Tonight Penn State takes on a winless UMBC. Follow along with a live blog below from tonight's pre-game host, Mark Wishnia and ComRadio men's basketball producer Brian Tripp.
Final Stats - click to enlarge
Penn State wins 58-42 An excellent second half by the Lions. Everything went right and Penn State wins a game they should have won.
3:27 - PSU leads 57-35 Penn State became a little too cocky but atill have a big lead. They are going back to outside shots and are only 4 of 20 on the day from behind the arc. It doesn't appear as though Penn State can lose but they need to stick with what they've been doing well.
7:28 - PSU leads 53-32 Penn State continues to look good. After shooting just 34% in the first half, they have brought that percentage up to 43% here in the second half. Everyone is contributing right now.
11:20 - PSU leads 41-28 Penn State was just toying with us in the first half. They are doing everything well this half. They are driving, shots are falling, they are being physical and UMBC is still playing like the winless team they are. Still nothing falling for UMBC. They have just 5 points in this half so far. A nice recovery so far for State.
Penn State is outscoring opponents by only 17 points in the first half this season. Including tonight, Penn State is outscoring opponents by 30 points in the second half.
15:56 - PSU leads 37-26 Finally Penn State is making this game look a little bit easier. They are doing well in transition, getting rebounds, playing defense and everything seems to finally be clicking as Penn State continues to be a second half team.
18:15 - PSU leads 32-23 Penn State is starting the second half stronger. Good defense and Jeff Brooks off of a DJ Jackson missed shot, as the ball was rolling off the rim, came up and put it back with a backwards slam to get the crowd going. Epic play!
Halftime stats - click to enlarge
Halftime - PSU leads 27-23 Penn State should be driving! They are not being physical and not taking advantage of their height advantage. The shooting is awful, the passing is awful and the fact that this game is close, is an embarrassment on the part of Penn State.
3:29 - Game tied 21-21 Imagine watching kindergartners playing basketball in a gym with a light that is about to burn out. You just see a bunch of kids running back and forth and all you hear is a low sounding buzzing sound. That is the current state of the BJC. Penn State has 5 turnovers, is shooting 10 of 29 and just 1 for 10 from behind the arc. UMBC has 4 turnovers, is shooting 10 of 25, and 1 of 8 from behind the arc. Penn State leads in rebounds. 20-14.
5:59 - PSU leads 21-18 I just don't understand why Penn State is not playing a man to man defense. UMBC has not shown any ability to get inside and they have shown any speed. Instead Penn State is in a zone, and is scrambling all around on defense and it is just unnecessary. This game shouldn't be close... and it is. Battle has 2 points.
7:15 - PSU leads 19-18 Brooks has been solid inside and the most consistent interior presence this season. Whether it is Babb, Woodyard, Frazier, or Battle, someone needs to heat up from the outside. Penn State could be dominating in the post, they've shown flashes, but right now it is an all around struggle to establish an offense. Penn State has been a second half team all season. Let's see if they heat up soon or if we have to wait until the second half.
9:47 - Game tied 12-12 The Lady Lions play more physical than this. Penn State has a huge height advantage and they don't use it at all. When they have used it, they are not hitting shots. They are not hitting shots from outside either. Penn State is just 6 of 20 from the floor and 0-4 from behind the arc. UMBC doesn't look much better.
15:04 - PSU leads 10-8 Penn State early is again making a bad team look like a contender. The games against Sacred Heart and UVA were much closer than they should have been. Early on against a winless UMBC, they are not being aggressive inside and are giving UMBC open looks to keep them in the game.