Nittany Lions Cruise To 104-57 Victory Over Gardner-Webb
Dec. 19, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA., Dec. 19, 2009 - On a snowy late night in State College, the Nittany Lion basketball team (7-4) came out blazing while Gardner-Webb (3-7) started colder than the temperatures outside as Penn State leapt to as much as a 31-point first half lead before bringing home a 104-57 victory in front of hardy Nittany Lion fans that braved snow flurries and the 9:00 p.m. start. They witnessed Penn State's first 100-point game since a 129-111 victory over VMI in 2006 and just the 20th in school history as Penn State posted its largest margin of victory (47) since beating Canisius by 53 in 2007.
By 9:30 p.m. the Nittany Lions had this one surely in hand as Talor Battle (Albany, N.Y.) drained threes and Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) slashed through the Runnin' Bulldog defense. Penn State looked fresh playing its first game after a week off for finals, while GWU looked every bit the team that came to the Bryce Jordan Center on a six game losing skid and playing its third game of the week. Penn State shot better than 60 percent for most of the first half while GWU struggled in the teens.
Battle led Penn State with 21 points on the night in just 24 minutes. Frazier posted 18 points, a career-best seven assist and five boards. A season-high six Nittany Lions scored in double-figures, the most since the 2006 VMI game. Freshman Bill Edwards had a career-best 13 on 3-of-5 from three and Andrew Ott posted a career-best 12 on the night. Chris Babb had a strong all-around game with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 22 minutes and Andrew Jones had 11 points for a Nittany Lion team that shot 53 percent from the floor, 12-of-26 (46.2%) from three and 28-of-32 (87.5%) from the line.
"We came out and tried to get as excited as we could before the game," Babb said. "We took our defense into our offense and got easy buckets in transition, it was a couple minutes before they even scored. So we just tried to build off that and keep pulling."
Gardner-Webb was led by 26 points from Anton Silver and 11 from C.J. Hailey. GWU shot 35 percent from the floor and was out-rebounded 45-24 while committing 20 turnovers, which Penn State converted to 33 points. The Lions dominated the shorter Bulldogs in the paint to the tune of 36-2 and got a season-high 47 points from the bench.
Penn State jumped out 8-0 after Frazier fed Jones for a two-handed dunk and three-point play. It was 20-4 after a Babb three and the Lions held a 30-4 lead after the first 10 minutes of action following a Frazier steal and free throw.
GWU finally started to get some shots to fall with consecutive threes, but Penn State scored the next 11 points the last coming on a Jeff Brooks three to take 41-10 lead with 3:59 left in the first half. GWU closed the half on a 14-3 run as the Nittany Lions went deep into their bench with 11 players seeing time and took a 44-24 lead to the half.
Battle led Penn State with 13 points in the half on 5-of-9 from the floor, including a break-away dunk, and 3-of-6 from three. Frazier had 10 points and four assists while Chris Babb posted six rebounds with his five points. The Nittany Lions finished the half shooting 50 percent from the floor while GWU warmed up to 27 percent behind eight points from Anton Silver. The Nittany Lions dominated the boards 25-14.
Penn State went back to its starting five to start the second half and quickly pushed its lead over 30 again and eventually pushed the margin to as much as 48 before cruising home to its 23rd victory in its last 25 non-conference home games.
Penn State will return to the Bryce Jordan Center on Monday when it takes on American University in a 5:00 p.m. tip. That game will be immediately followed by the Lady Lions vs. Oakland at 7:30 p.m.