Nittany Lions Down Okapi 110-64 in Belgian Opener
Aug. 12, 2013
AALST, Belgium. - The Nittany Lion basketball team kicked off its European tour with a resounding 110-64 victory over Okapi Aalstar juniors on Monday night at Generali Forum. Guard Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) made his return to the floor with 10 points and a highlight-reel third-quarter dunk, while Graham Woodward(Edina, Minn.) led all scorers with 18 points. Seven Nittany Lions finished in double figures.
Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.) poured in 15 points and Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) added 14 points in three quarters of play to pace the Lions. Allen Roberts (Middletown, Ohio) and D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) pitched in with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Julian Moore(Fort Washington, Pa.) added 10 points of his own as well.
"Our guys are really sharing the ball," head coach Patrick Chamberssaid. "They're looking up the floor so we're getting easy ones. Unlike years past, we're making extra passes here and there, which is exciting. We might be passing up a good shot for a great shot. And that gets them all pumped up, you saw the passion and the energy, and we have to keep that going.
Penn State started strong by leading 33-9 after the first quarter thanks to a 19-0 run midway through the frame. The Nittany Lions were paced by Taylor's 10 points, while Frazier posted six of his own including a back-to-back stretch that saw him knock down a three and covert a floating layup.
PSU continued a high-tempo into the second quarter with a stingy man-to-man defense. The freshmen guard tandem of Geno Thorpe(Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Woodward forced a couple key turnovers that led to points on the other end including an alley-oop from Thorpe to Travis. The junior forward capped the half with 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.
Penn State extended the lead to 32 points with about a minute remaining in the half, but Okapi fought back with back-to-back jumpers including a three-pointer as the teams went into the break at 51-23. The Nittany Lions held a 19-16 advantage in scoring during the second period.
Following an Okapi jumper to start the second half, Penn State rattled off a 29-10 run over the next nine minutes to open an 80-35 lead. The run was highlighted by three Donovon Jack(Reading, Pa.) field goals and a Frazier dunk and a floater to give him 10 points for the game.
The fourth quarter was highlighted by a more junior team for Penn State with a lineup made up of all four freshmen at times. In the end, 11 of the 12 Nittany Lions that dressed scored a point. Woodward drained three treys and scored 13 of his 18 points in the final frame.
Also figuring into the scoring were Alan Wisniewski (Sterling Heights, Mich.) with five points and Zach Cooper (Ijamsville, Md.) who knocked down a left-winged jumper to the delight of his teammates. Payton Banks(Orange, Calif.) also made his debut for the Blue and White on Monday night.
Penn State travels north to Antwerp tomorrow for another 2:30 p.m. ET tip-off, this time facing off against St Jan, a Belgian Division II team.