Game Grades: Penn State vs. Eastern Michigan
The Nittany Lions (5-2) claimed their third straight victory on Saturday afternoon against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-3) after topping Bucknell and Boston College. Penn State’s second half play allowed for the Lions to top the Eagles with an 81-70 victory.
Here are the game grades for Penn State’s victory against Eastern Michigan:
Penn State did a respectable job on the back end of the court against the Eagles. Shep Garner led the team defensively and also aided in offensive production. Garner started spreading the ball, which lead to more shots falling. The Lions, however, could have improved in the steals and blocks categories. Penn State only had four steals in the game, while Eastern Michigan had a total of 11 steals. Luckily for Penn State, the play of Taylor and Garner was able to offset the amount of turnovers on Penn State’s side. In addition to steals, the Eagles came up with three blocks for the game and the Nittany Lions weren’t able to block any shots, which Penn State should work on for their next game if they want to keep their winning streak alive. At one point in the game, the Nittany Lions had a 23-point lead, but Penn State only won by 11 points, which is in turn because of Penn State’s turnovers and defensive play.
Early in the first half, it looked as if it was going to be the battle most expected by a comparable team. Penn State aimed to establish their inside-out game to start the first, however, Eastern Michigan gave the Lions some trouble early on. Once the Lions were able to get past the Eagles zone, the court opened up for them and they were able to capitalize on their offensive play. Penn State’s second-half surge made the difference for the offense and the game as a whole to defeat the Eagles. Penn state, with a 19-6 offensive rebound advantage, outplayed the Eagles offensively for a majority of the game. The Nittany Lions took command of rebounds and 3-point percentage, profiting on offense by shooting a 42.9 percent past the arc. The offense was dominated by the play of Brandon Taylor with a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds for his third career double-double.
The bench had a small contribution for this game with Donovan Jack leading the way offensively on 8 total points. On the back end of the court, Jack also did a great job having three rebounds and a steal. Devin Foster also had a respectable game for the bench with 4 rebounds for the game and contributing defensively for the Nittany Lions.
After a close first half of the game and the Nittany Lion’s struggling to get past Eastern Michigan’s zone, Pat Chambers did a great job of getting his players to open up play more to get through Eastern Michigan’s zone. Once the Lions were able to open up play and get through the Eagle’s zone, it was all Penn State offensively with the dominating play of Taylor. However, Chambers could have done a better job on emphasizing crisper passes to reduce turnovers and sloppy play.
Alissa Devine is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email email@example.com