Saturday, March 14, 2009

Penn State Update - 3/14/2009

Well, collegiate winter sports are winding down. Men's and women's basketball conference tournaments are ending with the national tournament on the horizon. Wrestling, gymnastics, and hockey have just a week or two left as well. Here' a round up on how some of Penn State's other (read: not football) teams did this past week.

  • We'll start again with men's basketball. The resurgence continued this past week. For the first time in many years, Penn State basketball players were awarded for excellence. Ed DeChellis was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the media. Talor Battle was named to both the media's and coaches All-Conference First Team, Jamelle Cornley made second team as selected by the media and third by the coaches, and Stanley Pringle was honorable mention for each too. Battle is only the fifth, yes fifth, Nittany Lion to earn any First Team honors and only the second to be named to both the media's and coaches first team (Jarrett Stephens, 2000). He is also the first Nittany Lion since 2001 to get on the Big Ten's first team. Quite a drought indeed. [Black Shoe Diaries & Zombie Nation]
  • The men's team did have a few games this week, too. Unfortunately it wasn't all good. After a thrilling victory over Illinois on March 5th, Penn State couldn't get anything going against Iowa last Saturday evening. The Nittany Lions fell to the lowly Hawkeyes in double overtime, 75-67. The loss dented the PSU armor and exposed some weaknesses heading into the Big Ten tournament. With the Iowa loss the teams hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 were in jeopardy. They needed at least one win to stay n the bubble. With the Iowa loss Penn State dropped from a possible #2 seed to the #6 seed and drew Indiana in the first round. This years Big Ten Tournament is in Indianapolis, IN. Penn State had already beaten the Hoosiers twice this season and they say it's tough to beat the same team three times. Thankfully, Battle and Company were up to the challenge. Penn State had few problems dispatching Indiana, winning Thursday evening 66-51 in front of thousands of Indiana hoops fans. With the win Penn State moved into the second round of the tournament and got to play another Indiana school: Purdue. The Boilermakers had a somewhat disappointing season, having been ranked in preseason polls in the Top 10. At the start of the tournament they were barely hanging in the Top 25. However they came out on fire Friday night and had their way with Penn State, cruising to an easy 79-65 victory. If Purdue plays like that every game they definitely will be a threat the rest of the season. [Black Shoe Diaries & Nittanydelphia]
  • Crispinandcream has had enough of the PSU doubters. He has chronicled and analyzed everything about the 2008-2009 Nittany Lion basketball team and sees one thing: a NCAA Tournament berth. Once can only hope. Is it Sunday night yet? [Crispin and Cream]
  • Check out this great round up of what Penn State chances are of making "March Madness". Devon2012 believes that, as of right now, there are really only five spots left... are we in? [Nittany White Out]
  • As stated last week, the women's basketball team lost in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and their season is over.
  • Baseball is starting to pick up steam and the Nittany Lions are back on track. After a sweep at the hands of Texas due to a lack of offense, Penn State has found their bats. They have played six games since my last post on them and have scored 74 runs and were 5-1 in those games.They defeated Akron last Saturday, 10-4, and the beat both Lehigh,15-5, and Saint Joseph's, 8-7, on Sunday. They then had a two game set in Fort Myers to take on Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday. They dropped the first game, 12-11, in 14 innings. They came back the next day and won 18-16. Yesterday the Nittany Lions started a four game set with Rutgers. Penn State won the first game 12-8. They have a doubleheader today. Game 1 is scheduled for 12 PM and game 2 is at 4 PM. They conclude their four game series with Rutgers on Sunday at 12:30 PM. Penn State is now 7-6 on the season. [Black Shoe Diaries]
  • The women's gymnastics team continued it string of strong performances with a 196.225-195.925 win at West Virginia last Sunday. That is their third straight win, leaving them at 6-3 on the season and ranked 15th in the nation (as of 3/9/09). The women have a quad meet today at 4 PM at Maryland where they'll also face Arizona and Yale. This is their final regular season meet. The Big Ten Championships start next Saturday.
  • The men also have been performing at an excellent level of late. They defeated William & Mary and Navy last Sunday and are now ranked 6th in the nation. They host California, who is ranked #5, at 7pm tonight at Rec Hall. This would be a big win for the program. They finish their regular season schedule at #2 Oklahoma next Saturday before the Big Ten Championships begin the first weekend in April in Ann Arbor, MI.
  • The men's wrestling team played in the Big Ten tournament as it did the last few weeks of the regular season: sub par. The team finished in 7th place and was extremely disappointed. The team really fell off at the end of the year after a strong start and high hopes. The NCAA Tournament begins on March 19th. [The Nittany Line]
  • The Penn State men's volleyball team is participating in the Long Beach State Active Ankle Classic this weekend. They got off on the wrong foot, falling to #9 BYU in 5 sets. They play the hosts tonight at 10 PM. Prior to the weekend, Penn State was ranked #4 in the nation. They are 15-2 so far this season.
  • The Icers begin ACHA Nationals action today at 2:30 PM versus Duquesne in Gates Mills, OH. If the Icers win they'll play either Rhode Island or Ohio at 2:30 PM tomorrow. Should they win that match they'd then take on one of these four teams on Tuesday at 8:30 PM: Delaware, Stony Brook, Iowa State, or West Chester. The winner of the Tuesday game goes on to the National Championship game versus one of eight teams (which I will not list). The final game is on Wednesday at 7 PM. Let's go ICERS!!! [Black Shoe Diaries & Penn State Hockey]
  • Finally, BSD continues his "Nittany Lion of the Week" award. On Wednesday Ed DeChellis was named "Nittany Lion of the Week" for (possibly) leading his team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years and for being named the media's Big Ten Coach of the Year. Congratulations, Ed! [Black Shoe Diaries]

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