Penn State Drops In-State Battle to Bucknell

Story posted November 14, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Michael Katz

Penn State hosted in-state foe Bucknell on Wednesday night, and looked for its 13th straight win over the Bison. Things did not go according to plan, as Bucknell defeated the Nittany Lions 90-80, behind a superb offensive performance.

Bucknell was excellent shooting the ball, shooting 60.9% from the field and 66.7% from deep.

“Sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw, they hit 10 threes,” said Penn State head coach Pat Chambers after the game. “Everything they put up was going in.”

The game started with a bit of foreshadowing on how the following 40 minutes would play, with Penn State guard D.J. Newbill draining a three-pointer, only to be matched by a three at the other end by Bucknell forward Ben Brackney.

Penn State was able to score early and often, as they went on an 8-3 run going into the first media timeout.

The two teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with neither team going on any significant run.

The three-pointer was the weapon of choice for both teams in the first half, as both teams made five. Brackney caught fire, making all three of his attempts from deep, while Newbill made two and Tim Frazier, Ross Travis and Allen Roberts each made one.

Penn State led 41-36 entering the half.

The second half belonged to Bucknell. Frazier got into foul trouble very early and was never able to get an offensive rhythm going. “Kids sit out and they lose their focus and their attention to detail,” said Chambers.

Bucknell guard Steven Kaspar put on an absolute show in the second half. He started by making a three-pointer on his first shot of the half, and got his own rebound off of a missed bank and drained a deep shot, that looked like a three, but was changed to a two-pointer after an official review.

Kaspar was excellent driving the ball. With about 13 minutes left, he took the ball to the rack and laid it in, while forcing a Frazier foul, his third personal. Once Frazier was on the bench, Kaspar was able to get to the rack easily, as he showed on the next possession, taking it right to the rim and finishing. He finished with 25 points, 20 of which came in the second half.

“Steven Kaspar was nothing short of tremendous, not only scoring the ball but assisting,” said Bucknell head coach Dave Paulsen.

Kaspar was not the only Bison with a stellar second half. Cameron Ayers was 4-5 from three-point range in the second half, with his only miss coming heavily contested as the shot clock was expiring.

“I thought Cameron Ayers really came alive in the second half,” said Paulsen.

Once Bucknell took the lead they did not relinquish it. They shot 70.8% from the field in the second half, and Penn State’s 40% wasn’t good enough. The Nittany Lions started to miss shots and foul towards the end. Bucknell extended the lead with free throws and took home its first win of the year.

“Anytime Penn State basketball scores 80 points we should win the game,” said Chambers.

Michael Katz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mak5672@psu.edu.