Game Grades: Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Nebraska
Penn State was seeking to figure out its road issues when the Nittany Lions traveled to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. However, they were unable to solve the problem, as the Cornhuskers defeated the blue and white 72-63.
Penn State drops to 5-7 in conference play and 14-9 overall, and the Nittany Lions have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since early January when the team lost to Michigan and Purdue.
This loss is a huge one for the Nittany Lions, who were looking to get their second road win of the season, but the struggles away from the Bryce Jordan Center continue for Micah Shrewsberry and his squad.
Let’s take a look at the grades for Penn State after their disappointing loss to Nebraska on the road.
Penn State has been bad on the road offensively, and for the most part that trend continued against Nebraska. Penn State hit 14 three-pointers, but they came in spurts and were not consistent throughout the game.
The Nittany Lions shot 40% from the field and over 36% from behind the arc in the game. This was a Penn State team that shot 68% from the field in the second half against Nebraska on Jan. 21, but the efficiency was not there for the team today.
The offense was very good for the big three in Seth Lundy, Jalen Pickett and Andrew Funk, who combined for 53 points. The issue was only 10 points for the rest of the team, and the lack of distribution on offense from the rest of the team continues to plague this Penn State team.
The offense was not the biggest issue for the Nittany Lions, but the lack of consistency for the offense outside of the three stars is an issue Penn State needs to solve soon.
Coach Shrewsberry has expressed that his team’s calling card is defense, but that did not show in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers torched the Nittany Lions for 72 points on over 52% shooting and 40% from behind the arc.
Nebraska was led by an unlikely star in guard Keisei Tominaga, who dominated the blue and white for 30 points, including five triples for the guard. Tominaga was known as a great shooter for the team, but his ability to completely break Penn State was shown on his shooting and his backdoor cuts for layups destroyed the team in the second half.
Nebraska has struggled offensively this season, only averaging 65 points per game and shooting just over 44% from the field, but its offensive output against the Nittany Lions was enough to take them out.
This was as close as a must-win game that Penn State had this season. Nebraska entered the day sitting at 13 in the conference standings, and a road win would have been big for the Nittany Lions to boost their resume.
Penn State just was not ready to play from the jump against Nebraska, and Nebraksa led from start-to-finish in the game. Penn State lacked the necessary adjustments defensively to take Tominaga out of the game when he got hot and it plagued them throughout the entire game.
Micah Shrewsberry has had a successful tenure since he arrived in Happy Valley and his team has responded well after tough performances. The Nittany Lions will be judged by how they respond against Wisconsin on Wednesday, but it will be huge for the blue and white to make those adjustments before the Badgers come to the Bryce Jordan Center.
Adam Sheetz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Junior / Broadcast Journalism