Penn State Falls To George Washington 76-66 In Washington, D.C.
After a dominating 81-70 win over Eastern Michigan, Penn State men’s basketball traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on 7-1 George Washington. After defeating No. 6 Virginia in its second game of the season, the Colonials established themselves as one of the nation’s top sleepers. The Nittany Lions had some flashes of brilliance, but couldn’t keep George Washington at bay from the floor as they ultimately fell to the Colonials 76-66.
How It Happened
The first half was close a shootout thanks exciting back-and-forth action behind sharp defending from Josh Reaves and the hot hand of Payton Banks. Both teams combined for 15 three-pointers throughout the contest, and George Washington headed into halftime with a 40-33 lead after a closely-contested first half that featured consistent shooting from Penn State’s backcourt. Shep Garner started off hot with two straight three-pointers, but eventually cooled off as he finished shooting 2-for-6 in the first half. Payton Banks followed Garner with seven points in the first half after shooting 3-for-6 from the field.
The problem for Penn State simply was stopping George Washington on the offensive end. The Colonials went 7-for-14 from behind the arc and relied heavily on Yuta Watanbe to produce. He ended with 14 points in the game, and served as the catalyst to the dominant offensive production from George Washington in the first half.
In the second half, the Penn State offense struggled out of the gate after failing to score its first bucket until the16:23 mark. The Colonials kept on rolling with the basketball, leaving Penn State helpless in its wake. It took Penn State almost eight minutes to pick up the intensity from the field, and eventually strung together a pair of 7-0 runs to cut the deficit to nine with three minutes left in the game.
Shep Garner and Brandon Taylor eventually got it going in the second half, ending with 37 of the Nittany Lions’ 66 points, but couldn’t do enough to stop the George Washington attack. Penn State was unable to mount a comeback as it fell to George Washington 76-66. Garner led all scorers with 22, followed by Taylor with 15 and Banks with 10.
Player Of The Game
Shep Garner | Sophomore | Point Guard
The one fans call “Sh3p” showed us why he earned that nickname after shooting 3-for-6 from beyond the arc with some NBA-caliber shots. Garner’s 22-point performance is the second time this season he’s had 20+ points, and his hot hand was the main source of production for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall for its next two games. The Nittany Lions will take on Canisius on Thursday, December 10 at 7 p.m. followed by Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, December 12 at 2 p.m.