Penn State Basketball survived a sluggish offensive start and some hot shooting from Canisius early to easily takeover in the second half on route to a 97-67 victory.
The game started out rough for the Nittany Lions. Canisius, led by senior guards Jamir Moultrie and Jordan Henderson, got it going with jumpers early. They hit two 3s and many more in the mid-range to jump out to an early 20-11 with about 13 minutes left in the half. From there the Nittany Lions just crawled their way back thanks to steady offense from star guard Jalen Pickett and more defensive intensity to limit open shots. Penn State would take the lead with about 7 minutes left in the half on a Seth Lundy three and ended the half up 42-36.
The second half was much less competitive. Kebba Njie got the scoring going with an open dunk off a nice slip and a beautiful pass by Myles Dread, and from there the flood gates opened. Andrew Funk came alive hitting 5 threes in about 4 mins. When the defense committed more to him off screens he was still very effective, hitting Njie twice off short rolls for wide open dunks. With about 15 minutes left to play the Nittany Lions had opened up a 26 point lead after a Camren Wynter three capped off a 22-2 Penn State run to open the half.
Penn State Basketball was able to get the freshman in for the final 10 minutes of the game. Led by guard Kanye Clary that unit didn’t just hold the lead, they extended it. Clary used his speed and body control to get to the rim and finish or earn free throws on his way to 10 points. However, what really stood out was his passing. He only had 2 assists, but he moved the ball exceptionally well and had a few highlight worthy passes that his teammates couldn’t finish. Penn State may have a very solid point guard for years to come in Clary. Jameel Brown and Demetrius Lilley both provided solid minutes down the stretch as well as Evan Mahaffey and Njie who we have seen throughout the year.
Three point shooting was once again the catalyst for another huge offensive showing from the Nittany Lions. As a team they made 13 threes and hit on a blistering clip of 59% from deep. Funk was the main contributor to this hitting 5 threes all in the second half to break this game wide open. Myles Dread and Seth Lundy both added 2 threes of their own. Lundy only appeared in the first half after appearing to twist his ankle on a shot attempt at the rim. He had to be helped to the locker room and was ruled out for the game, but appeared back on the bench in the second half. There is no further update at this time.
Pickett once again paced everything for the Nittany Lion offense. He finished the game with 16 points on 50% shooting, 9 assists, and 3 rebounds. He has been the offensive hub for this PSU team early in this season, and he continues to be very effective in that role. His unique post game as a guard is extremely hard for teams to prepare for and guard. It is very effective in collapsing the defense to get shooters open, and with Pickett’s incredible playmaking ability he hits those shooters at the perfect times. This team will go as far as Pickett takes them and, right now, it seems like he can take them very far.
Penn State Basketball will look to keep the momentum going against Quinnipiac on this Thursday, December 12th at 8:30 PM. The game will be at State College and on the Big Ten Network.