STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State Basketball defeated St. Francis 83-53 in the Battle of Rt. 80 Tuesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.
went back to his traditional starting lineup, reinserting star Ace Baldwin, who joined Kanye Clary, Zach Hicks, Nick Kern and Qudus Wahab.
Two quick Red Flash turnovers allowed Penn State to take an early seven point lead. UNC transfer Puff Johnson deceived a nice ovation, checking in for the first time since joining the blue and white before the first media timeout. He responded making his first shot, a three to extend the Nittany Lions
‘ lead to 12.
Things continued to roll for the Nittany Lions, with seven players scoring in the opening 10 minutes, forcing St. Francis to call timeout down 25-6. For Brent Musberger’s ‘friends in the desert’, PSU was 30.5 point favorites.
The live spread had already moved to an obnoxious 42.5 points!
With the outcome seemingly over before the roughly 2,500 in attendance finished their first beer (yes, it’s finally for sale in the BJC), it became apparent this game would be a great opportunity for Mike Rhoades to focus on cleaning up the major issues of the year thus far, turnovers and three point shooting.
finished the first half with only four turnovers, so one for one. They shot 38.5% from three (5/13), so let’s call it one point five for two? And truth be told, anytime you lead 46-18 at the half, life is pretty good.
To no one’s surprise, the pace couldn’t continue as the Red Flash started the half on a 13-10 run.
Penn State Basketball continued to substitute heartily given the still 26 point lead. Penn State finally pushed lead to ‘cover’ land, pushing their second half lead to a peak of 39.
Tuesday night, 10 Nittany Lions scored in the game in an incredibly balanced effort offensively (Clary — 14, Hicks — 12, Wabab — 12 and Baldwin — 11). 3 point shooting is still going to be an area Coach Rhoades will look for improvement (7-27, 25.9%). However, finishing the game with just 8 turnovers (whole forcing 20 of their own) is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The only bad news? A late St. Francis run allowed them to cover the +30.5 spread.
The Nittany Lions return home to face Morehead State, Friday at 7:00 pm on Peacock.
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