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Penn State Hoops Overcomes Indiana 85-66, Snaps Two-Game Losing Skid

Penn State men’s basketball (12-5, 3-3) dominated Indiana (10-6, 1-4) by a final score of 85-66 Wednesday night at Bryce Jordan Center.

Seth Lundy joined the 1,000-point club as he dropped a team-high 25 points on 7-for-12 from three in tonight’s contest. Andrew Funk matched his efficiency from deep and collected 23 points of his own for the Nittany Lions. Evan Mahaffey also had his highest-scoring night of the season with 12 points off the bench.

Jalen Hood-Schifino and Tamar Bates led the Hoosiers with 11 points each, respectively.

How It Happened

Cameron Wynter found himself back in the starting five after coming off the bench for the first time all season in Penn State’s most recent game against Purdue.

Trayce Jackson-Davis won the tip for the Hoosiers, but the Nittany Lions forced a shot clock violation on their first defensive possession. After Seth Lundy missed a three on the other side of the court, Jalen Hood-Schifino cashed in on a jumper for the first bucket of the game.

Hood-Schifino knocked down another corner jumper before Lundy responded with two of his own jumpers, which included a three. Then, Miller Koop, Andrew Funk, and Trey Galloway all traded layups. Kebba Njie found himself with a potential dunk but was blocked from behind. As Jackson-Davis drove down the court, he passed the ball to the paint, but it was intercepted by Wynter. He then found Lundy in the fastbreak for a three and Penn State held onto a one-point lead after the first media timeout.

Following the timeout, Jordan Geronimo was the only player that found the bottom of the net with two layups as the Hoosiers reclaimed the lead. Shrewsberry called Penn State’s first timeout at the 12-minute mark with his team down 12-10.

Pickett came out of the timeout and drilled a three-pointer for Penn State. After a couple of makes from the Hoosiers, Lundy caught fire and cashed in on two deep balls of his own as the Nittany Lions held onto a two-possession lead with just under eight minutes left in the first half.

Jackson-Davis and Pickett traded buckets before both teams went on a field goal drought for nearly two minutes. Then, an Andrew Funk three, and a Mahaffey steal-and-score propelled Penn State to an eight-point lead with 4:28 left in the half.

The Nittany Lions closed out the half on an 11-7 run which included two deep balls from Funk and one from Evan Mahaffey. Penn State entered the locker room with a 37-26 lead after the first 20 minutes.

Wynter cashed in on a layup that started the scoring in the second half. The Hoosiers followed it up with a 10-2 run that Jackson-Davis led with six points of his own. Funk and Hood-Schifino traded three-pointers before Wynter got a layup to fall. At the first media timeout of the second half, the Nittany Lions still clung to a seven-point lead.

The threes began to fall as Funk drilled two more and Trey Galloway swished one of his own in just two minutes of action. Mike Woodson decided to call his first timeout as his team was down by 10 with just under 13 minutes left in the second half.

Following a Jackson-Davis free throw, Funk pulled up from deep, but his missed shot turned into a slam dunk for Mahaffey. Kopp responded with a three, which was quickly answered with a Kanye Clary three on the other side of the court. Shortly afterward, the Hoosiers called another timeout as the game approached the second half’s midway point.

Penn State jumped out to a 9-3 run after the Hoosier timeout. Lundy, Pickett, and Wynter all cashed in on buckets as the Nittany Lions pushed the lead to 18. Indiana was forced to call another timeout with just under eight minutes left in the game.

CJ Gunn, Tamar Bates, and Malik Reneau put up their best effort for Indiana as it tried to crawl its way back into the game. However, a Funk three, a Pickett layup, and an emphatic Lundy dunk launched the Nittany Lions to a 20-point lead in the final minutes of the second half.

Bates scored the last four points of the game, but it was too little too late for the Hoosiers as the Nittany Lions came out victorious with an 85-66 win.

Takeaways:

  • This was a must-win game for Penn State, and it completely dominated Indiana. The threes finally began to fall, freshmen energy from Evan Mahaffey and Kanye Clary sparked the team, and the “gritty, not pretty” mantra of Shrewsberry’s squad shined tonight. For a team that is currently on the bubble of an NCAA Tournament Appearance, this win keeps the hope alive.
  • This was the Seth Lundy game, folks. It feels like we’ve been waiting for him to explode all season, and he finally did it. The senior forward dropped 25 points and shot an efficient 7-for-12 from deep in tonight’s victory. Lundy also joined the 1,000-point club with a dunk late in the second half. As Lizzo once said, “it’s about damn time.”
  • Following the loss to Purdue, Micah Shrewsberry said that his seniors need to start playing like seniors. Well, they most certainly did tonight. We already mentioned Lundy, but Andrew Funk drilled seven three-pointers for 23 points, Jalen Pickett and Wynter didn’t have their best scoring night, but shot the ball well and combined for 14 assists. When the seniors are playing like seniors, this Nittany Lions squad is tough to beat.

What’s Next?

Penn State will travel to Madison for a top-25 matchup against No. 18 Wisconsin next Tuesday, January 17. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. 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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