With a large slate of Big Ten Basketball games taking place on Friday, there wasn't a ton of action on Saturday. That being said, Penn State and Nebraska both took the floor to open up college basketball regular season play. Despite the fact that we saw two major upsets on Friday night in the Wisconsin and Illinois games, we did not see any Big Ten shockers on Saturday. The Nittany Lions were up first as they faced off against Virginia Military Institute and won 62-50. Then Nebraska finished up the day with a dominant 97-51 win over Mississippi Valley State. Here's a closer look at Saturday's action.
Game of the Day
Virginia Military Institute 50, Penn State 62
Shep Garner was the story for Penn State who topped a feisty Virginia Military team at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania. The sophomore Nittany Lion scored 15 points with 4 three pointers to help fuel Penn State to an opening day victory. Also scoring in double figures for the Lions was senior Brandon Taylor with 15 and junior Payton Banks with 12. Both Taylor and Banks added a game-high 6 rebounds as well. Virginia Military Institute was led by junior Julian Eleby who posted 13 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds. Also playing well was Q.J. Peterson with 8 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Despite struggling from beyond the arc (26.3% from three), Penn State forced 14 turnovers and outrebounded Virginia Military 38 to 33. Even though Penn State was able to cruise to a fairly easy victory, there are certainly elements of its game that head coach Pat Chambers will look to cleanup before next contest. Aside from three point shooting, the Nittany Lions will loook to be better from the charity stripe as they connected on just 11 of 18. Penn State's next matchup is against Depaul on Tuesday.
Mississippi Valley State 51, Nebraska 97
Tim Miles' squad looked very solid in a blowout win over one of the worst teams in college basketball. Despite facing an easy opponent right off the bat, a win never hurts. The Cornhuskers shot the ball at an incredible 54.4% from the field while Mississippi Valley State managed only 25.9%. Leading the way for Nebraska was junior Andrew White III who connected on 7 out of 10 field goals including 4 of 6 from downtown. Also in double figures were Huskers Shavon Shields, Jack McVeigh, and Nick Fuller. Nick Fuller also managed to pull down a team-high 9 rebounds, as he fell just one short of a double-double. Leading the way for Mississippi Valley State off the bench was junior Damion Young who scored 13 and added 3 rebounds.
There wasn't much Mississippi Valley could do in this one as they were clearly outmatched all the way. Nebraska controlled the boards 44-35 and managed to force an astounding 21 turnovers. They hit 45.5% of their three point attempts and exploited their opponent's poor defense all day long. Easy win for Nebraska as it looks forward to a big matchup against #11 Villanova on Tuesday.