Penn State Hoops Rolls Over Delaware State 79-45 In Home Opener
Penn State men’s basketball (1-0) defeated Delaware State (0-1) 79-45 in the first game of the 2023-24 regular season. It was the first win of the Mike Rhoades era for the Nittany Lions, who came out swinging from three and locking all windows and doors on defense.
Kanye Clary led the way with 22 points and six rebounds while Qudas Wahab added seven points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Jameel Brown had the hot hand tonight, shooting 6-for-7 from three and scoring 20 points, while Zach Hicks added 12 points off of four three-pointers of his own. On top of that the Nittany Lions were able to force Delaware State to commit 22 turnovers and play outstanding defense throughout the game.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions won the tip and it didn’t take long for Clary to score his first field goal of the season for the first bucket of the game. After a cold couple of minutes from both teams, a slam from Wahab and a three-pointer from Hicks gave Penn State an early lead.
Penn State’s defense was on full display in the first 10 minutes of the game, as it held the Hornets from scoring for over six minutes. Ace Baldwin Jr. scored his first field goal as a Nittany Lion on a nice driving layup and on the next possession found Brown for a catch and shoot-three that fired up the Bryce Jordan Center.
Out of the timeout, Brown drilled two more threes, increasing Penn State’s lead to 20. Delaware State’s Corey Perkins made a contested and-one layup and free throw, however, back-to-back threes by Hicks silenced the Hornets once again.
With the first half nearing the end, Wahab grabbed a big rebound off of a Baldwin Jr. missed three and put it back up for two as the Nittany Lions went into the half up 39-18.
The second half began similarly to the start of the first, in the hands of Clary who drove to the hole for a nice layup.
That bucket was followed up by back-to-back threes, one by Clary and the other by Hicks for his fourth of the contest. While three-pointers are fun, Demetrius Lilley got the crowd bumping after a huge slam dunk from a great pass from Baldwin Jr.
With a huge lead, Penn State did not stop the attack, getting another huge bucket from Wahab and then two more three-pointers from Brown to increase the lead to 30 for Penn State. The Nittany Lions continued to play fantastic defense, stopping any comeback from the Hornets.
Clary continued his scoring down the stretch totaling 15 total points in the second half, helping secure the huge 79-45 win over Delaware State for the first win in the Mike Rhoades era.
- Mike Rhoades won his first game as head coach of the Nittany Lions. It was a big three-point and defensive night for the squad who made 10 shots from behind the arch and forced 22 turnovers from the Hornets.
- The threes were rolling from all over the floor. Brown and Hicks both had the hot hand at multiple times during the win with Brown nailing 6-of-7 from behind the arch scoring 20 points in total with Hicks adding four threes of his own.
- Clary, have a night. The second-year returnee shot an impressive 7-for-11 from the field scoring a career-high 22 points in his first career start. His play will be a key part of the success of the Nittany Lions throughout the season.
- The man in the middle, Wahab, had quite the debut. Racking up a team-high 13 rebounds, the 6’11 center added two blocks and played fantastic defense all night for the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions will stay at the Bryce Jordan Center and host Lehigh on Friday, November 10. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on B1G+.
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About the Author
Kotelnicki has everything he needs to succeed at Penn State. Can he break the Nittany Lions’ trend of flops at the position?
Most of our staffers have Penn State playing in the Peach Bowl for the first time in program history.
The Nittany Lions are now 11-0 all time against the Bulldogs.