This game didn’t start as most in attendance expected it to. In a sloppy first half, the Mount Saint Mary’s Mountaineers used sharp-shooting from the outside to take a 46-37 lead into halftime. The Mountaineers continued their gritty play and took this contest right down to the end. Penn State came out recharged in the second half, shooting much better and was finally able to come back and pull away with the 92-82 win.
The Nittany Lions started slow, shooting just 46.7 percent in the first half. The Mountaineers played an up-tempo, full-court press that gave Penn State fits. Coach Patrick Chambers’ team didn’t look comfortable playing at the fast tempo.
Mount Saint Mary’s wasn’t intimidated by playing a Big Ten opponent on the road and quickly quieted the small Bryce Jordan Center crowd with its fantastic shooting from the outside. Entering the game, the Mountaineers were shooting 32 percent from the three-point line. In the first half against Penn State, The Mount was red-hot, making nine threes and shooting 56.3 percent from behind the arc.
Bryan Ashe and Sam Prescott both connected on three three-pointers in the first half for Mount Saint Mary’s.
Penn State had the services of two new players for the game in center Jordan Dickerson and guard John Johnson. Johnson quickly made his presence felt, sparking a second-half comeback with his offense. Johnson finished the game with 20 points, which led the team. His explosiveness in the lane and the ability to shoot from the outside gave the Nittany Lions the spark that they needed.
Despite coming back from a halftime deficit and grabbing the lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the game, Penn State was not able to pull away until late. The Mountaineers hustled and played tough the entire game.
While newcomer Johnson led the Nittany Lions in points, D.J. Newbill, the leading scorer for the season, also had a solid game. He added 18 points and six rebounds. Mount Saint Mary’s was led by Julian Norfleet who scored 22 points and also added seven assists. Sam Prescott scored 18 points for the Mountaineers.
This was Penn State’s final non-conference game before opening Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at home against the fifth-ranked Michigan State Spartans.
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