Four Nittany Lions in Double Figures; Take Down Wagner 74-54

Story posted December 9, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Trevor Grady

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State dominated the second half against Wagner on its way to its fifth win of the season. The Nittany Lions came away with a 74-54 victory in a game where four players scored 10 or more points.

The game started about as sloppy as it could be with both teams turning the ball over a bunch. Penn State’s Achilles heel all season long has been turning the ball over, and that was the story early. They turned it over nine times in the first half and the Seahawks were able to capitalize with 13 points off of those turnovers.

Neither team could get into a rhythm offensively in the first half with both teams shooting below 42% from the field in the first half. Wagner was able to keep the game close at halftime, only trailing by five, 32-27.

But the second half was where the Nittany Lions exploded. A barrage of runs, including a 19-4 one, gave Penn State the confidence it needed to close out the game. The Blue and White took the second half by a score of 42-27 and coasted to a 20-point victory.

Coach Shrewsberry had a ton of respect for his opponent tonight and talked about that in the postgame press conference.

“Happy with how our guys played, happy with how our guys prepared. I told Coach Mason after the game ‘I’ll see you guys in March,’” Shrewsberry said. “The Ohio State game took a lot out of us, I knew how hard these guys were going to play and what they were going to do. That’s hats off to our guys for how well they played.”

The Seahawks ran a 2-3 zone in the first half that led to lots of trouble on the offensive side of the ball for Penn State. Shrewsberry talked about how his team handled that.

“This was our first live-action in a game against a zone, and how they played it was a little extended so they took away what they were trying to do,” Shrewsberry said. “So we just had to find the right openings, you have to tweak just a little bit.”

Jalen Pickett was a big reason for the Nittany Lions’ offensive explosion in the second half. The senior guard posted 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.

He also surpassed 500 career assists on Wednesday night. Sam Sessoms was told after the game about this milestone. “He’s got 500 assists?” Sessoms said. “Dang that’s crazy, I mean that explains itself he’s always trying to find the open people and get his teammates open.”

Penn State secured their first 20-point win of the season and advances to 5-4 on the season. The Nittany Lions will be back in action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to East Lansing to take on the No. 19 Michigan State Spartans at 2 p.m. in the Breslin Center to open up Big Ten play.

Trevor Grady is a fourth-year majoring in supply chain management. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.