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Penn State Hoops Dominates Winthrop In 93-68 Home Opener Win

Penn State men’s basketball (1-0) earned its first win of the season, beating the Winthrop Eagles (0-1) 93-68. Jalen Pickett led the team with 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Andrew Funk had a monster debut for Penn State, scoring 22 points and knocking down six three-pointers. Myles Dread added 12 points and Seth Lundy had 10 points to add to the strong offensive performance.

How It Happened

Winthrop won the tip, but the Nittany Lions played really good defense to start the game. In the first two minutes alone, they caused two turnovers and had a blocked shot. The offense struggled to get going though, missing three straight three-point attempts. Jalen Pickett scored the first two baskets for Penn State, one floater in the paint and one three-pointer.

The stellar defense continued throughout the first half, and the Eagles couldn’t get anything rolling. On the other side, Camren Wynter was able to get the steal-and-score before heading into the under-16 media timeout.

The offense started clicking, folks, and it was electric. Andrew Funk and Myles Dread both sunk their first three-pointers of the season, and Kebba Njie scored his first career basket with a nice hook. Njie also flexed his defensive skills, forcing Winthrop into a shot-clock violation.

Both teams kept trading baskets back and forth, with Dread sinking another three and looking much healthier than he did last season. Pickett was on fire, and despite Winthrop going on a bit of a run offensively, he couldn’t miss and kept the Nittany Lions ahead.

Njie was really impressive in the first half. He was a physical presence in the paint, getting multiple rebounds and second-chance opportunities for the offense to capitalize on. Funk also showed why head coach Micah Shrewsberry wanted him on this team, sinking back-to-back wide-open threes. Penn State went into the half up and led 44-32.

Coming out of the half, the Nittany Lions went on a 15-7 run, which included five points from Funk and what should be a SportsCenter Top 10 backward layup from Wynter, the latter being one hell of a shot.

Lundy and Pickett began to heat up midway through the second half after a slow start, the former making a couple of threes and the latter sinking a fadeaway jumper. Dorsey also started to heat up from behind the arc, making a wide-open three.

The game got sloppy at points, though, and it felt like Penn State should have been up by much more than they were. Njie picked up three consecutive fouls, Dorsey was struggling to defend the paint, and Funk had an ugly turnover. Pickett was able to stop the bleeding by getting to the free throw line and sinking both shots, and Funk followed up with a steal-and-score.

Toward the end of the game, the Bryce Jordan Center came to life. Pickett scored two in a row in the paint, Funk and Dread hit back-to-back threes, and Jameel Brown hit his first collegiate three-pointer. It was a great way to end the game, and the Nittany Lions won 93-68.


  • The offense has improved tremendously, and the first half proved that. Jalen Pickett was on fire to begin the game scoring 15 points, but Winthrop made key adjustments that kept him from getting open. So, Myles Dread and Andrew Funk stepped up to keep the offense rolling, scoring nine points each. If the Nittany Lions can continue to have multiple players step up when Pickett is shut down, they will see a lot better results than last season.
  • This team is a “live by the three, die by the three” kind of team. It scored 18 threes total over the course of the game. It has become such a theme for them that the student section now has a “Three Point Tracker” running behind the student section. How sustainable that is will be proven over time, however, it is very exciting now.
  • It is important to emphasize that Winthrop is not a bad team. In fact, this team was very close to making the NCAA Tournament last season and won its conference championship in 2021. The fact that Penn State was able to win this convincingly over a good mid-major team is a good sign for the growth of this program.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will try to keep the momentum rolling at home against Loyola (MD) on Thursday, November 10. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and air on BIG+.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior 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 school work. 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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