Penn State men’s basketball looks for 2-0 start against Loyola Maryland
After opening its season with a 93-68 victory over Winthrop, Penn State looks to continue its winning ways at home against Loyola Maryland.
This marks the seventh all-time meeting between the two programs and the first since 2000, where the blue and white defeated Loyola 87-58. Penn State has the series lead 5-1, with the lone win for the Greyhounds dating back to 1986.
The Nittany Lions are coming off hot from three-point land Monday night, as the team hit a program record 18 three-pointers on a 47.4% clip from downtown. Bucknell transfer Andrew Funk buried six triples, with forward Myles Dread contributing four deep balls and guard Jalen Pickett adding three.
Adding fuel to the fire, Penn State managed to rack up 24 assists on 55% shooting from the field. Their 93 points were the most points scored since 2019.
Loyola Maryland, however, had a rough start to its season Monday night. The Greyhounds fell to DePaul 72-66.
Leading the charge for Loyola Maryland was guard Kenneth Jones, who had 20 points on 61% shooting and a 57% clip from beyond the arc. Two other players reached double figures in points.
The Achilles’ heel for the Greyhounds was their free throw shooting. The team went 2-for-7 from the charity stripe in the first half, followed by a 6-for-10 performance at the line to bring their free throw percentage to 47.1%.
Looking at matchups, Penn State has the height advantage on the guards, but finds itself small down in the post. Based on both team’s starting lineups in the Monday games, 6-foot-10 Golden Dike of Loyola Maryland has a three-inch advantage over Caleb Dorsey.
For Dorsey, his night was filled with constant low post action, in favor of the opposition. Winthrop’s Kelton Talford had his way on the block, leading all Eagles scorers with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor.
Dike had nine points with 4-for-10 shooting in 25 minutes. Dorsey can find himself getting a rebound night, but gives an opportunity for freshman forward Kebba Njie to take the spotlight and show his potential in the paint.
Penn State has its eyes on two players to focus on that returned from last season. Graduate guards Jaylin Andrews and Kenneth Jones look to make a big impact for the Greyhounds.
Andrews is the only Greyhound to average double figures in points last season, with Jones posting 8.9 points per game. However, Jones added 4.6 assists per game last year, creating a one-two punch that features a dish from Jones to an Andrews bucket.
For Penn State, the duo of Jalen Pickett and Andrew Funk can be a vital part to the offense. Their combined 45 points (nearly split even with Pickett having the advantage of 23 points) helped propel Penn State past Winthrop.
If the Nittany Lions have big nights from those two players, then the offense can cruise their way past Loyola Maryland.
Jonathan Draeger is a third year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Third Year / Broadcast Journalism