Saturday, March 21, 2009

Penn State Update - 3/21/2009

The NCAA Tournament is underway, ACHA Nationals are over, and Big Ten Championships are aplenty. Find out how your favorite Nittany Lion teams fared this past week.

  • Let's start with some hockey. The Icers - fresh off of their regular season and postseason ESCHL championships - traveled to Ohio for the ACHA Nationals Tournament. Penn State settled in as the #2 seed, set to face 15 seed Duquesne last Saturday afternoon. The Icers dispatched id the Dukes 5-2 and advanced to face host Ohio in round two. As expected the home team was amped to take on a bitter rival. Fortunately the Icers came out on top, 3-2, in OT. The team had on off day Monday before facing off against Illinois, the team that beat Penn State in the finals last year. The Fighting Illini would again get the best of the Icers, winning 3-0 and advancing to take on Lindenwood in the finals. Lindenwood, the #1 seed, would go on to win their first ACHA National Title, dispatching Illinois 4-1 on Wednesday. The Icers lose 13 seniors to graduation. [Penn State Hockey, Black Shoe Diaries, & The Daily Collegian]
  • The men's basketball team was left out of the NCAA Tournament but was chosen to participate in the Postseson NIT. It was the first time the men's b-ball team has gotten to play in the postseason since 2001. They, of course, made it interesting. Penn State was give a 2 seed and was to face off against #7, and former NCAA Cinderella, George Mason. Penn Stata controlled the first half of the first round NIT game but GM stormed back and took control for much of the second half. With five seconds left and Penn State down by three, Talor Battle drove down the court and nailed a three at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime. Battle would lead the Nittany Lions to victory, 77-73, and a berth in the second round. You can see the final seconds of regulation below. [Nittany White Out & Black Shoe Diaries]

  • The men's team wasn't finished. They sought revenge for a regular season loss to Rhode Island, their NIT round two foe. Penn State controlled the game and won 83-72, advancing to the NIT's Elite Eight. They face #1 seed Florida on Tuesday in Gainesville. [Black Shoe Diaries]
  • The wrestling team is participating in the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, MO this weekend. The event started Thursday and continues through this evening, when National Champions will be crowned. Penn State initially sent six wrestlers for individual matches. Two have emerged as All-Americans (finishing 8th or higher in weight class). Redshirt freshman Frank Molinaro and true freshman Quentin Wright both won enough matches to finish 8th or better in their weight classes. Molinaro will fight today for 7th place. Wright has a match this morning to advance to the semi-finals. Two Penn State All-Americans from last season - Jake Strayer and Dan Vallimont - fell one win shy of repeating. [Go PSU Sports & The Nittany Line]
  • The baseball team continued their four game series with Rutgers last Saturday. After winning the series opener Friday evening, the Nittany Lions lost both games of the double header, 6-5 in 10 innings and 5-2. They ended up splitting the four game series when Penn State won the final match on Sunday, 7-3. The Nittany Lions returned home this week and started a three game series with New York tech last night. Penn State won the first game 4-2. They play today at 1:05 and tomorrow at 12:05.
  • The women's gymnastics team is currently in Champaign, IL for the Big Ten Championships which start today at 3 PM. The women are currently ranked 13th in the nation and are favored to take home the Big Ten crown. The main challengers will be Michigan (national rank: 15), Illinois (16), Minnesota (17), and Ohio State (18). After the Big Ten Championships, the ladies have off until April 4th, the start of the NCAA Regionals.
  • The men's gymnastics team remains 6th in the nation and 3rd in the Big Ten behind Illinois (3) and Minnesota (5). Last Saturday evening the men fell to 4th ranked California in Rec Hall, 355.150 to 353.800. Tonight they are in Norman, OK to take on #2 Oklahoma. The Big Ten Championships for the men are April 3 and 4.
  • The men's volleyball team is in a bit of a rut. After losing to BYU in the opening round of the Long Beach State Active Ankle Classic, the team fell to the hosts, 3-2. Penn State rebounded last night, dispatching IPFW in straight sets. The team plays at Juniata on Tuesday. The men are now ranked 7th in the nation.
  • This weeks Nittany Lion of the Week is Talor Battle. The Penn State basketball player hit the game tieing shot at the buzzer to send the game versus #7 seed George Mason into OT. Battle remained hot in OT and the Nittany Lions emerged victorious. Battle was also a consensus All-Big Ten selection. [Black Shoe Diaries]

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