Penn State Basketball pulled away from the Lafayette Leopards with a big second half, winning 70-57 to move to 6-1 on the year.
Friday night against Lafayette, The Nittany Lions were led by Jalen Pickett’s 18 points.
Penn State Basketball started with the same five (Seth Lundy, Kebba Njie, Jalen Pickett, Camren Wynter and Andrew Funk) things started a bit slow, as Lafayette actually held an early lead before a Pickett end of shot clock bomb tied the game at 9 all behind 3-of-6 shooting from 3 (no two point shots attempted) but, Lafayette answered to lead by 3 at the first media timeout.
The first subs off the bench were Dallion Johnson, Caleb Dorsey, Myles Dread and Kanye Clary (paired with Pickett, of course) and the Nittany Lions immediately gave up another offensive rebound, turned it over again, gave up another offensive rebound and then a foul to put the Leopard lead to seven.
The teams exchanged threes and Penn State Basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry angrily called timeout after giving up a SEVENTH offensive rebound.
A strange, forced fadeaway three out of the timeout fell, a forced Leopard turnover stemmed the tide, tying the score at 19. The Lions opened their largest lead at 5 after back to back baskets from Lundy, forcing the Leopards to call timeout.
Penn State Basketball started buckling down defensively, opening a 9 point lead as it seems the tryptophan was finally starting to wear off and the Nittany Lions led by 10 at the half thanks to 8-16 shooting from 3.
The Lions came out of the half STRONG on a 13-2 run to basically push the game out of reach at 55-34 with 15:23 left. There’s a reason PSU was 21.5 point favorites, this ain’t a very good Leopard team. All that was in doubt was the final score, whether we cover, and, let’s face it, how many 3s PSU would finish with. And maybe would Demetrius Lilley ever play?
– No cover. But we actually played a bunch of benchwarmers for the last 8 minutes so progress!
– Finished with only 11 threes. Not our best.
– Lilley played. Check! But he entered at the under 4 and immediately committed a significant offensive foul, literally one second into seeing the court for the first time. It actually required the refs to review the play. And it was ruled a flagrant … an inauspicious start to his career. There’s probably a reason he hadn’t played yet.
Penn State Basketball hits the road for the B1G-ACC Challenge Tuesday as they face Clemson Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.