Penn State fell to 9-10 on the season and 1-5 in Big Ten play on Sunday afternoon with an 80-66 loss against Minnesota at the Bryce Jordan Center. Today, we take a look at the high and low points of the Nittany Lions' effort and hear from the players and coaches thoughts on the game. For more on the loss, head over to our game stream and check out video below.
-Cammeron Woodyard said after the game that his injured hamstring still isn't 100 percent healed yet, but he certainly didn't look too gimpy in putting up a career-high 22 points and grabbing four rebounds. Even when he's not scoring, Woodyard brings a cool and calming presence to the floor that Penn State really needs. If the senior can continue to pick up even close to this kind of scoring load, it will take pressure off his younger teammates and perhaps help pick up their games as well.
-Penn State earned a +8 margin (17-5) on the offensive glass. Of course, some of that has to do with the volume of missed shots that comes with shooting 30 percent, but regardless, the Lions did well to give themselves a lot of second and third chances through active rebounding. They were led by freshman Ross Travis, who grabbed eight boards in just 22 minutes of action.
-Penn State forced 17 Minnesota turnovers, a number coming from 3/4 and halfcourt pressure sets. It'll be interesting to see how coach Patrick Chambers deploys those defensive alignments moving forward.
-Penn State was excellent at the free throw line, converting 23 of 28 attempts.
-Penn State is now 10-48 from the perimeter in its last two games. That's a 20.8 percent clip. The fact that the Lions continue to take such a high number of shots they routinely show they cannot make is perplexing. The fact that many of those shots are taken in the face of solid defense shows how lazy this offense is becoming. The Lions need to look for higher percentage shots if they're ever going to shoot a higher percentage. If that seems simple, it's because it is.
-Jermaine Marshall finished with 12 points on the day, but started slow by scoring no points in the first half and putting up a majority of his points after the outcome of the game had already been decided. Chambers said after the game that the redshirt sophomore is putting a lot of pressure on himself and that he needs to relax if he's going to be more effective than he has been in the last couple of games. Seems like good advice. Penn State needs him if it's going to turn its lackluster conference record around.
-Penn State attempted 22 more field goals than Minnesota. Granted, the Gophers attempted 16 more free throws, but even if they didn't, the score would have been roughly even despite Penn State's huge advantage in shots taken. This is a testament to the frequent poor decisions Penn State made on offense, hoisting shots that weren't open and in low percentage territory.
Chambers on the two flagrant fouls called against Penn State: "That's what they saw. They made the right call. We've got to be smarter. The refs had nothing to do with this game. It was all about us and it is about us every time we come out. We've got to do a better job."
Woodyard on his words to the team in the huddle: "We've got to stick to our identity: play hard on defense. And we weren't doing that."
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith on the Lions: "Penn State's a good team. They get after you defensively and they pressure you. They've got quickness and they're very aggressive so you've got to fight through it and I thought our guys did that."
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers
Penn State guards Cammeron Woodyard and Tim Frazier.
Minnesota coach Tubby Smith