The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 10, 2013

Penn State ending season strong

STATE COLLEGE — Nick Colella knocked the ball loose from an opponent, and two teammates followed him to the floor to save the ball for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions have worked hard all season – though they now have two wins over the last 10 days to show for their scrapes and floor burns.

After an 0-14 start, coach Patrick Chambers’ scrappy club is finishing strong with two wins in three games entering today’s regular-season finale against No. 22 Wisconsin. The 66-59 win Thursday night over Northwestern ended a 17-game Big Ten road losing streak for Penn State (10-19, 2-15) that dated back to March 2011. It was also the first road victory in two years.

“You know, I love that play. It’s a staple of who we are,” Chambers said Friday during a weekly conference call. “That’s Penn State basketball. We are laying a great foundation of things to come.”

There’s a ways to go still in Chambers’ rebuilding project, but the enthusiastic coach finally has some positive results in conference to which to point.

The 84-78 win over then-No. 4 Michigan on Feb. 27 snapped an 18-game conference losing streak. The Nittany Lions then got blown out by Minnesota before rebounding to beat the Wildcats.

Sasa Borovnjak has emerged as a third scorer in the lane to help guards D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall. He posted 15 points and a career-best 10 rebounds against Northwestern for his first career double-double.

Also, shooting has improved of late with the Nittany Lions hitting 40 percent from 3-point range in four of their last six games.

“What I’ve always said is you earn the right to make shots. We’re finally earning the right,” Chambers said. “With sharing the ball, they’re getting more uncontested shots ... Now you’re seeing higher-percentage looks.”

Newbill and Marshall are also finally growing more accustomed to the ball-handling duties they had to assume after point guard and leading scorer Tim Frazier went down with a left Achilles injury four games into the season. That forced Penn State to make unexpected changes on the fly, most notably having combo guard Newbill slide over to take over the point for the first time in his career.

“We playing our best basketball of the year,” Chambers said. “They look like they’re having fun out there. It’s unfortunate that we’re coming down to the end here. But we’re focused on today ... and let’s see what we can do against Wisconsin.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dodgers Pirates Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
    Polanco, hitting just .133 in his previous 11 games, smacked a bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth to put Pittsburgh in front for good.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • ACC Kickoff Football ACC schools get optimism from stability

    Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference.
    It’s where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too – sort of – and nobody else is leaving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo