he split the defense driving to the lane. He hit both free throws for a 68-64 lead with 35 seconds left.
Cornell again came up empty as Wroblewski committed a foul, and Cammeron Woodyard sank both free throws for the Lions. The Big Red put one final scare into PSU as Drew Ferry buried a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to make it 70-67, but the Lions sealed it at the foul line as Woodyard and Tim Frazier both made a pair in the closing seconds.
"I think we've grown each day," Frazier, who led PSU with 17 points, said of the team's improvement. "You see us out on the court, we've made steps, we're not doing the same mistakes we've made."
The Lions also, on occasion, have been getting contributions from other players to help take some of the scoring burden off Frazier. Woodyard and Trey Lewis both made big 3-pointers in key situations Wednesday to finish with 13 points apiece, while Marshall added 12.
Frazier, who added 11 assists and six rebounds, looked comfortable dishing the ball and trusting his teammates in big spots.
"Definitely I trust my teammates 100 percent," Frazier said. "For those guys to make big shots, that relieves some of the defensive pressure loaded around me. ... That opens up stuff for me."
Cornell coach Bill Courtney seemed surprised PSU shot so many 3-pointers, making 10-of-24. The Big Red had played at Illinois just two days earlier (losing 64-60) and were playing their third game in five days, and it appeared they just ran out of gas at the end.
"I don't think that that was a big factor," Courtney said of the fatigue. "Maybe it was. Maybe that was the reason we had 29 fouls."
Ferry led Cornell with 20 points, hitting 6-of-11 3-pointers, while Shonn Miller had 15. The Big Red shot lights out early and led most of the first half before PSU rallied late to go into the locker room down just 31-30.
The Lions used a 9-0 run early in the second half to build a 49-42 lead, but Cornell came right back with seven unanswered points, and things were close the rest of the way.
Heading into conference play, Chambers said he likes his team's intensity and stressed taking care of the ball and getting good shots.
"As long as we're defending, rebounding and giving ourselves a chance, we're heading in the right direction," Chambers said.
Miller 4-11 4-4 15, Figini 0-1 3-3 3, Cancer 3-5 4-5 10, Wroblewski 2-6 2-2 8, Ferry 7-15 0-0 20, LaMore 1-2 2-2 4, Groebe 0-2 0-0 0, Scelfo 0-0 0-0 0, McMillan 0-0 0-0 0, Gray 2-8 1-1 5, D. Cherry 0-0 0-0 0, Tarwater 0-1 0-0 0, Giddens 1-2 0-0 2, Chemerinski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 16-17 67.
PENN ST. (8-5)
Oliver 3-8 0-0 9, Travis 1-2 0-0 2, Glover 2-7 0-0 4, Marshall 2-9 8-11 12, Frazier 4-12 9-13 17, Lewis 4-6 1-2 13, Borovnjak 2-7 0-0 4, Woodyard 3-5 4-4 13. Totals 21-56 22-30 74.
Halftime-Cornell 31-30. 3-Point Goals-Cornell 11-28 (Ferry 6-11, Miller 3-6, Wroblewski 2-4, Tarwater 0-1, Groebe 0-2, Gray 0-4), Penn St. 10-24 (Lewis 4-6, Woodyard 3-3, Oliver 3-6, Travis 0-1, Marshall 0-2, Frazier 0-2, Glover 0-4). Fouled Out-Miller, Wroblewski. Rebounds-Cornell 33 (Miller 11), Penn St. 40 (Frazier 11). Assists-Cornell 14 (Cancer 7), Penn St. 10 (Frazier 6). Total Fouls-Cornell 28, Penn St. 13. Technical-Cornell Bench. A-4,414.
The Nittany Lions rode behind the strong play of Tim Frazier to beat the Big Red, who got nearly half of their points from beyond the three-point line.
Penn State is now riding a two-game winning streak heading into conference season, having lost three in a row before this current streak. However, this team still needs a lot of improvement, particularly in the frontcourt, where the starting forwards combined for just 11 points against Cornell’s weak frontcourt.
How the Game Was Won
After Cornell rattled off some quick threes, Penn State realized that it would half to defend the perimeter well in order to win. The Big Red’s entire gameplan is focused around outside shooting, and by limiting them as the game went on, the Nittany Lions were eventually able to pull ahead.
Cornell still made 11 threes, but its gameplan was disrupted once the PSU defense pushed out.
The guards were key to the win, as well, as they came up big in scoring and rebounds, and shot the ball extremely well from beyond the arc.
What We Learned About Penn State
The guards will need to carry this team, as the forwards couldn’t step up against a very weak frontcourt.
Penn State did out-rebound Cornell 37-28, including an offensive rebounding advantage of 15-6, but the forwards failed to produce points and finish down low.
Billy Oliver finished with just nine points, while Sasa Borovnjak and Ross Travis combined for just six more.
Guards led the Nittany Lions in both scoring and rebounding, and they’ll have to continue to step up for their team to be competitive in Big Ten play.
33 or Cornell’s 67 points came from beyond the arc.
Game MVP: Tim Frazier
Time Frazier was a one-man show for Penn State on Wednesday, finishing with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, all team highs.
With the forwards struggling to step up, Frazier will need to play a big role in the Nittany Lions’ offense this season if they want to be competitive in conference play.
Wednesday’s performance was a statement to the league that while PSU may be rebuilding, Frazier can still play with the best of them.
Penn State gets over a week off before beginning conference play at Michigan on December 29.
The No. 19 Wolverines are 9-2, with their only losses coming against Duke in the championship game of the Maui Invitational and at Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan also has wins against Memphis and UCLA.
Penn State (8-5) was able to hold off Cornell (4-6) Wednesday to close out their non-conference schedule, coming out on top 74-67.
The first half was characteristically sloppy for the Nittany Lions. The team would commit 10 turnovers, a statistic that has proven to be the Achilles’ heel this year for Penn State. They shot only 31%, and aside from Trey Lewis who hit two big time 3′s, no one played particularly well.
Penn State put forth a better effort in the second half, as they shot 44% and hit 7 of 14 from behind the arc. Remarkably, the team would only commit 2 more turnovers. Cornell didn’t go down quietly, however, and the game was tied with just under 2 minutes to play. Cammeron Woodyard hit all 4 of his free throw attempts in the final minutes to seal the deal for Penn State.
Cam came up clutch in the second half, and hit 3 huge 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes. All 13 of Woodyard’s points came in the last 10 minutes when the game was still in question. That is the type of leadership Pat Chambers expects from his captain, who happens to be the lone senior on the team.
Tim Frazier led the Lions with 17 points on the day, along with 11 boards, earning his 4th double-double of the year. Frazier always plays a physical game, and this one was no different as he always seemed to be on the floor fighting for possession. The fact that he turned the ball over 5 times is an area for concern, and has been all season, but Patrick Chambers forcing the team to slow down in the second half made it a lot easier for Frazier to control the ball.
Another key player last night for Penn State was freshman Trey Lewis. Trey attempted only 6 shots all night aside from a foul, all three-pointers, making 4 of them. This should be a welcoming sign for those monitoring Trey’s progress following an ankle injury suffered in practice that he’s been battling all season.
Pat Chambers brought a different personnel approach to this game than we’ve seen so far this season. Only 8 players saw floor time, and only 7 of them played more than 10 minutes (Frazier, Marshall, Oliver, Glover, Borovnjak, Woodyard, and Lewis). After 13 games, it appears Chambers is set on this core group to eat up most of the minutes going into the conference schedule.
This was the sixth time Penn State scored at least 70 points this season, which is already one more time than they did it all last season. Fans can redeem their ticket for a free Big Mac every time Penn States scores over 70 points. Needless to say, this has not been a good season for my blood pressure.
Penn State will travel to Ann Arbor to take on an extremely talented 20th ranked Michigan team (9-2) on December 29th, following a short break for Christmas. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network, and I expect you all to be watching. What else is there to do during break, anyway?
For the second consecutive outing, the Nittany Lions rode a strong second half performance to gain a 74-67 win. In the last 20 minutes, Penn State hit 7 of 14 three-point attempts and knocked down its last nine free throws to seal the deal.
"Offensively, I thought I saw some good things," said head coach Patrick Chambers. "We made our free throws, even after we missed a couple, we went back there and converted, which was great to see."
Perhaps more importantly, the Nittany Lions turned the ball over just twice after 10 giveaways in the first.
"We didn't turn the ball over, we slowed down. What did we have at the half? 10 or 11? We had 11 total (turnovers) against Mount St. Mary's. So when I'm looking it, we're hurting ourselves. We've got to slow down," Chambers. "Cornell did a good job speeding us up and into some poor decisions. We've just got to slow down and that's what we did in the second half. You saw Tim [Frazier] change speeds and change directions. We did a much better job, a much better pace.
Penn State put four players in double-digits, led by Frazier's 17. The senior point guard also added 11 rebounds and was 9 of 13 from the stripe.
"I think what you saw was a better Tim Frazier in the second half, where he really dictated the tempo," said Chambers. I really believe, in a tight game, that was the first time he really did that. So that's progress."
All of Woodyard's points came in the game's final 10 minutes, as he knocked down three clutch treys and four free-throws in the last 30 seconds.
"I had a feeling that Cam was going to play well," said Chambers. "He's just really been shooting the ball well in practice and in walkthrough today. You could see, that's a confident kid out there. He went to the line and we needed both. He went up there and barely hit the rim."
Lewis, coming off of a high ankle sprain that has cost him one game and a good bit of practice time, knocked down four three-pointers on the night.
"It feels really good to get out there and just be able to give a contribution to the team," said Lewis. "I got it going early, my teammates got it going. [Frazier] did a really good job of just finding open players tonight."
"It was just nice to see Trey Lewis contribute," added Chambers. "The high ankle sprain is healed, he's 100 percent and he looked out there. He played with a clear head and, oh by the way, he did some pretty good things defensively. He did a good job, it was nice to see."
Cornell's Dave Ferry led all scorers with 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting. Big Red forward Shonn Miller added 15 and 11 rebounds.
Penn State will return to action on Dec. 29 at Michigan.
Dec. 21, 2011
Final Stats | Photo Gallery
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; DEC. 21, 2011 - Penn State will head to the holidays riding a two-game win streak after shooting 7-of-14 from three in the second half to dispatch a determined Cornell (4-6) team, 74-67, Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions (8-5) turned in their second-straight 44-point second half to turn a one-point halftime deficit, 31-30, into their eighth non-conference win of the season, surpassing the 7-4 pre-Big Ten mark of last year's NCAA Tournament team. Junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) once again led the way with his fourth double-double of the season. The 6-1 point-guard equaled a career high with 11 rebounds to go with his team-high 17 points and six assists.
The Lions got a season-high equaling 30 points off their bench, led by 13 points from freshman Trey Lewis (Garfield Heights, Ohio) who hit a career-best 4-of-6 from three. Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) went 3-of-3 from long range, all in the second half, for 13 points and Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) added 12 points for his sixth-straight double-digit outing.
Cornell led for most of the first half and stayed close through the second, tying the game at 64 with 1:54 to play, behind 20 points on 6-of-11 from three from senior guard Drew Ferry. Ferry entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation hitting four threes per game. Forward Shonn Miller added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds for a Cornell team that was held to 38 percent shooting, but went 16-of-17 at the foul line.
Penn State won the rebounding battle, 40-33, for the 11th time on the season and posted its sixth 70-point game, surpassing its total of five last year. The Lions got to the foul line 30 times, making 22, and committed just two second-half turnovers, after 10 in the first half, to help overcome 11 Cornell threes.
Cornell held a 37-34 lead with under 17 minutes to play when the Lions went on a 9-0 run to seize the lead. Four different players scored in the run, including Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) who hit one of his three treys in the game for nine points. When Frazier converted a pair of free throws with 14:07 to go, Penn State led 43-37.
Penn State built the lead to as much as seven before Cornell used a 7-0 run to knot the game at 49 with 9:53 to play. Woodyard answered with back-to-back threes and Penn State led, 55-51, with 7:29 to play.
Cornell scored the next four points, the last two on a tip-in from Dave LaMore, to tie the game at 55. Frazier hit a free throw and Woodyard buried his third three to give the Lions a 59-55 lead. Ferry drained one of his six threes, but Oliver answered 14 seconds later from long range and Penn State clung to a 62-58 lead with five minutes to play.
Ferry struck again from long range to get Cornell within two and Chris Wroblewski hit his second three of the game to tie the game at 64 with 1:54 to go. Marshall, who scored eight points in the first half, would get all four of his second half points in the next minute as he drew a foul and hit two at the foul line and then converted a driving lay-up after a Nittany Lion timeout to put the Lions up 68-64 with 35 seconds to play.
Woodyard hit four-straight at the foul line down the stretch to stave of Ferry's final three of the game with 22 seconds left and Frazier iced the game with two at the charity stripe after a Lewis steal.
Penn State trailed by one, 31-30, at the half after hitting just 31 percent and committing 10 turnovers. Cornell opened the game red-hot before Penn State's defense cooled the Big Red to 33 percent shooting in the half.
Cornell hit its first four from three and five straight from the field to leap to a 12-5 lead. A pair of threes from Lewis had the Lions down 14-11.
Cornell pushed its lead to eight, 21-13, following a pair of free throws from Miller. Penn State used a 5-0 run to get within three, 21-18, following put-back from Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.). The Lions employed a 1-2-2 press that increased the tempo and forced Cornell turnovers.
Cornell led 26-21 late in the half when the Lions strung together a 7-0 run to take a 28-26 lead, its first since 5-3, following a Frazier runner off the glass. Frazier and Marshall, who had a team-high eight first-half points, did all the scoring in the run.
A Ferry three gave Cornell a 31-28 lead before Frazier closed the first half scoring with a pair at the foul line.
The Nittany Lions will take a break for the Holidays before returning to State College on Dec. 26. Penn State will open its 20th Big Ten season on Dec. 29 at No. 20-ranked Michigan. That game will tip at 7:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
All of Penn State's games can be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network throughout Pennsylvania with Steve Jones and Dick Jerardi calling the action. "The Penn State Basketball Show" featuring Nittany Lion coach Patrick Chambers and Steve Jones airs each Thursday live from Damon's Grill in State College. Fans are encouraged to attend the live broadcast or call in their questions for the coach at 1-800-52LIONS.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.
Penn State vs. Cornell Game Notes
• Penn State out-rebounded Cornell 40-33, marking the 3rd time this year that Penn State has pulled down 40 or more boards in a game and the 11th in which it has out-rebounded an opponent.
• Penn State held Cornell to a near season-low 37.75 from the field just missing 37.5% shot by Cornell against Buffalo and Delaware, respectively.
• Tim Frazier recorded his 4th double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 boards. Frazier equaled his career high rebound total, posting 11 for the second time on the season.
• Trey Lewis made a career-high four three-pointers, topping his previous high of three vs. Hartford and Youngstown State, respectively.
• Lewis finished with 13 points for his 3rd double-digit game of the season, 1st since the Youngstown State game.
• Jermaine Marshall scored 12 points giving him double-digit points in six-straight games and total of seven double-digit games this season.
• Marshall also tied a career-high with 11 free-throw attempts, making 8. Marshall went 6-8 from the line in the 1st half.
• Tim Frazier attempted 13 free throws, giving him his 4th game this year with 10 or more free throw attempts.
• Frazier also dished out 6 assists, giving him at least 5 assists in 12 of 13 games this season. He has 338 career assists, 12 shy of 10th all-time at Penn State.
• Marshall recorded a career-high 3 blocks.
• Matt Glover had a season-high 3 steals. His previous high was 2 vs. Hartford.
• Penn State recorded a season-high 5 blocks, all in the first half.
• Penn State drew 14 Cornell fouls in the 1st half and 29 overall. 29 fouls is the most that the Big Red have committed in a game this season.
• The Nittany Lions attempted 30 free throws, the most this season since attempting 31 vs. Youngstown State.
• The Lions made a season-high 22 free throws, topping the 19 made vs. Youngstown State.
Penn State played 40 minutes of basketball against Cornell at the Jordan Center Wednesday night. For the rebuilding Nittany Lions, the final two were all that really mattered.
Locked in tight battle with the Big Red throughout, the game was tied 64-64 in the late going. From that point, first-year coach Pat Chambers' club made all of the right moves to pull out a 74-67 win.
Penn State improved to 8-5 heading into Big Ten play while Cornell slipped to 4-6.
“I'll tell you what, I thought we did a good job,” Chambers said.
Indeed they did. The Nittany Lions did not commit a turnover in the final eight minutes. When they needed a big basket, sophomore guard Jermaine Marshall split the Big Red defense and scored. They played solid defense when it mattered, too, and did not allow second shots.
And after starting the second half 2 of 5 from the line, they made their final nine foul shots.
“We made free throws, even after we missed a couple, which is good to see,” Chambers said. “No question, we got to the foul line when we needed to.”
Cornell tied the game 64-64 when sharpshooting guard Drew Ferry hit a 3-pointer with 1:53 to go. But from there, it was all PSU.
Marshall hit a pair of free throws and then scored on the aforementioned drive to push the lead to 68-64. After forward Billy Oliver took an offensive foul, Lion senior Cammeron Woodyard was fouled. He made two shots with 27.1 showing and the lead was 70-64.
Undeterred, Ferry hit a 30-footer over a charging Tim Frazier. The lead was down to 70-67 with 20.8 showing.
But again Woodyard was hacked and again he made both free throws. The lead was 72-67 with 20.2 remaining. PSU rookie Trey Lewis came up with a steal at the other end and got the ball to Frazier, who capped the scoring with two more freebies.
Beyond performing well in the clutch, there was another key for the Lions. Namely, people besides Frazier stepped up.
Lewis, fully recovered from a high ankle sprain, was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers in the game. Woodyard was 3 of 3 from the arc and made the critical free throws. Marshall had a tough day from the floor (2 of 9) but scored when it mattered and went 8 of 11 from the line.
Frazier was strong, too, finishing with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
“I trust my teammates 100 percent,” he said. “For them to make big shots, it relieves pressure on me. The defense has to worry about them, as well, and that opens things up for me.”
Penn State has something to worry about now, too. From here on out, the overall caliber of the schedule improves significantly, starting with back-to-back road trips to Michigan (Dec. 29) and Northwestern (Jan. 1) to start Big Ten play.
For Chambers, who said his team “has gotten so much better from the first game,” the focus is still less about wins and losses and more about improving every time it hits the floor.
An vital part of that will be clicking on all cylinders for an entire outing as opposed to just the final two minutes.
“If we can put together a 40-minute game, we're gonna be pretty good,” he said.
• Four Lions were in doubles: Frazier (17), Woodyard (13), Lewis (13) and Marshall (12).
• PSU's 30 bench points were a season high.
• Marshall had three blocked shots.
• Chambers said he would have the team lift at 9 a.m. Thursday before allowing players to head home for Christmas. The Lions will reconvene in Happy Valley Dec. 26 with a double-session practice.
The final nonconference game of every season is a critical transition period into the stress and physicality of the Big Ten. A loss heading in to conference play can start a downward spiral against talented opponents where as a win can start the journey off in the right direction. Penn State took a positive stride Wednesday evening beating a talented Cornell team 74-67 in front of a supportive holiday crowd.
Penn State had a season high 30 points off of the bench, a statistic highlighted by Cam Woodyard who was strong offensively scoring 13 points, hitting several big shots at the free throw line as well as going 3-3 from behind the arc.
Woodyard, who is the only Senior on the team, has struggled throughout his career to find consistency shooting the ball but has stepped in to his role nicely this season shooting a higher percentage and has lead the team on and off the court.
Freshman guard Trey Lewis was another bright spot shooting 4-6 from three point range and was a critical boost in the games final minutes. Lewis, who has been battling a right ankle injury all season has finally begun to see his minutes increase as well as his production.
“I just go out there and shoot with great confidence.” Lewis said. His 13 point game was his third career double digit performance.
Penn State broke the 70 point mark for the sixth time this season surpassing last year’s mark of only five games. The Nittany Lions have seen increased production from their bench and consistent scoring from multiple players every game.
Like most of Penn State’s games this season, the Nittany Lions started slow allowing Cornell to jump out to an early 12-5 lead after hitting four of their first five three pointers. Penn State was able to slow down the Big Red attack and climbed back into the game despite turning the ball over 10 times in the first half.
“We need to do the little things right. These are problems we can fix ourselves.” Coach Pat Chambers said. The Nittany Lions’ 10 turnovers in the first half were mostly unforced by Cornell and Penn State only turned the ball over twice in the second half.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit,” Chambers said. “I say it all the time, do the ordinary extraordinary. Take care of the basketball and take shots. There are going to be nights when we don’t make shots and that’s going to happen again. But as long as we’re defending and playing hard we’re giving ourselves a chance.”
The Nittany Lions opened up the game with a 9-0 run early in the second half but Cornell was able to climb back in tying it up at 49 with just under 10 minutes to play. The game would stay close until the final two minutes when key plays by Tim Fraizer and Jermaine Marshall closed the game out for the Nittany Lions. Penn State shot 30 attempts from the line connected on 22 of them.
Tim Frazier was especially strong from the line going 9-13 as part of his 17 point, 11 rebound outing. Frazier struggled early in the game to find the basket, but like so many times this season was able to improve his performance in the second half. His double-double was his fourth of the year.
Penn State moves on to 8-5 on the year and will have a few days off next week before returning for a special two-a-day session before heading out to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan to open up Big Ten play.“Back on the 26th.” Chambers said smiling. “Two-a-days, a double session. Clear out those brownies and Moms home cooking."
The last game before
Christmas the holidays is always a perilous one for college basketball coaches: In addition to coming up with a solid gameplan, they also must make sure that the players are maintaining their focus on the game, instead of thinking about the precious few days they will get to spend with their families.
Penn State sure looked like that type of unfocused team at times: Sloppy play, poor shooting, and poor perimeter defense that allowed Cornell's shooting ace, Drew Ferry, to knock down six three pointers in the process, kept the game close, if not gave Cornell the outright lead at times. Much like when the Big Red played Illinois, this one game down to the final couple of minutes, with both teams tied at 64 with 1:57 to play. PSU dug in when they absolutely had to though, knocking down a few critical shots and playing solid enough defense en route to close the game on a 10-3 run and take some critical momentum into the Big Ten slate.
A good portion of this win came upon the heels of Tim Frazier, who led the way with his 17 points and 11 rebounds to go with six assists. Trey Lewis also appeared to get his perimeter shooting mojo back, going 4-of-6 from downtown with 13 points total. Billy Oliver (9 points, 3-for-6 from three point range) and Cam Woodyard (13 points, 3-for-3) also made their presence felt from behind the perimeter. And don't forget Jermaine Marshall's 12 points, three blocks, and two steals that he pitched in, including a clutch layup late in the game with PSU up by two.
Watching this game on BTN made for some hilariously awkward commentary by the announcing crew, as Cornell featured a player named Galal Cancer. Perhaps the most notable line came towards the end of the game when Cornell was trying to foul PSU late in the game in order to get the ball back:
And finally, Cancer reaches out and grabs Tim Frazier...
The team gets a well-deserved eight day break before opening up Big Ten play at Michigan, in what should be their stiffest challenge yet (Kentucky notwithstanding). In the meantime, we here at BSD would like to wish everyone on the team a happy holiday full of ATTITUDE and a handful of conference wins in 2012.
Penn State picked up the victory in its non-conference finale on Wednesday night, defeating Cornell 74-67 at the Bryce Jordan Center after trailing 31-30 at halftime.
Tim Frazier was active in both ends, scoring 17 points and dishing six assists, but also grabbing 11 rebounds. Cammeron Woodyard and Trey Lewis had 13 points each, while Jermaine Marshall contributed 12 to go with four rebounds.
It was another strong night on the glass for the Nittany Lions as they outrebounded their opponents 40-33 and 16-9 on the offensive glass. The rebounding performance helped them overcome a lackluster 37.5 percent shooting effort from the field.
Drew Ferry scored 20 points on 6-11 shooting from 3-point territory to lead the Big Red. Shonn Miller also had a strong effort, scoring 15 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The win gave the Lions more wins in this non-conference season (8) than they earned in last year's run to their first NCAA Tournament birth in 10 years.
Coach Patrick Chambers will now guide his team into its Dec. 29 Big Ten opener against Michigan in Ann Arbor.