ComRadio men's basketball producer Pete Jensen will be complementing ComRadio's broadcast of the game (comradio.psu.edu) right here as Penn State is set to tip with two-time Patriot League Champion American University at 5:00 p.m. Ryan Staloff and John Walk have the live call from the Jordan Center.
American (2-9) is coming off a narrow 59-57 home loss Sunday night to lowly UMBC. The Eagles are led by junior Vlad Moldoveanu, a transfer from George Mason, who sat out AU's first nine games because of NCAA transfer regulations. Moldoveanu posted 26 points and eight rebounds in a 62-57 win at Big East foe Depaul on Dec. 16. The 6'9" Romania native did not play in the Nittany Lions' 77-73 victory over his former school, Mason, in the first-round of the Postseason NIT last March at the BJC.
The Lions (7-4) look to wrap up their non-conference slate this evening with a win beforing heading home for the holidays and eventually kicking off Big Ten play a week from tomorrow (12/29 @ Minnesota - 9 pm). Talor Battle continues to be PSU's most viable option, as he storms into this game averaging 19 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Keep it here this afternoon for all the action as the AU Eagles, straight out of Washington, D.C., tango with Penn State.
20:00 - 1st half is underway at the Jordan Center...
19:14 - Vlad Moldoveanu breaks the ice with a three after a couple of sloppy possessions by both teams to start the game. Amercan leads 3-0
18:58 - Talor Battle drains a three of his own to knot things up at 3-3.
17:10 - Big mishap defensively to start the game as David Jackson fouls Moldoveanu from behind the arc. He hits all three FT's to give AU an 8-5 lead. Giving a your opponent's best player easy opportunities at the line early on in the game is adding fuel to the fire.
16:07 - Jackson compensates for his defensive blunder with a beautiful move to convert plus the foul. He nails the free throw to tie things up at 8-8 early on in this first half.
15:02 - Moldoveanu makes it 10-8 and continues to be a mismatch favoring AU. He is clearly the Eagles' primary source of scoring.
14:38 - Media timeout. American still leads 10-8.
14:18 - Moldoveanu nails a three-ball right off the break. Vlad is 3-3 from beyond the arc. and has already accounted for 11 of AU's 13 points tonight. 13-8 Eagles.
13:54 - Bill Edwards responds quickly with a three on the ensuing Penn State possession to get the Lions back within two. 13-11 in favor of American.
12:15 - Edwards nails 1/2 FT to give PSU its first lead of the ball game at 14-13.
11:43 - Sophomore guard Chris Babb converts on his first attempt from three-point land off the nice feed from DJ. 17-15 PSU.
9:24 - Battle lays it in plus the foul on a pretty drive in which he really absorbed the contact and looked poised. 22-17 PSU.
8:48 - Battle picks a pocket and drives for another off-balance bucket to give Penn State its largest lead of the game at 24-17.
7:45 - Media timeout after a nice finish by Steve Luptak cuts the PSU down to five at 24-19. American's transition game is posing a serious threat to PSU's defense. Penn State's woes continue in terms of their forwards and centers not looking to score down on the block.
6:59 - Edwards keeps it going with a smooth mid-range jumper to extend PSU's lead to 26-19. The freshman is coming off a career-high 11-point effort in the blowout win over Gardner-Webb. His problem early this season was the lack of consistency but he is starting to change his course as he already has six points in this afternoon's game.
4:03 - Ed DeChellis beginning to implement Tim Frazier into the offense. After an agile move to the bucket, he grabs a steal and is fouled. Frazier nets 1/2 FT to give PSU a 31-19 advantage.
3:13 - Media timeout. Penn State has embarked on a 12-4 run since AU's switch from a 2-3 zone to a man-to-man defensive set. AU may want to avert back to their initial plan before this half concludes so they don't let things slip away.
1:47 - Moldoveanu continues to be AU's most lethal weapon. He slices to the bucket for two to give him 13 points on 4-8 from the field today. What a find he is proving to be for this young American U team. This team lost a lot from its Patriot League title team from the past two seasons and will need efforts like this from this transfer from CAA power George Mason to stay competitive this season.
1:19 - Battle three-pointer gives Penn State its largest lead of the game at 36-25 lead. Battle kicked off his junior season with some alarmingly poor shooting percentages but over these past three games against VT, GWU and now American, he has been nothing short of unconscious from deep.
:54 - Nick Hendra big three-point bucket from long range cuts the PSU lead back into single digits. AU needs a stop here.
:18 - A stagnant Penn State offensive sequence results in a timely steal for Hendra. He then gives it up to Riley Grant on the break for the emphatic slam. Buckets plus forced turnovers is the best recipe to get back into a ballgame. PSU lead down to 36-30.
:00 - Battle three-ball no good at the buzzer as Penn State limps into the half leading by only six against a 2-9 basketball team in American.
Full Halftime Stats - Click to Enlarge
20:00 - The final half of Penn State's non-conference campaign has commenced.
19:49 - Bill Edwards has a world of versatility and is making quick work early on in the 2nd half. He steps outside the arc once again to put Penn State up 39-30. Nine points for the freshman. Close to another double digit scoring output. This is the type of consistency we are starting to see from PSU's bench.
16:43 - Chris Babb has the hot hand as he nails a three to extend PSU's lead.
16:02 - Edwards is heating up as he converts on another three off the pass from Jackson. What a game this kid is having. The Ohio player-of-the-year adds to what has been a 12-1 PSU run to kick off a pivotal 2nd half for these Lions. Edwards chose PSU over schools like Oklahoma State, TCU and Miami (Ohio) because he was told he would get significant playing time. Not only is he getting the time but he is contributing on the scoreboard now as well. Penn State in control at the moment, leading 48-31.
15:23 - Battle continues his strong play from the perimeter with a three to give PSU a 20-point lead at 51-31.
14:38 - PSU's lengthy run finally comes to a close as Maldovenue hits a long ball to make it 51-34 PSU. Penn State used a 15-1 run to gain the upper hand, right from the start, in the 2nd half.
14:11 - Battle goes back to work with a layup to put PSU up 53-34. Battle has 16 points to join Edwards, who has 12, in double figs.
13:47 - DJ Jackson down on the floor with an injury. The junior appears to be favoring his knee, but he gets up and seems to be fine. It would be wise for DeChellis to sit him out for the remainder of this ballgame, which has evolved into a blowout at the BJC.
12:59 - Riley Grant's bucket down low cuts into the PSU lead, which now stands at 53-36.
11:24 - Babb steps inside the arc off the pass from Battle and drains a jumper from the foul line to make him PSU's third scorer in double figures with 10 points tonight. 57-38 Lions.
8:38 - Babb continues to thrive from the outside as he nails another three, posting a career-high 13 points tonight. He was all about the three-ball in high school in Texas and during his freshman season at PSU. That's his bread and butter. Babb has bounced back from a slow start to 09-10, as he looks to be hitting his stride just in time for Big Ten play. 64-38 PSU.
6:58 - Costly foul by Andrew Ott against his undersized AU counterpart, Steve Lumpkins. Lumpkins puts in the bucket but fails to convert on the ensuing FT. 66-40 State. Mishaps like those are the ones that need to be eliminated on the Penn State side before next Tuesday's Big Ten opener at Minnesota in the Barn.
6:27 - Daniel Munoz turns it over. No chance for the AU defense as the swift Tim Frazier slams it home all alone on the break. Lions lead 68-40.
4:07 - Moldoveanu hits 1/2 from the stripe after the foul by Edwards. The Mason transfer has 17 points on the afternoon turned night at the BJC.
3:57 - Media Timeout. 70-48 Lions. This game has been in the bag for quite some time. Impressive showing tonight for Penn State in front of another weak showing from Nittany Nation. The atmosphere is just so different with students home for break. It may not make a tremendous difference in games against inferior opponents in GWU and AU, but once Michigan and Wisconsin storm into the Jordan Center in early January before students return, the Lions will have no one to turn to for an energy boost outside of themselves.
2:27 - AU's Nick Hendra hits his third three in a row. He is clearly heating up, but a bit too late. PSU still ahead convincingly 72-54. Nittany Lions will soon improve to 8-4 on the season after another win over an 250+ RPI opponent.
:00 - Put it in the books! Penn State defeats American, 76-57, and improves to 6-1 at the Jordan Center this year. Moldoveanu and Hendra lead AU with 17 points apiece in the losing effort, as the Eagles drop to 2-10. Penn State (8-4) now storms into the Big Ten season after two convincing wins over AU and Gardner-Webb in the past three days. Talor Battle is again PSU's leading scorer with 16 points, adding 7 assists in the win.
Penn State's next game is set for Tuesday Dec. 29 at 9:00 p.m. on the road at Minnesota. The Lions matchup with Tubby Smith and the Golden Gophers will air on ESPN2. Then, as the new year arrives, the Lions will be in action at home on Sunday Jan. 3 against Trevon Hughes and Wisconsin at 2:00 p.m. ComRadio will have the call. Also, ComRadio will have the live coverage of PSU's matchup with Manny Harris and Michigan on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7:00 PM.
So, again, for Ryan Staloff, John Walk and our board-operator Dan Landers-Nolan, this is Pete Jensen saying so long from University Park. The night is still early. Enjoy it everybody and be safe. Thanks for following and tuning into the broadcast. Peace out from Happy Valley.
Final Stats - Click to Enlarge
- Pete Jensen