Two Blowouts is All She Wrote: Three Takeaways from Night One of the Legends Classic
Day one of the Legends Classic at the Barclay’s Center featured a pair of unique matches. First, former Big 12 rivals Texas A&M and Oklahoma State squared off in the opening game of the night. Second, Pitt and Penn State battled in a match-up of two Pennsylvania schools to determine who is the better “Quaker State” school.
Here are three takeaways from the two matches:
Texas A&M Looks Good Even Without Tyler Davis
In the battle of former Big 12 rivals, the No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies handily defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 72-55. Leading the show for the Aggies was junior D.J. Hogg, who netted a team-high 18 points with his high school teammate and star center Tyler Davis on the bench.
Davis, who is a member of the Preseason First Team All-SEC, only featured briefly for the Aggies due to foul trouble. In his absence, Hogg stepped up and led the victory. Along with Hogg, sophomore Robert Williams added a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
After getting out to more than a 20-point lead, Texas A&M fought off punch after punch by Oklahoma State as the Cowboys tried to get themselves back into the game.
“I thought we did a good job handling their pressure, especially in the first half,” Texas A&M head coach Bill Kennedy said. “We had, I think, 10 or 11 assists and when we share the ball like that and play the defense we’re capable of playing, we’re a tough team to beat.”
The Aggies will take on undefeated Penn State in the title game of the Legends Classic on Tuesday night.
Attendance Is Low
Even with the entire second tier of the Barclay’s Center raptors curtained off, the Barclay’s Center laid near empty in both Legends Classic games tonight. From the always reliable “eye test,” it looked like there was no more than a thousand on hand for either game, with most of the fans sitting behind their respective team’s bench.
With low attendance, the Legends Classic begs the question, ‘should there be these two-day tournaments in New York City when there aren’t any major programs or local teams involved?’
While the financial result of the tournament undisclosed, the question looms even brighter. It will be worth noting the crowd of the consolation game at 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, as it is unlikely that attendance will even reach half of the audience of tonight’s games.
Penn State Ride Big Opening Run to Victory
Off of the opening tip, the undefeated Penn State Nittany Lions ran away from their in-state rival Pitt Panthers, opening the game on a 16-3 run within the first five minutes of play. The Nittany Lions ended up winning by the final score of 85-54, where they had at one point a 40-point lead.
Guard Tony Carr led the way for Penn State with 16 points as six Nittany Lions scored in double figures. Throughout the entire forty minutes, Penn State controlled the tempo, dictated the glass and forced turnovers on the defensive end. If there were ever a definition of a one-sided contest, it would be this game.
Penn State now moves 5-0 on the season and will put that record on the line as they take on Texas A&M in the final of the Legends Classic on Tuesday night.