Penn State Hoops Cruises To 91-64 Victory Over Wagner With Major Second Half Push
Penn State men’s basketball (2-0) may have taken a while to find its groove, but there was no looking back one it was found in a 91-64 victory against Wagner.
This was a breakout game for a lot of Penn State’s role players, as Myreon Jones finished with 14 points, Izaiah Brockington finished with 12, and Lamar Stevens continued to be the shining star that fans have known him to be with 13.
How It Happened
Lamar Stevens got the scoring started with a slick fadeaway shot. Wagner responded quickly with two baskets of its own. The momentum was on the Seahawks side early, as they caused a couple of turnovers and had a block. Stevens would not let that stop him from getting to the basket and drawing an and-one-foul.
Stevens would get back to the line and miss both free throws. Wagner then hit a three-pointer and scored on a lay-up before Myreon Jones responded with a three of his own.
The Nittany Lions would end up hitting a cold spell, with a bunch of missed baskets and fouls picked up by Stevens and John Harrar. Penn State found its groove on the next few possessions, with a three-pointer by Curtis Jones Jr. and Jamari Wheeler, and a nice steal and breakaway lay-up from Jones Jr.
After a media timeout, Wagner came out firing from three. Mike Watkins responded with a two-point jumper of his own. Following a turnover from the Seahawks, Wheeler drew a foul and made one-of-two free throws, which was a trend most Nittany Lions had whole at the line.
A Wagner turnover was followed by a Penn State turnover before Wagner scored on a lay-up. Curtis Jones Jr missed a three, and John Harrar was called for his second foul of the game. Another Wagner turnover led to a fast break opportunity for Lamar Stevens but the ball took a bad rollout of the hoop.
There were three straight possessions for the Nittany Lions with missed shots, none of them quality looks. The drought ended when Myles Dread sunk his first three of the night. Wagner quickly responded with a basket of its own, followed by another quick basket by Myreon Jones.
The Nittany Lions went on a run where they were only 2-11 from the floor before Lamar Stevens had two fancy moves that made the crowd gasp and led to consecutive baskets.
Wagner stayed in the game going into halftime due to consecutive threes made, despite being in a lot of foul trouble. Penn State only had a 37-30 lead heading into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, the Nittany Lions went on a 12-1 run. They looked like the complete package, with stifling defense and sound, smart offense. Wagner seemed to gain some composure coming out of the first media timeout, as they scored a couple of baskets and drew a couple of fouls.
Penn State was in a lot of foul trouble throughout the half. After the first five minutes of the half, the Nittany Lions were fouling left and right. Despite that, they drew more fouls on Wagner as they became very physical in the paint.
For most of the second half, it felt like nobody was scoring and that there was a foul or turnover on every possession. There were technical fouls, reviews for flagrant fouls, and just normal fouls that slowed the pace of the game. Wagner finished with 28 fouls and Penn State finished with 19 fouls.
Ultimately, the Nittany Lions used a strong second-half performance to limit Wagner’s offense and hit big baskets when they needed too. Whatever Pat Chambers said to his team at half time worked, as the Nittany Lions won 91-64.
- Pat Chambers talked about building chemistry as a unit after the team’s first win of the season against Maryland Eastern-Shore, and it felt like the team found that. Everyone contributed while on the court. Myreon Jones was the leading scorer, Mike Watkins led the team with eight rebounds, and even though he went 1-10 from the field, Myles Dread led the team in assists with five.
- Foul trouble was an issue, but the Nittany Lions were lucky that Wagner was in more foul trouble more than they were. Against tougher opponents, these fouls would hurt Penn State enough to put the game in jeopardy.
- This game was full of improvement. Izaiah Brockington looked a lot more comfortable compared to the first game. Jamari Wheeler scored 10 points, improving from a scoreless performance on Tuesday. Seth Lundy looked a lot more comfortable as well, as he finished with 12 points.
Penn State travels to the nation’s capital to play Georgetown on Thursday, November 14. The game tips off at 6:30 pm.
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