Game Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Wake Forest

Audio/Story posted December 4, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Ben Serfass

Host Jeremy Ganes and analysts Dale Ostrander and Ben Geller break down the keys to Penn State's midweek matchup with Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge:

After suffering their first loss of the season in heartbreaking fashion to Ole Miss, the Penn State Nittany Lions bounced back in a big way against Syracuse, as they defeated the Orange 85-64. Penn State will look to continue its hot start as it welcomes Wake Forest to the Bryce Jordan Center for the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

NIT Season Tip-Off

Penn State traveled to the Barclays Center over the Thanksgiving holiday to take part in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament.

The Nittany Lions went 1-1 in the tournament, but despite the .500 record, those who followed the team over the course of their two games knew that a great opportunity was squandered.

Penn State held a 43-27 lead over Ole Miss at half time but was outscored by 18 in the second half as the Nittany Lions lost by a final score of 74-72.  Lamar Stevens led the team in scoring with 22 points.

Despite blowing a 16-point lead against Ole Miss, Penn State rebounded with a convincing 85-64 win over Syracuse. This earned the Nittany Lions third place in the tournament. Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins and Myreon Jones led the charge, as they each scored 20, 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the contest.

AP Top 25 Voting

The Nittany Lions have not been ranked inside the top 25 of the AP Poll since 1996. They are looking to change that this year and should do so if they continue their winning ways.

Following their 6-1 start to the season, the Nittany Lions earned nine votes in last week’s poll, landing Penn State as the 37th-ranked team in the nation. The week prior, the Nittany Lions received 10 votes in the poll. This was the first time that Penn State earned any top-25 votes since the 2017-18 season.

Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Penn State will take on its second straight ACC opponent as it will host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Wednesday night as part of the yearly Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Wake Forest currently sports a record of 5-3. After losing their last contest to No. 14 Arizona, the Demon Deacons are 3-1 in their last four games, scoring an average of 75 points per game over that span.

The Demon Deacons are led by senior guard Brandon Childress. The North Carolina native is averaging nearly 17 points per game.

Final Analysis

Penn State has enjoyed playing at home this season, as it is yet to be beaten on its home court. The Nittany Lions are 4-0 at the Bryce Jordan Center and have outscored their opponents by an average of 23 points.

Head coach Pat Chambers and his squad will continue their winning ways, but their opponent will not go down without a fight. Expect a back-and-forth game for the majority of play.

Prediction: Penn State 78, Wake Forest 73

 

Ben Serfass is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email bxs1001@psu.edu.