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Penn State Hoops Sneaks Out Close Win Over VCU 72-69

Penn State men’s basketball (2-0) beat Virginia Commonwealth University (2-2) 72-69 with a buzzer-beating shot in the final seconds Wednesday night. Myles Dread was the hero of the game, as his only made basket was the game-winner.

Seth Lundy also dominated, as he led the team in scoring with 32 points. Sam Sessoms also provided some valuable minutes off the bench and scored 17 points.

How It Happened

John Harrar got the scoring started with a layup in the paint. A good defensive stop let Myreon Jones knock down a three on the next offensive possession, and the Nittany Lions were rolling.

VCU got into a swing scoring four consecutive points, but Seth Lundy stopped their scoring run with a breakaway slam. Jones and Lundy added a couple buckets to extend their lead.

After that, the scoring went dark. VCU had a lot of turnovers and Penn State just missed shots. The scoring finally started up again when Sam Sessoms scored on a goaltend by the Rams.

VCU was not able to score at all for a really long stretch. That gave way for Lundy to make another three and for Jamari Wheeler to breeze his way through the lane. Wheeler and Sessoms also were bug in getting steals and causing turnovers.

The Rams were able to get back into a scoring role, but they were also really impressive on the defensive end. Besides Lundy being a offensive presence, the Nittany Lions could not get anything going as the Rams went on an 8-0 run.

Sessoms ended that scoreless streak with a drive into the paint. He drew a foul and was able to sink the free-throw. After a couple missed shots, Izaiah Brockington found the bottom of the basket. Then he followed that up with a wide open three-pointer.

After a really well fought first half, the Nittany Lions went into the locker room with a 35-32 lead and momentum on their side.

Lundy got the scoring going in the second half with an absolute monster slam dunk. The next possession, he got into the lane and put up a really soft mid-range shot.

VCU went on another run that silenced Penn State’s offense. It felt like the Nittany Lions were just forcing shots, and not trying to get open looks. Those missed opportunities came back to haunt them when the Rams took the lead at the 13 minute mark.

Sessoms was able to shake VCU out of their rhythm, and then was able to drive into the paint to score and give the Nittany Lions the lead. VCU then tied it right back up. But Seth Lundy sunk a wide open three to change the lead again.

Speaking of Lundy, he has had a career day. There is a trend now where at least one player has a career day. Wheeler had that game against Virginia Military Institute, Lundy had it today against VCU.

The Rams were able to drive into the paint and draw a couple fouls to get some easy points. It also helps that no other Penn State player besides Lundy was feeling it scoring the ball.

Sessoms was able to make a midrange jumper that gave the Nittany Lions the lead, but a foul on Harrar put VCU back on the free throw line. The Rams only sunk one free throw out of two.

Lundy made sure that he continued to make his presence noticed, so he made another three pointer. The next possession, Sessoms made another three. And then just like that, Lundy hit ANOTHER three.

VCU did not let up though. A smart timeout gave the Rams a chance to regroup, and they were able to cut into that lead. Once that lead got to three, Jim Ferry called a timeout for the Nittany Lions to regroup.

With 90 seconds in the game, the Rams drew a foul on a made layup but they missed the free throw. A turnover game the Rams the ball back with under a minute left to go. After a lot of ball movement, they missed the three and the Nittany Lions got the rebound and the foul.

Sessoms missed the first free throw but sunk the second one, giving Penn State a two point lead with 20 seconds left. VCU then drove into the paint and tied the game with about 10 seconds left.

And then Myles Dread, stone cold, sunk a three at the buzzer to win the game! An amazing shot to end a hard fought game. Seth Lundy led the team with 32 points and 4 rebounds, and the Nittany Lions win 72-69.

Takeaways

  • Sam Sessoms is a legit player. He has the speed that Jamari Wheeler has, but he also has an absurd amount of upper-body strength. That size and speed combination makes him a unique weapon when driving into the paint, where arguably he is at his best.
  • It is time to let the freshmen play. Jim Ferry has continuously said he want to make sure his whole team is ready to play at any moment. But why not just play them in a normal rotation? Let Abdou Tsimbila get some reps behind John Harrar instead of Trent Buttrick. Let Dallion Johnson play more than just the last seven seconds of the first half. Those players need real, close game experience and shouldn’t just be used in garbage time.
  • Penn State cannot rely on one player for offense. Seth Lundy had one hell of a day, and Sam Sessoms really contributed off the bench, but there needs to be more than two big time scorers. It can’t just occur against teams like VMI, it has to occur against big time opponents as well.

What’s Next

Penn State will play Seton Hall at 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 6. That contest will air on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in Secondary Education and minoring in Social Justice in Education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the tv show Survivor, and yes mom, actually doing schoolwork. If you would like to talk about sports or Survivor, the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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