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Penn State Hoops Blows Out Rider 90-63

Penn State men’s basketball (7-6, 1-1 Big Ten) defeated Rider (3-10) 90-63 in the Nittany Lions’ final non-conference game of the regular season. With the win, Penn State holds a winning record for the first time since November 17.

It was another dominant performance for the Nittany Lions who dropped a season-high 90 points and registered 10 steals in the first half. Kanye Clary tallied a career-high 29 points, and Ace Baldwin Jr. added 10 points, nine assists, and three steals in the win.

How It Happened

After misses by both teams to start the game, Qudus Wahab got the scoring going with a tough second-chance layup off his own offensive rebound. Tariq Ingraham answered quickly with a layup of his own, however, Kanye Clary drew an and-one layup and free throw.

Ace Baldwin Jr., who came into the game just four points shy of 1,000 career points, got his first points of the ballgame with a pair of free throws. Demetrius Lilley made one of two free throws, and after nearly three scoreless minutes, Rider finally got a bucket: a driving layup from Mervin James.

Penn State then drilled back-to-back shots. A layup from D’Marco Dunn opened the streak, and on the next possession, a wide-open three-pointer from the corner from Leo O’Boyle splashed into the bucket triple of the match. The Nittany Lions got another pair of free throws from Dunn to take an 11-point lead with just over 11 minutes to go in the half.

On another scoreless streak, Rider finally made a shot, once again by James, after going nearly five minutes without one. Penn State went on a big run, and it started with a Rayquawndis Mitchell-steal-to-Clary layup. Wahab kept the scoring run going with a layup next possession, and Puff Johnson picked up another steal and went coast to coast for another bucket.

Out of a timeout, Mitchell drilled his first three-pointer, and after another steal by Johnson, he found Mitchell again for a layup to go up 26-6. The Broncs went on a small run, scoring three straight shots in a minute, causing Mike Rhoades to call a timeout.

After the break, Penn State answered with a big run of its own, scoring nine consecutive points. Lilley started it with a layup and Clary followed it with a steal and a layup for the bucket. Penn State got another steal this time from Zach Hicks, who splashed a three-pointer for his first bucket of the game. The Nittany Lions grabbed another steal right, their third in a row, as Baldwin found Clary for an outstanding coast-to-coast bucket.

Rider finally scored thanks to a pair of free throws from DJ Dudley, however, Penn State kept its foot on the gas as Clary picked up another and-one layup and free throw. The two teams traded a pair of free throws, although Rider clinched additional back-to-back layups from Dudley and James.

With a minute left to go in the half, Baldwin set up a Wahab for a two-handed slam. T.J. Weeks answered on the next possession with a layup before fouling Baldwin who needed one point for 1,000. The guard drilled his first free throw for the 1,000 point of his career but missed the second. The Broncs got the rebound, and Allen Powell scored a layup just before the half ended to make it 44-24 in favor of Penn State.

Leading by 20 at the start of the second half, Penn State gave up a quick hook shot from Ingraham for the first bucket of the half. Hicks answered quickly, drilling a long three for his second of the game.

Clary continued his fantastic outing with another made jumper off a turnover by Rider. The Broncs got back-to-back makes from Powell and James before Wahab got a big basket for Penn State. After a couple of misses from both teams, Baldwin got the scoring going again with another steal and layup on the offensive end.

After a media timeout, Rider came out and drilled its first three-pointer of the game, a long one from Weeks. Clary scored another layup, however, JT Langston Jr. answered with a big slam dunk and Powell followed up with a layup. On the next offensive possession, Baldwin found Favour Aire, who was making his season debut, for his first basket of the season.

James hit another layup, but Clary one-upped him with a layup and another and-one free throw. The teams traded a pair of free throws again before James made another layup to cut the deficit to 17.

With both teams in the bonus, the squads continued to trade multiple free throws until Clary scored a driving layup. At the 10-minute mark of the half, Clary and Dudley traded layups of back-to-back possessions before Corey McKeithan drilled a long three-pointer, and two free throws by James made it 68-56 Penn State.

The Nittany Lions got two pairs of free throws from Baldwin and Dunn and finally got back to a 20-point lead with a long three from Dunn to put him in the double-digits. Johnson kept the run going with another layup to put the game away.

With less than four minutes to go in the game, Clary continued to add to his impressive offensive display with a long three-pointer to make it 80-56. The scoring didn’t stop for Penn State as Baldwin added another layup, and on the next possession, Clary banked in a three for his 29th point of the game.

After that bucket, the bench was put in the game, and Dan Conlan picked up two free throws to put the Nittany Lions at 90 points, a season-high. Rider scored another bucket before the horn sounded, but Penn State held on to the 90-63 win.

Takeaways

  • Kanye Clary continues to dominate. Already sitting top 10 in the Big Ten in points per game, the second-year guard continued his fantastic start of the season with another 20-point performance, dropping a team-high and a career-high 29 points in the win. It’s the third consecutive game with 20 or more points for Clary and his fourth in his last five games.
  • Despite only scoring 10 points in the game, Ace Baldwin Jr. provided much more than buckets. The guard added on a team-high nine assists and found multiple Nittany Lions for big baskets throughout the game. On top of that, Baldwin reached the 1,000 career point mark in the first half.
  • Steals were the story of the first half for the Nittany Lions who picked up 10 in the first half. Puff Johnson led the team in the stat with four and Baldwin added two of his own.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will be off until the new year when they travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 4, and can be streamed on Peacock.

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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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