Nittany Lions Roll in Opener

Penn State cruises past William & Mary in season-opener with Battle and Cornley leading the way.

Jamelle Cornley walked on the floor at the start of Penn State's opener against William & Mary Friday. He moved toward the student section, pumped his chest and asked “Are you ready?”

Cornley, who missed the final three games of last season with a knee injury that required surgery, made an impact in his return to the Nittany Lions' lineup in their 65-51 win over the Tribe in front of 8,026 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center.

“I was really ready to get this game out of the way, I really needed this game,” Cornley said. “I've been waiting for this game for a long time for the simple fact that I wanted to see how I felt.

"I felt really good,” he added.

The senior forward scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer, and added 12 rebounds in the win. He was one of three forwards Penn State used to start the game, along with D.J. Jackson and Andrew Jones.

Guard Danny Morrissey, the projected starter, entered the game for guard Stanley Pringle nearly five minutes into the game.

Penn State's big lineup edged out William & Mary in rebounds, 32-27, and brought a physical aspect to the court that the Tribe were not used to. Especially troublesome was attempting to guard the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Cornley.

“He's a great player, strong guy,” William & Mary forward Peter Stein said. “It's definitely a different game. The refs really let you play a lot more; they let you push and shove so his strength really plays to his advantage.”

Only eight players saw time in the win for the Lions. The three players that came off the bench -- freshmen Cammeron Woodyard, and Chris Babb, along with Morrissey -- combined for just five points.

On the other hand, Penn State didn't need points from its bench. Guards Talor Battle and Pringle totaled 37 points between them. Battle led the Lions with 21 points, and 15 of them came in the first half.

“I only took two or three shots in the second half,” Battle said. “Stanley was hitting shots, D.J. [Jackson] was hitting shots.”

Jackson and Jones scored only 13 points between them. Cornley said that was a mix between the Tribe packing the defense down low and Penn State using one of its advantages -- quickness from the guards -- as a means of scoring.

“I don't think there's too many guards that can guard those two heads up,” Cornley said. “So rather than worry about us, they''ll create and we'll feed off of that.”

The Lions got off to a quick start, going up 8-0 and forcing the Tribe to take a timeout with less than three minutes played. Williams & Mary cut the score to 8-5, but that was the closest it would come to Penn State, with the Lions generally holding a double-digit leads.

NOTES

The Lions added another early signee for the 2009 recruiting class. Jermaine Marshall, a wing player from Red Land High near Harrisburg, could miss much of his senior season after undergoing knee surgery

• The Lions play Monday against New Jersey Tech, which went 0-29 last season.


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