Penn State Ties Program Record In Victory Over Cornell
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Penn State tied the program record with 15 made three-pointers contributing to an 85-74 win over Cornell.
This matchup featured several large runs from both teams. Cornell went on a 16-3 run early in the first half after trailing Penn State 11-4.
To start the second half Penn State opened with a 5-0 run, which was followed by a 12-0 Cornell run featuring a barrage of three-pointers from Sarju Patel.
Cornell came into this game averaging 87.8 points per game and Penn State was able to hold them to their season-low 74 points. The Nittany Lions held strong in their interior defense blocking six shots after only having seven blocks on the season coming into this game.
“Cornell played at the highest pace in the country going into this game and they got eight transition points and that’s kudos to our effort. Our guys focused in terms of how they were going to guard them and I was proud of our effort tonight,” said Coach Micah Shrewsberry.
A new offensive threat has arisen for the Nittany Lions. Jalen Pickett scored his Penn State career-high 15 points, eight of which came from the free-throw line.
Even though he scored in double-figure, he still struggled from the field shooting 30%. Pickett acted as the main offensive facilitator alongside Sam Sessoms having six assists tonight.
Multiple of these found open Nittany Lions around the perimeter for open threes.
“When it doesn’t go in, you do get a little discouraged, but you got to do other things on the court to be able to help the team out by driving the ball and trying to force the issue,” Pickett said.
He also talked about how important these non-conference games are since they help to build team chemistry, especially for a team with a lot of new faces.
“I’m still getting pretty comfortable with the team. We've tried a couple of different lineups, and people will get hurt and get down. So we're still working on that cohesiveness,” Pickett said.
This was the best offensive game for Penn State this season. They scored season-high 85 points and shot 50% from the field and 47% from the three.
Seth Lundy and Sessoms came out ready to torch the nets contributing to 11 of Penn State’s 15 three-pointers. Both now have multiple 20-point performances this season.
Sessoms displayed that he can score both inside and out after making all 10 field goals in the paint last game to scoring all six field goals from beyond the arc in this game.
Coach Shrewsberry was shocked at first to see Sessoms shoot 6/7 from three but remembered how much time and effort he puts into improvement.
“Hats off to Sam. He works on his game. He stays after every single shoot-around and gets shots up. He comes in on his off days and gets shots up and that gives him the confidence to take it when he needs.” Shrewsberry said.
After starting 3-0 at home this season, Shrewsberry and company will head on the road to take on the LSU Tigers on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Emerald Coast Classic. Depending on the results of that game they will take on either Oregon State or Wake Forest the next day.
Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com