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Penn State Hoops’ Jalen Pickett Makes History In Win Over Butler

Penn State point guard Jalen Pickett became the second player in program history to record a triple-double in the Nittany Lions’ 68-62 win over Butler Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Pickett totaled 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists to put his name in the record books and propel his squad to victory over a solid Butler team.

“It’s a great accomplishment for sure,” Pickett said. “[I’m] more happy with the win, of course.”

Calvin Booth was the first Nittany Lion to record one, but he did it with points, boards, and blocks back on March 16, 1998, against Dayton. Pickett became the first to do it with points, rebounds, and assists. The Rochester native is now also just five points shy of eclipsing 1,600 points tonight.

Offensively, Pickett was quiet in the first half. He recorded just six points and shot 20% from the field, including two missed three balls. He continued his struggles as the Bulldogs crept back into the game midway through the second half.

Then, the Pickett show happened.

Pickett began isolating himself with Butler defenders and used his strength to find open looks. After back-to-back bully ball buckets, the fifth-year guard sparked his team on a 14-4 run that ultimately proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to come back from.

“One thing that [Pickett] does is that he settled us,” Shrewsberry said. “When they’re on a run, you just need a tough bucket. To be able to throw him the ball in the post, and then go score it for you. That’s what really good teams have.”

Despite the quiet night in the scoring column until the second-half push, Pickett continued to show that he is much more than a scoring guard. Going into the locker rooms at the half, the 6’4″ guard led the team in both rebounds and assists, with nine and seven, respectively.

Shrewsberry harped on Pickett’s ability to rebound the ball and how that is crucial for the team’s success throughout the whole game.

“He rebounds at a very high level,” Shrewberry said. “We’ve made it an emphasis to have a team that rebounds. For us to be successful, it doesn’t just fall on Caleb [Dorsey] and Kebba [Njie].”

As far as his assists, Pickett tallied just as many as the Bulldogs team had as a whole. The cherry on top? Zero turnovers.

Even though Pickett made history, it truly was an all-around team effort for the Nittany Lions in Monday night’s victory. Three other players scored in double figures, all coming from the team’s veterans in Seth Lundy, Andrew Funk, and Camren Wynter. That veteran contribution is ultimately what led the team over the second-half push from the Bulldogs.

“They came out of the second half and kind of punched us in the mouth,” Funk said. “We realized that we came out a little slow, [but] we can pick it up quick, and now with the guys we have, we can grow that lead quickly, so it was kind of a testament to our experience.”

Penn State will travel for the first time this season when it plays against Furman in the first round of the Charleston Classic. Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 17, and it’ll be broadcast on ESPNU.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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