PSU squeaked out a 61-58 win on Senior Day yesterday thanks to some clutch plays by (guess who?) Talor Battle and Jamelle Cornley down the stretch. Obviously beating a 6-21 squad by 3 points is not anything to get excited about, but I’m not too worried about it. This game was much like the Sacred Heart, Army, and Iowa games. This was your typical trap game. Bottomline is PSU avoided having their NCAA hopes destroyed.
I’d love to go all in-depth, but no new storylines really emerged in this game. PSU looked sluggish for most of it, gave up way too many good looks on defense, had no movement on offense, and settled for far too many 3’s. Andrew Jones continues to be a legitimate, confident scoring threat in the paint but he’s continually ignored. Morrissey looks worse and worse each game (would you believe he logged more minutes than Talor Battle yesterday?). PSU couldn’t hit foul shots, but they were excellent in taking care of the basketball (8 turnovers). And when everything looked bleak, Talor Battle and Jamelle Cornley were there to save the day (PSU ended the game on a 8-1 run).
Gotta give a shoutout to Will Leiner. He got the start for senior day and played very well in his 7 minutes. He had 2 nice assists and a slick layup in the lane. You had to feel good for him.
So while PSU avoided a catastrophe, you can’t help but feel they really need to step their game up these last 2 games. While PSU has won 4 of their last 8 games, they certainly have not look impressive whatsoever. That was mostly expected due to the competition, but sooner or later PSU has to pass the ‘eyes-test’ for the committee. They’re always going to be failing the ‘numbers-test’ due to the pitiful SOS. I’m sure there are numerous skeptics out there of the Illinois victory that are just waiting to pounce about how fluky that victory was if Illinois wins on Thursday. PSU certainly didn’t put up the best showing on ESPN on Tuesday, nor did they yesterday. Only beating Indiana by 3 is going to open eyes for all the wrong reasons. PSU must play better, primarily shoot better by taking better shots, if they want to win these last 2 games and make the tournament.
But seriously, I’m going to really miss Jamelle…
(Some food for thought, would anyone ever spell Daryll Clark’s name wrong?)