Through three games, defense fueled Penn State's undefeated start. Not Monday night.
The Nittany Lions used a balanced scoring attack to beat Central Connecticut State at the Bryce Jordan Center for their fourth win of the season, 77-61.
Jeff Brooks again led the way for Penn State with 19 points on 7-7 shooting from the field. The senior matched his career high in points from Friday night's win over Fairfield. He also added three rebounds and an assist as well as a 6-6 effort from the free throw line.
Freshman Taran Buie celebrated a coming out party of sorts with 14 points, four rebounds and an assist. Where the young Buie had struggled early on in the season in taking good shots and making sound decisions, he was almost flawless against the Blue Devils.
Tim Frazier also had a great game for Penn State, posting a balanced line of eight points, seven assists and three rebounds. He managed the offense well and found teammates both in the half court and transition.
Considering all that can be said before Talor Battle's name is even mentioned is indicative of what a good night it was for Penn State offensively. The senior had only nine points, but got his teammates involved, something that will be important for the Nittany Lions moving forward.
Penn State shot close to 52% for the game, and was 14-15 from the foul line as well. The Lions hit their first 11 shots from the field to open the second half, and flirted with 60% shooting.
The Lions also played well defensively, holding a Blue Devil squad that had been averaging over 80 points per game to a fifty point pace through much of the game until the benches were cleared out late.
Overall, it was Penn State's strongest effort of the season. They'll head to Oxford, Mississippi on Friday night for a big test against Ole Miss. The Lions are 4-0 for only the 13th time since 1930, so this good start should not be discounted. There's still a long way to go, though. Friday night's game should be a good indicator of just how much better this team is than last year's 11-20 squad.