Nittany Lions Put on Shooting Show Against Virginia Tech

Story posted December 9, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jack McCune

Penn State’s 1500th program win came in a big way, as the Nittany Lions shot 50% from the field to beat No. 15 Virginia Tech 75-55 on Tuesday night in their pink and black alternate uniforms. They shot 12 of 23 on 3-pointers, as junior guard Izaiah Brockington led the way with 24 points.

The impressive shooting performance was much-needed for a team shooting 43% before the contest. Playmaking was crisp, and passing was efficient, but Penn State was inconsistent on finishing and jumpers—until their victory over the Hokies.

Interim head coach Jim Ferry emphasized shooting at practice after their overtime loss to Seton Hall Sunday. He was frustrated that his team was up eight points with less than three minutes to go in the second half before allowing the Pirates to come storming back. He was glad his squad put the game well out of reach early.

“I thought we came out and showed who we can really be,” Ferry said. “We spent all day yesterday focusing on ourselves. We didn’t talk one day about Virginia Tech.”

The eye-opener on the box score was sophomore Seth Lundy’s goose egg, but he certainly didn’t lug down his team’s numbers, as he only took four shots. And they clearly didn’t miss him too much.

Penn State’s shooting from downtown was much improved as well. The Nittany Lions attempted only 23 3’s, the least so far this year, but made 12 of them. And they didn’t chuck up ill-advised bombs like they did at times through the first three games.

Brockington had two of those shots from downtown to aid in his career-high 24 points on 10 of 14 shooting. The southpaw from Philadelphia looked locked in, as he also led the team in rebounds with eight. His knock last year in his first season in blue and white was his hesitation to shoot from beyond the arc and pull up for contested midrange jumpers, but he’s seemed to have fixed both issues.

Ferry wasn’t surprised by his dominating performance.

“He’s been playing great all year,” Ferry said. “We see this all the time in practice. He scored at all three levels today.”

Despite the improved shooting, the Nittany Lions still hold the second-worst shooting percentage in the conference at a little under 45%, in front of only Nebraska. Their next opponent in the Michigan Wolverines are 5th in the Big Ten at 51%.

 

Jack McCune is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jxm1237@psu.edu.