Penn State Victorious in Season Opener, Defeats Wagner
The Nittany Lions started the season off on the right foot behind the return of senior guard Tim Frazier, who helped propel the Lions to a 74-62 win against the Wagner Seahawks to kick off their 2013-14 campaign.
Frazier dropped an impressive 25 points, followed 10 rebounds and 4 assists in 39 minutes.
D.J Newbill also chimed in with a double-double of his own, tallying 18 points (11 in the first half) and 11 rebounds.
Penn State came out of the gates aggressively pressing the Seahawks with its man-to-man defense, which forced Wagner to start the game 1-of-13 from three and 0-for-7 from downtown.
The Penn State defense remained dominant throughout the first half, holding the Seahawks to an abysmal 25% field goal percentage on 8/32 shooting.
D.J Newbill capped off the half with a nifty left handed lay-up and the and-1, which was followed by Wagner forward Mario Moody getting a technical for allegedly getting into an altercation with a fan.
The teams went into the locker room with Penn State leading 32-20.
The second half started inauspiciously for the Nittany Lions. Wagner’s senior guard Latif Rivers popped a quick three, which led to a 10-1 run that brought the Seahawks to within three.
But the dynamic duo of Frazier and Newbill proved to be too much for the Seahawks as the Lions pulled away late.
A couple of clutch free throws by Frazier and freshman guard Donovan Jack put the Lions up 13.
After the game, Frazier shared how good it felt to be back on the court for a regular season game for the first time since his injury.
“I had so many jitters running through my veins,” Frazier said. “It meant so much to be able to be able to step back on the court with these guys. It was an amazing moment and I will never forget this day.”
Penn State coach Pat Chambers then expressed how special a performance it was that his two starting guards put on, but adding in how this type of combined output can’t be relied on in the long haul.
“You have two guards that get double-doubles for you which is pretty good, but they can’t do this all year long and they won’t have to,” Chambers said. “I feel good about Brandon, Ross, Donovan and A.R. I feel good about our bench and the lineups we played today is what presented itself.”
Although impressed with his team’s performance, Chambers acknowledged some places his team must improve upon if it wants to be successful as the season moves on and shifts into Big Ten play.
“Rebounding is something we are working on every day, so we have to do a good job taking care of the glass,” Chambers said.
Penn State will look to build on its strong start on Wednesday when it takes on the 0-1 Bucknell Bison at the Bryce Jordan Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 P.M.
Zachary Lacher is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.