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Penn State Hoops Defeats Le Moyne 72-55

Penn State men’s basketball (6-6, 1-1 Big Ten) defeated Le Moyne (5-8) 72-55, returning to a .500 record on the season. After dropping their previous game at Madison Square Garden to Georgia Tech, the Nittany Lions took care of business against the Dolphins at home.

It was a three-point parade in the first half for the Nittany Lions, who hit nine three-pointers in the first 20 minutes of action. Kanye Clary led the way in scoring yet again, dropping 20 points, five rebounds, six assists, and drilled a team-high four threes.

How It Happened

Penn State scored first in the contest. After grabbing an early turnover, Qudus Wahab picked up the early and one layup and free throw. Le Moyne answered quickly, grabbing a steal and getting a fast break dunk.

Puff Johnson joined the scoring and made his first three of the game, however, the Dolphins answered back with a three of their own from Nate McClure. The three-pointer party continued with Clary joining in with a long three of his own for his first make of the night.

Le Monye made a pair of free throws before Clary drilled another three-pointer to continue his hot start. Luke Sutherland and D’Marco Dunn traded makes before Johnson sniped another three to go up eight heading into the first break.

Out of the media timeout, Wahab found Ace Baldwin Jr. for three for Baldwin’s first make of the game after Nick Kern Jr. missed a layup. After a technical foul was called on Le Moyne’s Kaiyem Cleary, Baldwin made one of two free throws. The possession that followed the three-point parade for Penn State continued with Dunn knocking down another triple.

The scoring continued for Penn State, with Wahab making a tough second-chance layup to go up 15. After not scoring for over four minutes, Trent Mosquera ended that scoreless spell with a fast-break dunk.

Clary continued to knock down threes, making his third of the contest. With already four players for Penn State with a made three, Rayquawndis Mitchell joined the fun with two straight triples on back-to-back possessions.

After McClure and Demetrius Lilley traded layups, the Dolphins took advantage of the Nittany Lions misses and went on an impressive 6-0 run to cut the deficit back down to 13 points. With just over a minute remaining in the first half, Dunn finally ended Le Moyne’s run by making a pair of free throws, however, Ocypher Owens answered quickly with an impressive layup.

Leo O’Boyle was fouled just before the half ended and after making the first free throw, he missed the second and Johnson fouled Owens. He made both of his free throws and brought to score to 40-28 after the first 20 minutes.

The second half began with another three-pointer for the Nittany Lions, this time from Baldwin for his second of the game. Penn State went back to Wahab for a layup from the big man before Le Moyne got back-to-back makes: a three from Cleary and a Sutherland layup.

Wahab and McClure traded layups as the teams went into a media timeout. Out of the break, Johnson scored his first points of the second half before Cleary struck again with another three-pointer to cut the deficit down to 11. Dunn got the scoring going again for Penn State, making one of two free throws and making a nice layup after a Baldwin steal.

With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Clary continued his impressive shooting night, drilling another three. The Dolphins didn’t take long to answer, with two of their own three-point makes from Mosquera and McClure. Needing a bucket, Clary hit a nasty crossover spin jumper for his first non-three make of the game.

After a pair of free throws from Isaiah Salter, the Clary scoring stretch continued with another make, that time a driving layup for his seventh straight point.

Coming out of the eight-minute media timeout, Le Moyne kept fighting as Owens drilled a long three to cut it back down to a 10-point game. Mitchell made one of two free throws, however, Cleary made a layup to make it a single-digit game.

Clary got the lead back to double-digits not long after making a turnaround jumper. With under four minutes to go in the game, Kern scored his first bucket of the game with an impressive layup.

The Dolphins were still fighting though with Owens slamming a dunk. Clary and Mike Depersia traded layups and Kern was fouled and drilled a pair of free throws to put the lead for Penn State back to 13.

With just over two minutes left, Baldwin drilled a pair of free throws and Wahab added another jumper in the paint to go back up 17. Penn State didn’t allow Le Moyne to score for the remainder of the game and hold onto the 72-55 win.

Takeaways

  • The three-point shooting was on full display in the first half. The Nittany Lions drilled nine three-pointers in the first 20 minutes and rode that shooting to a double-digit win. The team shot 11 threes and shot 34.4% from beyond the arc.
  • Clary continues to produce points. He totaled 20 points, scoring 20+ points for the sixth time all season. The guard came into the contest averaging 17.1 points per game which put him in the top 10 in all of the Big Ten.
  • Dunn continues to shine in the second unit. It’s the third consecutive game of double-digit points for Dunn, who totaled 10 points and two rebounds as the guard continues to give solid minutes for the Nittany Lions.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will play their final game of 2023 at the Bryce Jordan Center against Rider on Friday, December 29. The game can also be streamed on BTN+.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him watching reruns of Community or The Office. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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