Monday, April 27, 2015

You can't spell Nittany without...

Penn State beats Notre Dame in the NIT semifinals.

You can't spell Nittany without...

Never thought you'd see a white-out at Madison Square Garden, did you?

With no less a luminary than Joe Paterno looking on from the stands, Penn State held off a second-half charge from Notre Dame and beat the Fighting Irish, 67-59, in the NIT semifinals.

The ESPN announcing crew said at the beginning of the telecast that 11 buses of Penn State students caravaned from State College to Manhattan, and when they showed the stands it sure looked like it. Notre Dame has a big alumni base (real and imagined) in New York, but it sounded like the Nittany Lions had the crowd advantage.

You have to think the names on the fronts of the jerseys gave both sets of fans an extra incentive to show up, but there was plenty of basketball talent on the floor too. Talor Battle led all scorers with 17 points, while Abington Friends grad Andrew Jones scored 16 and Jamelle Cornley added 15.

Luke Harangody led the Irish with 15 points, but he was the only Notre Dame player in double-digits. Germantown Academy grad Ryan Ayers' 1-for-8 performance and Kyle McAlarney's 3-for-11 night were especially glaring, as was the meager first-half total of 18 points.

Somehow, Notre Dame got within 53-50 with 2:38 left in the game thanks to a three-pointer by Luke Zeller. But that was as close as the Irish came, as Cornley hit a layup on the next possession and Penn State made 10 of 14 free throws after that to seal the win.

Now it's on to Thursday's championship game against Baylor, which beat San Diego State in the other semifinal, 76-62.

With nothing much else to do tonight, let's give a Line of the Day to Jones. Not the guy on Penn State's roster you'd expect to have a big game, but he stepped up.

I'll be up tomorrow morning for Kentucky's press conference introducing John Calipari at 9:30 a.m. Maybe I'll open a chat window while I'm watching. Stay uned.

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
A. Jones
33
5-6
6-7
0-0
4
11
15
1
0
0
0
2
30
16

Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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