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Monday, November 30, 2009

Penn State vs UVA Live Blog

Penn State takes a 4-2 record into the first game of the BigTen ACC Challenge. Penn State goes on the road to UVA. We will be blogging live below:

Final stats. - click to enlarge

Final Penn State wins 69-66 Holy Moly! Penn State sure gave everyone a scare down the stretch. UVA started fouling early and it worked. Penn State was out of rhythm. They took fouls when they shouldn't have, they didn't foul when they should have. Battle missed some clutch free throws with under a minute left. But in the end, Penn State was victorious. A big factor in this game was UVA star Sylven Landesberg. He came into the game shooting roughly 85% from the free throw line. Tonight he was 4 of 8. Another 4 free throws and UVA wins by one. But a big part of this game was simply hot and cold. In terms of type of shots and defense, both teams were pretty consistent throughout the entire game. But UVA was hitting everything in the first half and nothing in the second half. Penn State hit nothing in the first half and everything in the second half. But it was smart coaching by UVA and sloppy play by Penn State in the last three and a half minutes that made this game close. Talor Battle finished with a career high 32 points. Penn State has now won 3 straight in the Bigten ACC challenge and for this year puts the score at 1-0 in favor of the BigTen. Click the thumbnail above for more detailed final stats. (MEW)

:44.6 Penn State leads 62-59 Battle after wasting some time hit 2 clutch threes from the line but UVA looks like they can shoot again as they answered with a big three. This is anybody's game now. (MEW)

1:15 Penn State leads 60-56 UVA chose to foul starting with just under 3 to play and it has worked fabulously. The clock has been stopping, Penn State has been sloppy, they have been missing at the line and they have made very stupid decisions. This is now a 4 point game. (MEW)

3:28 Penn State leads 55-43 Battle is hitting some clutch threes, and he now has 23 points on the night. Penn State took a lead by good ball movement and getting people open down low for very easy shots including the dunks stated earlier. Penn State is now being forced into more outside shots and fortunately for them, Battle is hot. Defensively Penn State is still scrambling around but UVA is still fairly cold. With just under three and a half to play, Penn State should be able to hold on if the game continues like this. With a win, Penn State could be the first to win three straight games in the BigTen ACC challenge. (MEW)

7:12 Penn State leads 49-41 The Penn State defense is still lacking and for a little bit, it looked like UVA was coming back until Battle hit a 3 to re-jump start the offense. Battle all of a sudden has 17 points. UVA is hanging in there though and the fact that Penn State is all of a sudden hitting shots is a huge plus. UVA looks like they may be finding their groove again so Penn State needs to step up the defensive play and needs to make sure not to fall cold on the offensive end. (MEW)

11:45 Penn State leads 44-34 UVA has lost their touch. They are not hitting anything. It would be unfair to even attribute it to a great Penn State defense. They do look better but UVA has had open looks that they couldn't miss in the first half but here in the second half they can't make it. Penn State on the other hand is hitting more shots. Talor Battle has a hot hand. Passing is great and Penn State has 3 slam dunks so far in the half. It took 20 minutes, but Penn State has finally come to play. They need to keep the energy level up. (MEW)

14:00 Penn State leads 36-31 Penn State has opened the half on a 15-4 run. Now it is Penn State that is hitting everything and UVA is beginning to miss. Penn State is also moving the ball around much better and it has allowed for easy baskets including an Andrew Jones authoritative slam. Defense has tightened up as well for Penn State but it is important to keep this going. Penn State finally appears to have life. (MEW)

16:34 Penn State leads 30-29 Penn State looks a little bit better and little bit faster to start this half. Penn State even forced UVA to do something they couldn't do in the first half... miss a shot. Tim Frazier picked up a steal and a bucket early. (MEW)

Half time stats. - click to enlarge

Halftime UVA leads 27-21 The fact that this game is only 6 points at the half is nothing short of miraculous. Penn State looks bad. They have made a couple of plays defensively, blocking shots and getting some steals and just overall getting into the passing lanes. But UVA doesn't look like they can miss a shot even if they tried. Penn State finished the half with 5 fouls. That number should be higher. Penn State should be more physical defensively, try and maybe get away with some contact, and force UVA to hit from the line if necessary. There was more room for error and Penn State should have used it. Jeff Brooks leads the Nittany Lions with 5 points. The defense can be lived with right now, but if Penn State doesn't start to hit shots, they don't stand a chance in this game. It is easy to nit-pick at the defense but the bottom line is, Penn State can't generate anything offensively and UVA deserves a lot of credit for their defense. Penn State has only been to the line twice and they are shooting 2 of 3. Penn State needs to be at the line a lot more and when they do get there, hitting those shots are a must. Penn State offensively has not had many opportunities at all offensively but they haven't had zero opportunities. They must take advantage of all opportunities in order to win this game. We will see what the second half has in store. Click the thumbnail above for full half time stats. (MEW)

3:15 UVA leads 23-17 The UVA defense is fantastic right now and Penn State is not getting many open looks. The open looks they are getting, they are not hitting. They are getting set up for failure. Play overall has gotten a little bit lazy for Penn State. The defense needs to tighten up again and they really need to start hitting shots if they want any chance of winning this game. David Jackson so far has 5 rebounds on the day. Not too shabby. (MEW)

7:18 UVA leads 20-13 Penn State continues to struggle offensively as the UVA defense is strong. Penn State is being forced into tough shots from both short and long range and they are not hitting anything. Meanwhile, defensively Penn State is losing it a little bit. They are not being physical enough. Penn State right now needs better communication defensively and much quicker transition and ball movement offensively. More physicality is needed on both sides of the ball. (MEW)

11:59 UVA leads 11-9 Jeff Brooks has impressed early! He has a steal, 2 blocks, and 2 rebounds. Penn State has not looked good from behind the arc, however Jeff Brooks is 1-1 from three point land. Brooks also just drove inside and drew a foul and he will head to the line. Good defense by Penn State. If they keep this up and start hitting some shots, it will be smooth sailing for them. (MEW)

15:31: UVA leading 9-4 Penn State defensively looks pretty good early keeping UVA to long range shots, and there was even a steal by Jeff Brooks who also has a rebound in the game. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, UVA is shooting well. Offensively Penn State is looking to be a little more physical inside then we are used to. A lot of times we see a shot, and Penn State immediately goes back on defense whether the shot goes in or not. Not the case today and DJ Jackson coming off a career game, got the first points off a board for the Lions. (MEW)

20:00 Ed DeChelis addressed his team before the game. ESPN2 was nice enough to share it with us: "You gotta play hard! Harder than the other team. When you come off the bench, you have to give us something!"

Inspirational huh?

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