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Penn State Hoops Upsets No. 19 Michigan State 62-58

Penn State men’s basketball (10-12, 5-10 Big Ten) shocked Michigan State (18-7, 9-5 Big Ten) 62-58 to snap a three-game losing streak at the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday night.

Veterans Seth Lundy and John Harrar led Penn State down the stretch to sink the Spartans in a much-needed Big Ten win. Harrar finished 16 points and 16 total boards, while Lundy added 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting from three.

How It Happened

No changes in the starting lineup for head coach Micah Shrewsberry as the Nittany Lions aimed to get back in the win column after losing six of their last seven.

Winners by 15 in their last outing against Indiana, the Spartans got on the board first Tuesday night. Senior forward Gabe Brown hit on his first attempt from the field to give Michigan State the early lead.

Sophomore guard Dallion Johnson answered with a three to put Penn State on the board.

After a series of back and forth threes by Jalen Pickett and Michigan State’s Jaden Atkins, the Spartans entered the first television timeout up 14-9.

Out of the timeout, freshman guard Max Christie hit on his first attempt to push Michigan State’s lead to 16-9.

It took some time, but star forward Seth Lundy’s corner three gave the junior his first points of the game on four attempts. Lundy entered the game averaging just under 13 points in just over 32 minutes per game.

Following another Max Christie bucket out of a timeout, Seth Lundy hit his second three of the game to bring Penn State within three entering the final five minutes of the first half.

It took over a minute and a half for either team to score out of the timeout but Jalen Pickett was able to hit his second three of the game to even things up at 22.

After not scoring for over five minutes, Michigan State ended the Nittany Lions run with a basket inside by sophomore big man Mady Sissoko.

After leading by as much as seven in the opening half, Michigan State’s offensive struggles at the end of the first half allowed Penn State to even the score at 24 heading into halftime.

Jalen Pickett led all scorers at the half with 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting. Junior forward Julius Marble II led the Spartans with six points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting.

The second half opened up with an 8-0 run by Michigan State, prompting a timeout from head coach Micah Shrewsberry.

Penn State’s first bucket of the second half came on another Seth Lundy three. Nine of Lundy’s first ten shots in his first 23 minutes have come from beyond the arch.

Micah Shrewsberry was given a technical foul after arguing over a no-call on senior big man John Harrar. Gabe Brown made both of the ensuing free throws to give the Spartans a nine point lead.

Another run by the Spartans early in the second half gave Michigan State its first double-digit lead of the game heading into the first television timeout of the second half.

Three straight possessions headlined by big threes from Sam Sessoms and Myles Dread cut the Spartans 14-point lead down to six heading into the final 10 minutes.

On his tenth eleventh attempt from beyond the arc, Lundy hit his fourth three to cap an 11-0 Penn State run.

At the midway point of the second half, Michigan State led by five thanks to 10 points from Julius Marble II.

For the second-straight game, Penn State found itself in foul trouble coming down the stretch of the second half. The Nittany Lions had five more teams fouls than the Spartans entering the final five minutes.

After a relatively quiet offensive game from John Harrar, the senior came to life in the second half, giving Penn State four points in consecutive possessions including a dunk and an electrifying play in the post to score while drawing a foul.

Lundy added his fifth three of the game to cut Michigan State’s lead down to one with just under three minutes remaining. The junior wasn’t done yet, on the ensuing Penn State possession, Lundy hit his first two-point field goal of the game to give the Nittany Lions their first lead of the second half.

After a gritty effort in the post, John Harrar muscled his way to a three-point play, pushing Penn State’s lead to four with just over 30 seconds remaining.

Having to play the foul game with the shot clock unplugged, Michigan State sent Sam Sessoms to the line with a chance to extend Penn State’s lead to multiple possessions. Sessoms hit both but Max Christie nailed a big three on the other end to keep the Spartans hopes alive with 8.2 seconds remaining.

Takeaways

  • While mostly known for his defense, Seth Lundy found his stroke from three Tuesday night, giving the Nittany Lions 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc. All but two of his 14 attempts came from three-point range. A career 35% three point shooter, Lundy’s clutch shots were a big part of two big Penn State runs in the second half to give the Nittany Lions a chance to end their losing streak.
  • Senior big man John Harrar was big down the stretch for the Nittany Lions. Harrar finished with 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go along with a career-high 16 rebounds.
  • No Nittany Lion outside of Seth Lundy committed more than one turnover. Coming off of a game in which late-game turnovers sunk the Nittany Lions, it was a positive sign to see for Penn State, particularly John Harrar down the stretch to seal the upset.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will host a rematch with the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday, February 17 at the BJC. Tip off is set for 4 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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