Penn State offense fires away in win over Nebraska

Story posted January 22, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Grant Sheets

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  – Entering a must-win Big Ten matchup at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State took care of business at home against Nebraska on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Cornhuskers 76-65.

Coming off a crippling second-half effort in a loss to Wisconsin last time out, the Nittany Lions enjoyed a nice bounce-back offensive showing that helped improve their conference record to 4-4.

On the other hand, head coach Fred Hoiberg and his Cornhuskers, now at 3-6 in the Big Ten, fumbled a golden opportunity to climb back into a wide-open conference.

“We did what we had to do to give ourselves a chance, but again, defensively, we just couldn't get enough stops,” Hoiberg said. “That’s a credit to Penn State and putting five shooters out on the floor and taking advantage of them.”

The Penn State offense set the tone throughout the game, starting off with an electrifying run to get the home crowd on its feet.

Senior guard Andrew Funk gave Penn State just about everything you could ask for on the initial possession of the game, successfully converting a four-point play on a heavily contested shot from long range.

Funk’s bucket ignited a 10-0 Penn State run through the initial three minutes of play; right off the bat, there was a feeling in the air that the transfer sharpshooter was in for quite the afternoon.

“It’s just home cooking, I guess,” Funk said. “I thought the crowd today was great, they kept me going.”

However, the adjustments made during the Cornhuskers’ first timeout were enough to completely shift the tides, as Nebraska came out firing with an 8-0 response to get right back in the game.

Following an exhilarating start to the game for both sides, offenses began to stall throughout the remainder of the half. From around the six-minute mark to a media timeout, the Huskers and Nittany Lions combined for a miserable 2 made shots out of 15 attempts.

With a 29-23 lead after 20 minutes of play, the blue and white had one task in mind in the locker room: avoid the second-half meltdown.

Closing games hasn’t been a strength for head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s Nittany Lions this season, highlighted by a pair of disappointing collapses against Purdue and Wisconsin. On Saturday, this was not the case.

While a 13-point second-half showing from Keisei Tominaga helped the Cornhuskers stay competitive, Penn State kept its foot on the gas all the way until the final buzzer, outscoring Nebraska 47-42 in the final 20 minutes.

“I’m proud of our guys and how they played,” Shrewsberry said. “I thought we adjusted well in the second half.”

While the bulk of the initial Penn State scoring efforts belonged to Funk, the second half was dominated by senior guard Seth Lundy, who scored 13 of his 16 total points in this stretch. Lundy finished second on the team in terms of points, only trailing Funk’s game-high mark of 23.

All in all, Saturday’s victory was a fun start to the weekend for the Nittany Lions ahead of a massive road contest at No. 23 Rutgers on Tuesday.

Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network from the Jersey Mike’s Arena.

Grant Sheets is a sophomore majoring in public relations. To contact him, please email