Penn State Falls 77-73 To No. 21 Georgia Tech In Exciting ACC/Big Ten Challenge Game
Cornley leads Penn State with 20 points
# Box Score
Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 28, 2006 - Penn State (4-2) gave No. 21 Georgia Tech (6-1) all it could ask for in front of 9,191 fans in Alexander Coliseum, but 20 turnovers and some big Yellow Jacket threes thwarted a Nittany Lion upset bid as Georgia Tech prevailed 77-73 in an exciting ACC/Big Ten Challenge game Tuesday in Atlanta.
Penn State had four possessions in which it could have taken the lead or tied the game in the second half, but failed to convert on any. Still the Lions answered the bell after every Georgia Tech run and were within striking distance in the final minutes.
A Ben Luber (Richboro, Pa.) three cut the Yellow Jacket lead to four, 69-65, with 1:27 to play, but Anthony Morrow answered with a wild three from the left corner as the shot clock wound down for Georgia Tech. Another Luber three cut the lead again, 72-68, and Penn State fouled Javaris Crittenton who sank two free throws.
Danny Morrissey (Cleveland, Ohio) drained a three on Penn State's next possession to agan cut the lead, 74-71. Penn State called timeout and fouled Crittenton again who made 1-of-2 for a 75-71 lead with 20 seconds to play. Penn State got a lay-up from David Jackson (Gaithersburg, Md.) on a Luber assist, one of nine for the senior on the night, to make the score 75-73 with 10 seconds to play. Penn State burned its last timeout before fouling Morrow who made both free throws with 8 seconds to play. Luber missed a last gasp three on the other end as the upset bid ended.
Sophomore Jamelle Cornley (Columbus, Ohio) continued his terrific early season play for Penn State scoring a team-high 20 points and grabbing five rebounds playing all 40 minutes of a fast paced game. Geary Claxton, playing with a heavy bandage on his broken right hand, posted 12 points and six rebounds, while Jackson equaled a career-high with three, three-pointers and posted 11 points on the night. Morrissey contributed 10 points and a career-high seven assists and Luber added nine points for the Lions.
Penn State shot a season-best 57 percent (30-of-54) from the floor, tallied 22 assists and out-rebounded Georgia Tech 28-21, but couldn't overcome some key turnovers.
Lewis Clinch led the Yellow Jackets with 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the three-point line, three in the first half, and Anthony Morrow posted 15 also hitting 4-of-8 from the arc. The Yellow Jackets made 10-of-24 threes on the night and turned 15 steals and 20 Penn State turnovers into 33 points, many of which came in the form of crowd fueling dunks.
Cornley scored 12 first half points on 6-of-8 shooting and Morrissey hit a three-pointer with seconds remaining in the first 20 minutes as Penn State trailed 37-34 after a well played first half. Penn State shot 60 percent from the floor (15-of-25) and had 13 assists on 15 baskets in the first half, while Georgia Tech hit 53.8 percent (14-of-26). The Yellow Jackets hit 6-of-14 three-pointers in the half.
Georgia Tech extended to as much as a 10-point lead, 30-20, with 6:46 to play in the half, but two straight Cornley buckets after a time out quickly cut the margin back to six and Penn State kept it close the rest of the way.
Two free throws from Morrissey cut the lead to 37-36 thirty seconds into the second half. Penn State had the ball with a chance for the lead when Crittenton stole it and dunked on the other end spurring and 8-2 Georgia Tech run.
Following a pair of buckets from Cornley and a sweet assist from Claxton that led to a Hassell dunk, Penn State again had the lead down to one, 53-52, and possession with a chance for the lead with 11 minutes to play. Claxton missed a floater and Cornley couldn't get the tip to go. Crittenton missed a three on the other end but Jeremis Smith pulled the rebound and scored.
Penn State got the margin down to two, 58-56, a minute later on a Cornley jumper and following a Smith miss had two possessions to tie or take the lead. Cornley missed a three on the first. Crittenton turned the ball over on the ensuing possession for Georgia Tech, but Penn State again failed to convert as Mario West stole the ball from Claxton and dunked on the other end.
The Yellow Jackets extended the lead to five before another Cornley jumper cut it to three and Penn State got the ball trailing 61-58 with under six minutes to play. This time Morrissey turned it over and Jackson fouled West driving for a lay-up on the other end. West converted 1-of-2 for a 62-58 lead. Tech pushed the lead to eight, 67-59, following a Crittenton bucket and Morrow three-pointer. Following a timeout Claxton scored for Penn State on a lob from Morrissey on an inbounds play, but Smith answered on the other end and Tech led 69-61 with 3:24 to play. Penn State would score the next four points, including a Luber three, to set up the final minutes.
Penn State returns to action Saturday when they take on Morgan State in the Bryce Jordan Center. That game is set for a 4:00 p.m. tip and will be broadcast live on ESPN360 (webcast). It can also be heard live on the Penn State Sports Network and at GoPSUsports.com. Penn State is 3-0 all-time against the Bears.