Saturday, February 04, 2006
Yes, Penn State beat ILLINOIS toinight inside the Hall. What the heck happened? We were up 39-25 at the break. I guess it was all downhill from there. This just in, an official game is 40 minutes long, not 40.1. Too bad Rich McBride hit the 3-ball AFTER the back-board went red with no time left on the clock in regulation. Close, but no cigar. What a crazy scene in Champaign tonight. Up next, the BUCKS in Columbus on Saturday. That game can't come soon enough. Will we rebound and play like a #6 seed or will be stink it up again like we did tonight in the 2nd half?
This might have been the upset of the year in college basketball. Check that, it has to be the upset of the year. We're now 90-4 at the Hall over the past 7 years, but this was probably our worst loss in the modern era, certainly in my 34 years on the planet. Up 14 at the half, I think we extrapolated a 28 - point win at the break instead of showing up ready to play the final 20 minutes. I have to put most of the blame on our seniors (Brown and Augustine) along with Coach Bruce. Where do we go from here?
Penn State only has 2 road-wins in conference play over the past 4 years. That means they stink, or stunk. I guess congratulations is in order to the Nittany Lions from Penn State and Ed Dechellis. Perhaps, a better statement is 'your're welcome'. All good things must come to an end - including a 33-game home winning streak. Souther lost their 33-game streak earlier this week. The Zags now own the longest winning streak at home in the land at 33. Ouch! Our last loss at home was on Jan. 10 2004 to Purdue. I'd rather lose in early February than early March, but I'd rather not lose at all.
Looking at the box score it's hard to put this one together in favor of Penn State. We shot better from the field (47 % to 44%). Parker (24 points) and Claxton (20 points) led the way for the Lions. Looks like the difference was in 3-point shooting tonight. They hit the big ones down the stretch when it really mattered (9-18, 50%). Illinois only went 9-27 (33%) from behind the arc.
Lesson learned tonight: play hard for 40 minutes or don't expect to win. The BIG-10 is a deep conference. NO game should be taken for granted. This loss should serve as a stern reminder for the rest of the season. Bring-on Ohio State.
My Top 10:
8) Michigan State