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Penn State Hoops Falls Short Against Michigan State 67-58 In Big Ten Opener

Penn State men’s basketball (6-3, 0-1 Big Ten) came up just short against Michigan State (6-4, 1-1 Big Ten) 67-58 Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Seth Lundy led the Nittany Lions with 16 points, but Jalen Picket and Camren Wynter also joined the double-digit figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Pickett also neared another triple-double as he accounted for half of the Nittany Lions’ rebounds with 17 boards and eight assists.

How It Happened

Freshman big man Kebba Njie won the tip, but Jalen Pickett and Andrew Funk missed on three-point attempts to start things off for the Nittany Lions. On the next possession, Tyson Walker swished a jumper to put the Spartans on the board. Two minutes later, Pickett found a wide-open Camren Wynter for an easy fastbreak layup to kick the scoring off.

Joey Hauser sank a baseline jumper after nearly four minutes of scoreless Michigan State basketball. On its next possession, Seth Lundy stuffed A.J. Hoggard in the paint, and Funk started the break. He found a cutting Pickett for an easy score before the first media timeout was called at the 15-minute mark.

Following the timeout, Penn State jumped out to a 12-2 run which was highlighted by three-straight deep conversions from Camren Wynter, Caleb Dorsey, and Myles Dread. Pierre Brooks and Jaxon Kohler drained back-to-back buckets for the Spartans before the second media timeout of the game was called at the midway point of the first half.

For the next five minutes, Lundy was the only Nittany Lion to see the ball go through the hoop as he added five points for his squad. Hoggard, Brooks, and Kohler all found the bucket for Michigan State as they cut the deficit to four with under seven minutes left in the half.

After a corner three from Pickett, the Spartans embarked on a quick, 7-1 run that brought the game back within one possession. After two minutes without a score, Pickett found a wide-open Wynter for a corner splash that gave Penn State some breathing room as the half entered into the final four minutes.

Both teams traded buckets, but a pair of and-ones for Michigan State’s Hoggard allowed the Spartans to reclaim the lead by two with a minute left. Following a Penn State timeout, Pickett drove to the hole and cashed in on a layup that tied the game back up.

On the final possession of the half, Hoggard went for a fadeaway free throw line jumper, but it was stuffed by Lundy. Funk heaved up a prayer from the other side of the court, but it was no good as the buzzer sounded off.

The game remained tied at 35 as both teams went to the tunnels.

Lundy banged home a step back three ball that kicked off the second half. Walker answered back with his own, Funk and Hauser traded layups, but a sole Lundy free throw kept Penn State up by one point through the first five minutes of second-half action.

Hoggard drained his first three of the game following a timeout. From there, the Nittany Lions and Spartans traded buckets, but neither squad pulled away. Pickett went into the post and scored with ease as he reclaimed a one-point lead for Penn State before a timeout was called around the midway point of the second half.

Following a media timeout, Michigan State jumped out to a 9-4 run which included a deep Walker three that granted the Spartans a four-point lead. After three minutes without a bucket, Pickett found a cutting Lundy for an easy layup at the five-minute mark.

The Spartans extended their lead with a 6-2 run down the stretch with just under two minutes left of game action. After a missed layup from Wynter, the Nittany Lions began to foul the Spartans. Hoggard made four-straight free throws from the charity stripe, and Wynter also made two of his own. Then, Hauser knocked down two which put Michigan State up by eight with 45 seconds left.

After a missed three-pointer from Lundy, Jaden Akins sunk one from the foul that put this game away. Despite a strong effort from the Nittany Lions, the Spartans pulled away victorious with a final score of 67-58.


  • Micah Shrewsberry harps on this, and the players know it, but it’s time for me to say it. This team is DEEP, folks. It seems at any given moment, any player on the court can go out there and get a bucket. Sure, Pickett is obviously that guy, but his ability to set up others makes this team extremely lethal for any matchup.
  • Kebba Njie has been the starting big man for the past three games, and although he hasn’t played terribly, I wonder if Shrewsberry is going to go back to his original starting big in Caleb Dorsey. Dorsey’s numbers on the stat sheet don’t jump out, but his experience definitely showed up more than Njie’s talent in moments throughout the game. All that is to say, Njie is still only a freshman. He still has plenty of college basketball to play here in Happy Valley.
  • The Bryce Jordan Center was packed, and more importantly, it was LOUD. Shrewsberry was literally “begging” fans to show up tonight, and they did. It’s only December, but if Penn State continues to pack the house, the BJC can become a nightmare for opposing teams.

What’s Next?

Penn State will continue Big Ten play on Saturday, December 10 in Illinois with a battle against the Fighting Illini. Tip-off is set for noon and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

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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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