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Penn State Hoops Blown Out By No. 19 Michigan State 80-64

Penn State men’s basketball (5-5, 0-2 Big Ten) lost to No. 19 Michigan State (9-2, 2-0 Big Ten) 80-64. Seth Lundy led the way with 18 points and seven assists.

Three other players finished with double-digit points. John Harrar had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Pickett finished with 13 points and five assists, and Sam Sessoms scored 12 points off of the bench.

How It Happened

Jalen Pickett got the scoring started with a mid-range jumper, and was followed by a John Harrar layup. The Spartans, who started the game with a couple turnovers, were able to get settled and scored seven unanswered points. A Seth Lundy layup stopped that scoring run, but the Spartans quickly scored as well. The tempo of the game was in their favor.

The Nittany Lions were able to stay close and remain in the game. Both Pickett and Lundy were feeling it on the offensive end. Defensively, they were not doing a great job guarding the three. Otherwise, their defense kept them in the game.

Pickett was having his best offensive game of the season, which is a great sign for Penn State. Harrar also was winning the battle in the paint. Michigan State was dominating transition offense, however, and that was what gave it the advantage in the game up to that point.

The transition defense somehow got worse as the game went on. In fact, the Spartans outscored the Nittany Lions 16-0 in transition points. Head coach Micah Shrewsberry was visibly angry about the lack of defense in that part of the game, and was very livid on the sideline. It didn’t seem like it helped spark anything in the team, and Michigan State went into the break up 42-29.

Harrar got the scoring started for the Nittany Lions in the second half with a powerful slam dunk, and also drew a foul. He would make the free throw. Pickett also hit Penn State’s first three of the game, but it wasn’t enough to even inch back into the game. The Spartans had complete control.

Greg Lee, who made his season debut off the bench, hit a three to score his first basket of his Penn State career. But that was the only positive part of the second half, as Michigan State was in full control.

Another positive for the Nittany Lions was Lundy and his three0point shooting. He hit two back-to-back threes, and then found Lee for a nice layup as well. Harrar and Sessoms scored a couple layups, but it would not make any difference.

Lundy’s 18 points were not enough for Penn State, and it lost to Michigan State 80-64.

Takeaways

  • In the first half, only four players scored. John Harrar led the way with nine, Seth Lundy and Jalen Pickett both had eight, and Sam Sessoms had four. To beat a ranked team like Michigan State, that is unacceptable. The offense has to be more consistent early in games to give the team a chance to compete. The balanced attack is the best way to move forward, so we’ll see if the Nittany Lions can find that.
  • Greg Lee’s return is a good sign for the Nittany Lions. It will give them more depth at the forward position, and hopefully provide an offensive spark. It also gives Micah Shrewsberry more options to play with when putting together rotations, and that could help the team as they go into conference play.
  • Seth Lundy has proven that he is the most consistent player on the team, and that is a great sign for his development and Penn State. If he can continue to be a dominant presence, he will be one of the best players in the conference.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to Richmond to take on VCU on Saturday, December 18. The rematch of last season’s matchup, which ended with a Myles Dread buzzer beater, will tip off at 3:30 p.m. and air on NBC Sports Network.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed 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 school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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