Game #104 of 358 29% complete
After waiting years so that I could get Bucknell and neighbor Penn State playing back-to-back, I am finally here. I spent a little time walking the impressive campus and looking like an old professor among the bustle of college kids heading to classes on this Monday afternoon.
I had a difficult time finding a sports bar and restaurant open along the College Ave. The recommendations from my cousin Brian who is a Penn State alumnus were for closed businesses unbeknownst to him. I ended up downing a burger and fries at Mr. Bistro. I was not sure if the dearth of restaurants open was due to COVID or because it was Monday night.
What write up about Penn state would not be complete unless it had a picture of the famous Nittany Lions football stadium which was right next to the basketball arena.
So on to what has been the most exciting game so far in my journey. A double OT win by the underdog Penn State team was a major B10 battle to say the least. Iowa’s Keegan Murray’s miracle tip in sent the game into the first overtime. Penn State’s Myles Dread hit a 3 pointer with nine seconds left to send it into the second over time.
The many empty seats shows that Penn State basketball is a stepchild to the football team. However, the student section was very active and vocal throughout the game.
I was especially looking forward to seeing Keegan Murray play for Iowa. As one of the leading scorers in college basketball season this year, he is a future NBA player. Penn State held him in check tonight with Murray showing outward signs of frustrations at times. He has a smooth jump shot but I don’t see the aggressiveness and leadership displayed tonight that would make my Knicks want to draft him. His passivity out there tonight would raise a red flag in my opinion.
So here is a first for me. Iowa has two brothers Patrick and Connor McCaffery playing for their father Fran McCaffery who is a coach. The team also has two other brothers Keegan and Kris Murray. I can’t imagine as a father coaching your own kids in a high pressure Big 10 league barnburner. When they make a mistake, does the coach feels bad for his son or does he want to wring his neck?
Connor McCaffery had 4 three pointers in the first half but had to leave late in the game because of a separated shoulder incurred from a scramble of a loose ball. He came back to watch the overtimes with an ice pack and harness around his shoulder.
The Bryce Jordan arena also serves as home for musical acts. They have a wall set up where each performer leaves a personal message along with their picture. The above is just a small section of the hundreds displayed in the arena hallway.
In all my excitement about the amazing ending to the game, I neglected to take my traditional picture of the final score on the scoreboard.
I must comment on a couple of side trips before the game.
I visited the Little League World Series stadium in Williamsport. Having watched the series since I was a youngster, curiosity got the best of me. Unfortunately, the museum was closed but I took a picture of the snow-covered iconic field. I can picture the kids sliding down the hill behind the outfield during the game.
I also visited Reptile World in Lewisburg to look at snakes, alligators, frogs and birds. I captured this reaction from these owls when I told them about my Journey to 351 mission.
On to Missouri State!