Never Forget Tribute Classic Recap
- Updated: December 10, 2016
Newark NJ: Big time College Basketball came to Prudential Center in Newark NJ on Saturday afternoon in inaugural Never Forget Tribute Classic and it featured 2 very interesting games as #1 Villanova took on Notre Dame & Penn State took on Pittsburgh. This event partners with the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, which helps support the education of children of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The first game featured Number 1 Villanova taking on Notre Dame. The Wildcats come into game with 9-0 record and off a win over Big 5 Rival LaSalle back on December 6 while the Fighting Irish enter battle against Wildcats with a 9-0 record and off a win over Fort Wayne also on December 6. Notre Dame would open the scoring on basket by Martin Geben and Jalen Brunson got the Wildcats on the board. The Irish would bring the fight to the Wildcats as they would grow a lead of 11 in the 1st half at 33-22 with 4:33 left, then the Wildcats would go on a run to cut into the lead as the Irish took a 41-36 lead into halftime. Notre Dame would keep the pressure on the Wildcats and make things more challenging but Villanova would answer the bell as they would rally back and take their 1st lead on layup from Brunson which made it 57-56 with 9:07 left, Both teams made big plays as the Wildcats would hold on for a 74-66 win. Josh Hart lead Villanova in scoring with 37 points while Steve Vasturia & Matt Farrell each had 18 for Notre Dame.
The 2nd game featured Pittsburgh Panthers taking on Penn State Nittany Lions. Pittsburgh enters game with Penn State with 7-2 record and off a win over Buffalo on December 9 while Penn State comes into battle with Pittsburgh with a 6-4 record and off a bad loss to George Mason also on December 7. Penn State would open the scoring on 3 pointer by Shep garner for 3-0 lead while Chris Jones gets Pittsburgh on the board. The Panthers would just dominate the Nittany Lions up and down the floor as they would take a 42-22 lead into halftime. Penn State would wake up and make this an exciting 2nd half which saw them bite into the Panthers lead as they got it down to 5 at 71-66 with 1:50 left, then Panthers Shelton Jeter would hit a dagger 3 pointer and Penn State could not respond as Panthers took this game 81-73. Michael Young leads Pittsburgh with 29 points while Mike Watkins dropped 17 for Penn State.
Villanova Coach Jay Wright:
Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey:
Pittsburgh Coach Kevin Stallings:
Penn State Coach Patrick Chambers: