Blue White Roundtable: Alabama Week Edition
September 7, 2011 – | 1 Comment

Once again, it’s Adam Collyer over at BlackShoeDiaries providing the questions, and we, your humble bloggers, providing the answers. Mine are below, and you can venture off to the remote areas of the blogosphere that …

Read the full story »

PSU Holds off Domers, Advances to NIT Championship Game

Submitted by on March 31, 20096 Comments

Before Selection Sunday, the question was posed around message boards and blogs alike: would you rather make the NCAA tournament and lose in the first round, or win the NIT.

I think the common answer was to make the Big Dance.  It comes with a certain degree of respect, exposure, and a sign, for a team like Penn State, that the program has arrived.  The NIT, or Not Invited Tournament, as we derisively called it, was nothing more than the Drive to be #65 (okay, 66, but that doesn’t rhyme).

But I realize now just how short I sold this tournament.  I never would’ve thought just how much I’d care about some “meaningless” contest.  I never thought I’d be screaming my ass off when Talor Battle hit a three against George Mason at the buzzer, when Penn State led wire to wire against Rhode Island, when they went into Gainesville and beat the highly-favored Gators.  And I never would’ve thought I’d experience the gamut of emotions I did tonight in this game against Notre Dame.

To be so involved in anything, even if it is “just” the NIT, is a hell of a feeling.  Try telling guys like Mel, Talor, or Stan that this is a meaningless competition.  These guys are leaving it all on the floor, working their asses off to get us to this point.  How sweet would it be for Jamelle Cornley to go out a winner?

But on to tonight’s game.  Even as Penn State got off to it’s phenomenally fast start, and sustained a double digit lead for about the first 30 minutes of the game, I still was pretty nervous.  I knew it was just a matter of time before Notre Dame started hitting their shots.  And once they did, we had to hold on for our very tournament lives.  As a 19 point lead evaporated to 11, to 8, down to 4 and then to 2, I really thought we were going to lose the game.

I’m sorry for my lack of faith, but that’s what happens to you when you’re a Mets, Jets, and Islanders fan.  I don’t know what it feels like to win, but I do know what it’s like to choke.

But with two minutes left, Penn State gave the ball to it’s heart and soul, the 6’4 forward who had been fighting, physically and verbally with the renown superstar Harangody, and he came up with the most important bucket of his life.  Penn State hit some free throws and held off the Domers down the stretch.  Baylor awaits, and I’ll be there Thursday.

I can’t say enough about Jamelle Cornley in this one.  He finished the day with 15 points and 8 boards, but 12 of those points came in the second half, just as Talor Battle started to hit a wall.  He was the go to guy throughout the entire second half, and as Notre Dame started its comeback, it was Cornley who consistently answered back.

Andrew Jones, too, has had an absolutely incredible NIT, and tonight was no difference.  Tonight, it was first his great defense keeping Luke Harangody away from the hoop as he tried to post up down low, second his hard work on the boards and with back taps (15 rebounds and numerous tips), and 16 points, including a massive tip slam of a missed Stanley Pringle layup early in the second half, and a 6-7 showing from the free throw line to help clinch the win.

Even quebecpenspinning not-so-favorite Danny Morrissey came up with some big buckets today, chipping in 7 points on 3-4 shooting.  Still, not-so-great defense pretty much made up for that.

This team has come so far from the beginning of the season, and I couldn’t possibly be any prouder of them.  Giving the seniors one last hurrah, and the young guys a chance to prove themselves has made the NIT worth so much in the eyes of us fans.  I can’t wait until Thursday, when I’ll be able to show this team my support in person.  16 busloads of students made it out to the game tonight, and they were loud and proud on ESPN.  I can’t wait to be part of that.

1st 2nd Final
Notre Dame 18 41 59
Penn State 31 36 67
top related stories
you may also like

  • http://quebecpenspinning.com/ Charlie

    Great win tonight. The crowd looked amazing on espn2 almost like a home whiteout. Funny how Notre Dame just can’t seem to beat the white out both in football and basketball. Our final against Baylor should be even more pro-Penn State considering state college is a tad closer than Texas.

  • Charlie

    Great win tonight. The crowd looked amazing on espn2 almost like a home whiteout. Funny how Notre Dame just can’t seem to beat the white out both in football and basketball. Our final against Baylor should be even more pro-Penn State considering state college is a tad closer than Texas.

  • Gene

    NYC is in the backyard of NITTANY NATION. Rt. 80 splits PA in half north and south and ends in New York. The Train from Philly drops you off right under MSG. So it’s no surprise that with Penn State in the final four of the NIT that the crowd is wearing white and the chant ‘WE ARE.. ..PENN STATE’ is threatening to blow the roof off of the Garden. For the Glory…

  • Gene

    NYC is in the backyard of NITTANY NATION. Rt. 80 splits PA in half north and south and ends in New York. The Train from Philly drops you off right under MSG. So it’s no surprise that with Penn State in the final four of the NIT that the crowd is wearing white and the chant ‘WE ARE.. ..PENN STATE’ is threatening to blow the roof off of the Garden. For the Glory…

  • http://quebecpenspinning.com Devon

    As someone’s who’s made the drive countless times, you’re really close, but not quite Gene. 80 takes you just about to the eastern edge of Jersey, to 95 north which becomes the GW Bridge. But close. And the way we go which is to the Lincoln Tunnel has you taking I-80 to 280, to 95 south to 495, but close.

  • http://quebecpenspinning.com Devon

    As someone’s who’s made the drive countless times, you’re really close, but not quite Gene. 80 takes you just about to the eastern edge of Jersey, to 95 north which becomes the GW Bridge. But close. And the way we go which is to the Lincoln Tunnel has you taking I-80 to 280, to 95 south to 495, but close.