Penn State Basketball took care of business against the Quinnipiac Bobcats 77-68 on Thursday in front of a quiet Bryce Jordan Center, as the Nittany Lions continued through their 3 game non-conference Christmas Break stretch.
Micah Shrewsberry‘s squad overcame a poor shooting night with good defense and improved to 9-3 on the season.
Here are 3 key takeaways from Penn State Basketball’s win
Avoiding the Trap Game
The biggest fear to buy games during Christmas break is the potential for an upset.
The reasoning makes sense, teams need to clean some things up before getting into conference play in January. This is often a chance to give young players more experience and live reps, something they won’t see when the rotations get smaller in Big Ten play.
There have been 10 buy game upsets in the past week, and this is something that Penn State Basketball needed to avoid in what was going to be a low energy environment from both the students being on break and bad weather. Iowa lost on Wednesday as a 33-point favorite to Eastern Illinois in what was the biggest betting upset in over 30 years.
Seth Lundy absence is notable
Seth Lundy injured his ankle in the previous game against Canisius and was ruled out for this matchup.
The senior was clearly missed on the offensive end as the Nittany Lions shot 1-14 from distance in the 1st half and 6-29 in the game.
Penn State Basketball missed the shot creation by Lundy both at the rim and off the dribble beyond the arc.
Another underrated skill that the forward brings to this team is rebounding, in which Quinnipiac was able to out rebound Penn State 48-40 including 17 offensive boards. It made sense to rest Lundy with matchups against Quinnipiac (#161) and Delaware State (#358) on the schedule before conference play begins against Iowa on January 1st.
This will also be an opportunity for young players to get some more opportunities and hopefully get better in case they are needed later in the season.
While not a flashy win, it was important in the development of this team as a grueling conference schedule approaches.
A continued fast development of Kebba Njie and Caleb Dorsey will be important if Penn State is going to be able to compete with the quantity of talented frontcourts in the Big 10.
Penn State next takes on Delaware State at the BJC on December 29th at 2:00pm.