As the Penn State scandal has engulfed the nation, most of America is rooting against Penn State in every game they play. At least in college football. When it comes to the college basketball program, not many have anti-PSU vitriol.
However, the 3-1 Nittany Lions men’s hoops team did suffer their first loss of the young season today; and did so in extremely graphic fashion. It was their largest margin of defeat in seven years.
PSU missed 25 straight shots and shot just 16% in the first half as #2 Kentucky Wildcats (3-0) jumped to a 47-15 halftime lead before cruising to an 85-47 victory in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Junior Tim Frazier led Penn State with 11 points and six assists and added six boards for a Nittany Lion team that played better in the second half shooting 40 percent in the second 20 minutes. Penn State shot just 27 percent for the game, 7-of-27 (26%) from three and just 4-of-12 from the foul line.
Kentucky came out guns a-blazin’ shooting 68% midway through the first half before finishing at 53 percent for the game and 10-of-20 from three. Sophomore Doron Lamb led the charge posting 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting while the Wildcats got 19 points from Kyle Wiltjer off the bench and 15 points and nine boards from pre-season SEC Player-of-the-Year Terrence Jones. Kentucky out-scored Penn State 19-4 at the foul line, getting 29 free throw attempts, and scored 23 points off 12 PennState turnovers.
Kentucky led by as many as 41 with 7:40 to play, before posting the 38-point victory, Penn State’s worst loss since falling 80-37 at Illinois in 2004.
“I think our young guys are going to grow up,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We’ll keep working to get where we want to go and we’ll use this as a learning experience. We just have to start trusting in our foundation and what it means to play Penn State basketball – playing hard, being gritty, being scrappy.”
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports.
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