Jalen Pickett Posts Triple-Double as Penn State Defeats Butler

Story posted November 15, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Thomas English

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –– Penn State Men’s Basketball kicked off the 2022 Gavitt Games with a narrow 68-62 victory over the Butler Bulldogs.

The Nittany Lions had another strong shooting display and demonstrated a much improved defensive unit against tougher competition.

The star of the show was Preseason All-Big Ten Team selection Jalen Pickett who recorded the second triple-double in program history.

“It’s a great accomplishment for sure,” Pickett said.

Pickett finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the game including an amazing alley-oop pass to freshman Kebba Njie that ignited the crowd.

The last time this feat was reached, it was completed by Calvin Booth in 1998 when he recorded 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks against Dayton.

Booth currently resides as the general manager for the Denver Nuggets and his son, Carey, is a four-star recruit who was just signed by the Nittany Lions.

The Nittany Lions got off to a strong start and found themselves ahead by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Bulldogs would not go down without a fight. They went on a run to close the gap, but a Cam Wynter buzzer beater left Penn State leading by seven at halftime.

Butler came out of the half and immediately started clawing their way back. They eventually tied the game and both teams began trading buckets until Andrew Funk took over.

The Bucknell transfer started a 22-7 run with a mid-range bucket followed by two triples and propelled Penn State to a 14-point lead. This run brought the Bryce Jordan Center to life.

“That momentum is what carries us,” Funk said. “All the students and fans, it makes a world of difference for us.”

Penn State carried this momentum through the end of the game as they prevailed late after a Seth Lundy fastbreak dunk sealed the victory with Butler getting as close as four late in the half.

Lundy just missed out on a double-double as he finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds in the game.

Head coach Micah Shrewsberry was not excited about the way they closed the game, but emphasized that the team is still learning.

“We didn’t perform well at the end,” Shrewsberry said. “I think some of that is us not playing together yet.”

As the team continues to understand each other and how they play, they will continue to get better and better as they head towards Big Ten play.

After receiving a vote for the AP Top 25 College Basketball Poll, the Nittany Lions continued building their resume with this quality win over the Bulldogs.

Coach Shrewsberry and his squad are happy with this victory and will move forward with a lot of confidence heading on a road trip.

“I thought we played really well,” Shrewsberry said. “I thought our guys really knuckled up.”

Penn State improves to 3-0 on the season and looks ahead to their next contest against Furman in the Charleston Classic.

Thomas English is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email tfe5082@psu.edu.