Penn State Basketball survived a late Paladin run, after leading by as much as 21, to win 73-68 on Thursday.
How did the Nittany Lions pull off the win to remain undefeated?
Jalen Pickett, Jalen Pickett, Jalen Pickett
The now sixth-best player in the nation, according to KenPom, was simply untouchable against Furman.
Check out this line: 33 minutes, 8-11 from the field, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and a tied for team lead 20 points. The Furman defense had no answer anytime Pickett had the ball in his hands as the fifth year transfer from Siena showed time and time again the Nittany Lion offense will exclusively run through him.
More Three Point Shooting
The Nittany Lions have continued to show breaking the school record just days ago was no fluke.
Even in their ‘worst shooting game’ of the year, Penn State Basketball still finished 11-27 from beyond the arc, at 40.7%.
Despite going a bit cooler in the first half, defenses are going to struggle to help on a Pickett drive when Lundy, Dread and Johnson are sniping from beyond the arc.
Penn State Basketball built a 21-point first half lead and took a seventeen point lead into the halftime break. For an 11:30 am start time in an unknown gym, the Nittany Lions came out blazing and almost ended the game in the first half. The second half ‘collapse’ didn’t cost them the win thanks to the giant lead built in the first half.
Penn State Basketball vs. Virginia Tech Preview
Looking ahead to Friday’s semifinal, Penn State Basketball plays Virginia Tech, who is also receiving votes in the AP Top 25 (No. 36 to PSU’s No. 47) but is not currently ranked.
Virginia Tech played a similar game versus Old Dominion in their quarterfinal, getting out to a large lead but hanging on late.
Neither the Nittany Lions nor the Hokies probably rested their players as much as they were hoping with another game less than 24 hours.
Penn State Basketball will have to limit guard Sean Pedulla who is averaging 19.5 points and 5.2 assists per game. The 6’7″ Justyn Mutts will likely try to take advantage of the ‘Dread/Lundy’ at center lineup Penn State relied too heavily upon yesterday, averaging 9.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
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