Forget the debacle that went down in Columbus last Saturday. While you’re at it, forget the notion that Nittany Nation can’t pack the BJC. What we all witnessed on Tuesday night tells a far different story. We’ve seen a few court stormings during the Pat Chambers era but the latest was as delicious as that bowl of Turtle Soup after Penn State shell-shocked the fourth-ranked Terps 76-69 and rebound from an ugly loss to the Buckeyes. I can’t say if that was our biggest win to date, but considering how bleak things looked on Saturday, it ranks up there with the best of them.
The Nittany Lions took the lead 19 seconds after tip off and never looked back as they handed Maryland their first loss of the season. After sitting out large portions of that loss to Ohio State due to foul trouble, Lamar Stevens (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Mike Watkins (15 points, 11 rebounds) returned with a vengeance, as each recorded a double-double. Isaiah Brockington continues to more than prove his worth, as the transfer from St. Bonaventure dropped 14 points, as did Myreon Jones, whose clutch shooting cannot be underestimated. Myles Dread added 12 points along with six assists on the night and Jamari Wheeler continues to be a pest on defense.
After the game, Stevens applauded the BJC crowd for their 6th man mentality and for keeping the atmosphere electric as Maryland made its final push down the stretch, to no avail of course. So did the ESPN2 announcers, as they pressed our fan base hard to make a conscious effort to continue to support the Lions as they try to scratch, claw, and yes, CLIMB their way into March Madness. As hard as it was to watch us go down in flames at the hands of Ohio State, if you’re looking for respect, this squad has it and then some as the un-ranked Nittany Lions were favored versus the undefeated Terps coming in and managed to prove the line right for once.
Up next, Penn State welcomes the SEC for a battle with Alabama at the Bryce Jordan Center, a.k.a. the Lions Den, for a 2 pm tip-off on Saturday afternoon. At 8-2 and with a few good wins over college basketballs so-called blue bloods including Georgetown, Syracuse, and now Maryland, there’s little time to savor that bowl of Turtle Soup our b-ball squad just served. Take care of business against the Crimson Tide and we just might get a taste of the Top 25 for the first time in what seems like forever!