Penn State Basketball Falls to Michigan State in the Conference Opener
Penn State Basketball fell to Michigan State in the Big Ten opener.
Penn State Basketball fell to the Michigan State Spartans 67-58. Seth Lundy led the way with 16 points and Jalen Pickett added 13.
The Nittany Lions looked like a team that hadn’t played for 8 days, starting just 2 for 9 (0/4 from 3), highlighted by Andrew Funk’s three off the side of the backboard to open the game.
In front of an impressive student section showing (wearing the free ‘Gritty Not Pretty’ shirts), a 4-4 score at the first timeout felt pretty appropriate as the Spartans were feeling the absence of key contributor Malik Hall.
Penn State Basketball warmed up quickly with back to back to back Funk, Dorsey and Dread three balls and three more free throws to open up a 10 point lead but Michigan State cut the lead down to 4 with 6:55 to go after making their first three of the game.
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The entire Spartan run came with Jalen Pickett on the bench. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, starting MSU Center Mady Sissoko picked up his second foul and was forced to the bench.
The lead was cut to one as Michigan State started punishing the Nittany Lions frontcourt in the paint. The Spartans took their first lead on an and-1 with 53.9 seconds as Micah Shrewbserry called his use it or lose it timeout. A Pickett layup and final defensive stand took us half at 35-35.
Seth Lundy drained a three to start the half as both teams really started to dig in to what became a very physical battle as Michigan State retook the lead, 43-42.
Two Pickett free throws provided yet another 2nd half lead change in this back and forth half in the battle of PSU three pointers and Spartan buckets inside the arc.
After Michigan State opened their largest lead at 3, Lundy hit a ridiculous turn around fadeaway shot but Sparty answered with a 3 to extend the lead to 4. Dorsey then turned it over passing out of the post, forcing some serious scolding from Shrewsberry at the under 8 timeout.
Things got very contentious when a foul was not called on a Pickett shot with Shrewsberry exploding off the bench screaming at the officials. He continued to berate during the under 4 timeout, trailing 58-54.
Spartans missed a three to go up 7 and Pickett answered with a post bucket to cut the lead to 2. Playing without Njie, Dorsey or Mahaffey on the floor, Michigan State did as all teams have done late games and got an easy post bucket to push the lead to 4 and Lundy fouled off Wynter missed three, sending Michigan State to the free throw line for a 1 and 1.
Spartans made both and Dread missed the front end of a 1 and 1. Penn State forced a turnover but now with 1:21 remaining the Nittany Lions were in real trouble. Wynter missed a forced layup and Penn State had to foul. Michigan State made both again as the crowd started filing out of the Bryce Jordan Center. Add it to the annals of highly attended games where Penn State can’t deliver.
Add that to the fact your author losing two PSU moneyline bets, PSU having to travels NO. 17 Illinois on Saturday needing a win to avoid a 0-2 confefence start, it’s a bad bad night for the Nittany Lions.