The Lions beat Notre Dame in Tuesday's semis and Baylor in last night's title game, despite being being decisively outscored from three-point range in both games. Penn State held modest, but key edges in rebounding and scoring from the line, both indicators of aggressiveness. And the defense against Notre Dame surely made Joe Paterno proud as he watched from the stands. The Bears shot only 33 percent from the floor.
Jamelle Cornley was named Outstanding Player and gave PSU consistent effort in both scoring and rebounding on both nights. He had 33 points and 15 rebounds in the two wins, and they were fairly equally distributed over both games. Similarly, Talor Battle had 29 and 13 respectively. And Andrew Jones was huge in the semis, when he hauled down 15 boards against the Irish.
Last year, it was Ohio State winning the NIT title and then boucing right back into the NCAAs the following year. Ed DeChellis hopes his team can follow the same path next year. But in the meantime, Penn State fans have plenty of reason to love New York.