Penn State Survives Late Surge by Furman, Advances in Charleston Classic
The Penn State Nittany Lions squeaked out a 73-68 victory over the Furman Paladins in the opening game of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic Thursday afternoon.
The game was a tale of two halves for Penn State. The first half was all Nittany Lions, with a lead as large as 21 points.
The team was shooting 54.8% from the field, along with a 46.2 clip from downtown. Once both teams left the locker rooms to resume action, the tide shifted.
The second half saw Furman storm back, cutting the lead to one point with 1:48 left in the game. However, the Nittany Lions managed to score the last four points to pull away from the Paladins.
According to the Penn State Basketball postgame show, coach Micah Shrewsberry saw Furman change their defensive system to a more interior defense focus, which aided to the struggles.
“They were playing a little bigger. They were hard hedging,” Shrewsberry said. “They went away from it in the second half.”
In that second half, Penn State shot 35.7% from inside and outside the arc. Furman, on the other hand, found a groove and converted over 50% of its shots, with a 42.1% clip from downtown.
“There are a couple of times I thought we messed up a few things and let them get to the rim a little too much defensively,” Shrewsberry said. “They’re great at scoring there.”
Senior forward Seth Lundy took over in the second half, getting 10 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes. Lundy also converted the last four points of the game, including the final two free throws to ice the game with six seconds left.
Furman called a timeout to have Lundy freeze up at the charity stripe, but the senior forward wasn’t phased.
“I was locked in,” Lundy said. “I do that every single day, so it’s nothing.”
Alongside Lundy, super-senior guard Jalen Pickett contributed an additional 20 points, along with four rebounds and seven assists. Pickett in the second half stayed consistent, putting up seven points in the final 20 minutes.
Andrew Funk was going through rough sledding, as he started the game 0-for-7 from the floor, with six of those shots coming from behind the arc. He managed to hit two big threes to keep Furman at a distance.
The second-year head coach knows how tough it is to scout for an opponent with only two days to prepare.
Shrewberry sees the silver linings in the close comeback.
“We’re showing that we’re able to win in a few different ways,” Shrewsberry said. “Having the ability to do that is really beneficial.”
Penn State advances in the Charleston Classic, and will play the winner between the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Virginia Tech Hokies with tipoff set for noon.
Jonathan Draeger is a third -year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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