Penn State’s dynamic duo lead the way in victory over Lafayette
It was a slow start for Penn State, but veterans Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy helped weather the storm and allowed Penn State to get the win over Lafayette, 70-57. The Leopards led by as much as seven, but after an early timeout, the veteran Nittany Lions were able to turn around and dominate in the second half.
Pickett and Lundy were the two that took control and helped lead this Penn State team to the win. Pickett finished with an impressive 18 points and eight assists, while Lundy added 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Nittany Lions needed the strong performances after the Leopards played impassioned basketball in the first 10 minutes. Lafayette led early by a score of 19-12, which led to an early Micah Shrewsberry timeout where he was very upset with the lack of effort on the glass and defensively.
“You can’t allow one guy to grab five offensive rebounds in the first nine minutes,” Shrewsberry said. “We were also not very solid defensively early.”
Lafayette out-rebounded Penn State on the offensive glass 8-to-1 in the early portion of the game, and went on to win the battle on the offensive glass by 10 rebounds.
Even though the Nittany Lions struggled on the offensive glass, they were able to limit the impact of the rebounds by continuing to force misses, as they held the Leopards to 31% shooting from the field.
Penn State will need to fix the problems on the glass and Pickett knows it will take everyone on the roster to fix the issues.
“It will be a team philosophy to rebound,” Pickett said. “We all need to crash to keep some of the big guys like [Indiana forward] Trayce [Jackson-Davis] and [Michigan center] Hunter [Dickinson] off the glass come conference play.”
Even though the team had issues rebounding, they did not have any problems offensively after the slow start. The Nittany Lions shot an impressive 48% from the field, and 41% from behind the arc with 11 makes.
A huge reason why Penn State has been able to win a lot of games early in the season is because of its ability to knock down the deep ball. Lundy gives a lot of the credit to Pickett, and his ability to penetrate and create for his teammates.
“He gets deep in the paint,” Lundy said. “When he does that, he has the ability to kick out for threes, making it great for all of us on the perimeter.”
All of Penn State’s opponents are starting to realize the importance of the deep ball for this team, making the opposition defend Shrewsberry’s squad differently. Shrewsberry knows this is coming, and is scheming ways to get open looks even with the emphasis to keep them away from the three-point line.
“We are able to get threes in so many different ways,” Shrewsberry said. “We get a lot of threes in transition, and we also get a lot of threes out of post-ups, which makes it so difficult to guard.”
Shrewsberry also said he has a lot of different looks to get shots from deep, and even with an emphasis to stop certain players, they still will be able to get shots.
Penn State was able to get the win, and now will enter a gauntlet starting with a trip to Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday. Shrewsberry is ready for the challenge, and understands what is coming up for this team.
“We gotta keep getting better,” Shrewsberry said. “We got a good stretch of games coming up to challenge us.”
Adam Sheetz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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