Penn State Surges Past Long Island, 77-68
Nov. 16, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; Nov. 16, 2011 - Nittany Lion junior guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) was spectacular once again posting a career-best 26 points and matching a career-best with 10 assists for the second straight game to lead a late 21-8 run and push Penn State past the Long Island Blackbirds, 77-68, Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
"Tim was terrific," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "He was a great leader tonight. He took big shots and made big shots. He wanted the basketball down the stretch. He got crucial steals, got big rebounds and took a big charge. He did everything you ask your point guard to do tonight."
Penn State improved to 3-0 to start the season for the second-straight year and just the fourth time in the last 12 years and eighth since joining the Big Ten in 1993. Frazier's second-straight double-double and the third of his career led a strong effort from Penn State upperclassmen and and now has the 6-1 guard leading the Big Ten in scoring (20.7 ppg) and assists (8.7 apg).. Senior Cammeron Woodyard (Westminster, Md.) added 13 points and six rebounds and several big plays in the second half while junior Billy Oliver (Chatham, N.J.) posted a career-best 10 rebounds and nine points, including a pair of big threes late.
Long Island fell to 0-3 playing its third-straight road game to open the season. The Blackbirds, who were picked to win the Northeast Conference and played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, were led by 15 points and seven rebounds from Michael Culpo and 15 points from Julian Boyd among four players in double-figures. Penn State held LIU to 36 percent shooting on the game and 35 percent (7-20) from three, but LIU got to the line 35 times and made 27 to outscore the Lions by 13 points at the foul line and threaten late.
In a game full of runs that saw nine ties and 11 lead changes, Penn State finished in dominating fashion getting scoring from five different players during the final 7:35 to out-score LIU 21-8 and pull-away in what had been a close game. Penn State shot 41.5 percent from the floor and 9-of-27 from three but won the rebounding battle, 37-34, and had a season-best 17 assists and just eight turnovers.
The Lions saw their first real adversity of the season midway through the second half as LIU scored five straight points to take a 60-56 lead with 8:22 to play. Woodyard scored seven straight points to help the Lions weather the Blackbirds spurt, hitting four free throws and a three, and the Lions mounted a 16-4 run over five minutes to take a 72-64 lead and seize control of the game.
"We were down four and that is where attitude comes in," Chambers said. "That is where you are trying to handle adversity. They showed me something. Some of my teams in years past, when you're at home and you're losing they might fold the tents. They might have ended up losing by 10 or 15 points, but not tonight. They showed me a little something. They showed me some grit. They showed me some heart. Tim, Cam [Woodyard], Billy [Oliver] and Sasa [Boronvjak] - the four guys who have been here the longest. It was nice to see them step up."
An Oliver three regained the lead for Penn State, 61-60, with 6:35 to play, but LIU responded with a pair of Jamal Olasewere free throws to regain the lead. Frazier fed Sasa Borovnjak (Belgrade, Serbia) for a lay-up to put Penn State back on top, 63-62.
Matt Glover (Orange, Calif.) hit a clutch three at the 5:00 mark to put the Lions up 66-62. Oliver then took a dish from Frazier and sunk a dagger into Long Island, burying a deep three from the right wing with 3:08 left to put Penn State up 72-64. Frazier then effectively finished the Blackbirds when he nailed a three from the wing and two free throws on back-to-back scoring possessions to seal his career-high 26 points and put the Lions up 77-66, their largest lead of the game, with one minute to play.
After getting down 6-2 early, Penn State ran off a 10-0 run before the first media timeout to pull ahead, 12-6 at the 16:13 mark of the first half. Oliver took a feed from Frazier and buried his first attempt from three to bring the score to 6-5. Frazier then took a break-away and converted the lay-up to put the Nittany Lions ahead for the first time in the game, 7-6. Frazier and Borovnjak both converted lay-ups to complete the run.
Long Island did not stay down for long, responding with their own 11-2 run behind four points from Culpo and a lay-up from Boyd to tie the score at 17. Jon Graham (Baltimore, Md.) sparked a 12-2 push over 5:15 to grow the lead to 27-19. Graham took a Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) feed to the hole to break the tie. The redshirt freshman promptly blocked a shot and stormed down court, taking another Marshall feed and slamming it home, bringing the Nittany Lion faithful to their feet. Borovnjak, Woodyard and Graham added lay-ins on the next three Nittany Lion scoring possessions to cap the run.
The Blackbirds used a run of 8-0 to tie the game at 27 before freshman guard Trey Lewis (Garfield Heights, Ohio) snapped the streak with a deep three to put Penn State back on top, 30-27. Long Island used a Boyd dunk at the buzzer to go into the locker room tied at 36-36.
Penn State opened the second half on an 8-0 tear, using baskets from Borovnjak, a lay-up from Woodyard and two Frazier baskets to go ahead, 44-36. LIU responded with a 13-4 run to take the lead a 51-50. Frazier then found space down low to put the Lions ahead, 51-50, but Gerell Martin rained in a three to give the Blackbirds the lead at 53-51. Woodyard kept the Lions close during a tough shooting stretch and set up the final run.
Penn State continues a run of five games in nine days to start the season Saturday afternoon when the Nittany Lions head to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut to face Kentucky in a noon tip as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament. Penn State will play either Old Dominion or South Florida on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. to close out the tournament.
Season tickets for Nittany Lion Basketball are $200 for adults, $170 for faculty/staff and seniors, $80 for youth (18 and under) and $59 for students. PNC Flex Books are also available again this year for $99. The Flex Book gives fans 12 vouchers, 10 that can be redeemed in any combination for Nittany Lion and Lady Lion Basketball tickets throughout the year and two extra vouchers for the Nittany Lions' Coaches Vs. Cancer game on Feb. 11 vs. Nebraska and the Lady Lions' Think Pink game on Feb. 26 vs. Minnesota.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets or group tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-NITTANY, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5. Penn State also offers special basketball group ticket rates for groups of 15 fans or more. Nittany Lion group rates are $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Associate Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.