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Penn State Hoops Dominates Lafayette 70-57

Penn State men’s basketball (6-1) took care of Lafayette (1-6) 70-57 on Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Jalen Pickett led the way with 18 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Seth Lundy also had a great game, scoring 15 points and bringing down seven boards. The Nittany Lions got off to a slow start, but the game quickly turned into a rout by the beginning of the second half.

How It Happened

Camren Wynter started the scoring with a three, but Lafayette responded with five consecutive points to get its offense rolling. The Nittany Lions couldn’t sink a basket for over two minutes, but Wynter broke the drought with another three.

Jalen Pickett joined in on the scoring with three more points, but overall, Penn State struggled to create any offense for the game’s first six minutes. The Leopards went on a 7-0 run, its second of the match until Dallion Johnson sunk a three. The only points the Nittany Lions scored up until then were from threes.

Lafayette was out-hustling Penn State on the boards. The Leopards had seven offensive rebounds compared to the Nittany Lions’ one, and head coach Micah Shrewsberry had to call an early timeout to reset the energy.

Coming out of the timeout, Pickett and Johnson created a much-needed offensive spark. Myles Dread hit a big three-pointer that gave Penn State the first lead since the opening minutes of the game. Both teams continued to trade baskets back and forth throughout the first half.

Pickett and Seth Lundy were solely responsible for Penn State’s offense for the last five minutes of the first half. They scored 14 and 10 points in the first half, respectively, and the Nittany Lions were up 42-32 going into the locker room.

Penn State got off to a great start in the second half; Andrew Funk hit a three, Kebba Njie drew a foul off of a made layup and sunk the free throw, and Wynter hit his third three of the game. Pickett and Njie scored again as the Nittany Lions went on a 13-2 run before the first media timeout.

After that, however, Penn State didn’t make a field goal in five minutes. It was lucky that Lafayette couldn’t get into a groove of its own, but that wasn’t a great stretch for this team. It wasn’t until Kanye Clary sunk a jump shot that the streak was broken.

The offense got into more of a rhythm after, as Pickett sank a jumper followed by an Evan Mahaffey fastbreak score. Lundy hit a three as well, but then the Nittany Lions went into another offensive drought. Wynter had a beautiful layup, however, to end the drought before it became too prominent.

Some bench players got some lengthy playing time throughout the rest of the half. Michael Henn took advantage of his minutes to score on a layup in the paint. Jameel Brown manufactured a nice steal on the defensive side of the ball, but it didn’t lead to anything.

Unfortunately, Penn State ended the game on a five-minute scoring drought, but despite that, the Nittany Lions took the game 70-57.

Takeaways:

  • Penn State was outplayed at the beginning of the game, but it showed how quickly it can bounce back from a poor start. It helps when the team is so good from behind the arc. In the first half, the team shot 50% from three. That is a fantastic percentage, even though it is unrealistic to think its sustainable. But, when points were needed, players like Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy stepped up to change the tide of the game.
  • Has Seth Lundy found his offensive stride this season? The stats say yes! He has been averaging nearly 12 points per game, and he scored in double-digits in every game except the Virginia Tech dual. It’s that consistency that makes Lundy a better player this season. The issue was that he wasn’t consistent in his offensive production, but if he continues this kind of play, he will be a huge asset moving forward.
  • Demetrius Lilley made his season and collegiate debut in the game tonight. While he probably will need some time to adjust to the speed of NCAA play, the fact that he is healthy after a preseason injury is an excellent sign for the Nittany Lions. His size could play a big role in this team moving forward.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will travel to South Carolina to take on Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, November 29. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and air on ESPNU.

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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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