Penn State Basketball was put to the test Monday night against the Ivy League’s Cornell Big Red, coming away with an 11-point home win
Penn State Basketball survived a heck of an effort from the Ivy League’s Cornell Big Red 85 – 74.
Despite closing at 15.5 point favorites, the Nittany Lions have to fight for 40 minutes to win this one. John Harrar finished with 7 and 12 rebounds and were led in scoring by Lundy’s 23 (5-8 from three) and Sessoms 22 (6-7 from three). Pickett added 15 points, the first time a Shrewsberry transfer reached double digits this year. Cornell was led by Sarju Patel with 15 points.
The Nittany Lions went with their opening day lineup, starting with Sam Sessoms, Myles Dread, Seth Lundy, Jalen Pickett and John Harrar. This was their fourth game and just the second one with a same starting 5, none occurring consecutively.
Penn State Basketball, now 3-1 on the year, head down south for the Thanksgiving holiday as they take on Lousiana State University (LSU) in the semi-finals of the Emerald Coast Classic after having already down St. Francis (Brooklyn) in their campus game.
The game vs LSU tips off Friday (November 26th) at 7:00 pm on the CBS Sports Network. Penn State will then play in either the third-place game at 4:00 pm or the final at 7:00 pm, both on Saturday (November 27th). Their opponents could be either Oregon State or Wake Forest.
The Lions trailed by as much as ten in the first half, mostly thanks to a turnover-prone offense (generously credited with just 6 turnovers), but back-to-back-to-back-to-back threes by Sam Sessoms (!) gave the Lions a 3 point lead at the half. Sessoms had just 17 three-pointers combined, in the past two seasons prior to the game.
PSU opened the 2nd half with a 5-0 run but Cornell answered with a 10-0 run to take a 2 point lead. Continuously sloppy play particularly from Sessoms and a complete lack of boxing out on defense allowed Cornell to maintain the lead, up 65-62 with 7:27 left despite a combined 9 for 13 shooting from deep in the game by Lundy and Sessoms.
Missing two front-end of one-and-one’s (Lundy and Pickett) were quickly erased thanks to two more end of shot clock heaves for 3 from Sam Sessoms and the Lions took a 5 point lead into the under four medial timeout after a Dread three and Harrar drawing a huge charge, bringing the BJC (all like three thousand people) to their feet.
The Lions finally held strong defensively and made some late free throws to win without a ton of stress in the final four minutes. Certainly didn’t cover the 15.5 point spread (good teams win, great teams cover…) but we’ll take the win on this one.
Bring on LSU!