Nittany Lions Run Out of Momentum, Lose Heartbreaker to Seton Hall 98-92

Story posted December 7, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Nittany Lions have dropped their first game of the 2020-21 season: a game that they were leading for most of it.

The Nittany Lions came out firing to start the game, as the Nittany Lions went on a 16-0 run to go up by 19 points. Nineteen would be the biggest lead for the Nittany Lions all game, as once it got near the end of the first half, the momentum completely shifted.

Seton Hall took over in the second half, scoring 50 points, as they clawed back and would eventually take their first lead six minutes in. Sandro Mamukelashvili was the standout player for the Pirates, as he put up a career high 30 points, leaving the Nittany Lions with no answer to stop the star forward.

Despite the comeback from Seton Hall, the Nittany Lions still had a chance to come away with the win, as they were up by six with just under two minutes left to play. But Seth Lundy and Myreon Jones forced shots, allowing the Pirates to come back and eventually force overtime. In the extra period, the Nittany Lions lost it down the stretch, and Sam Sessoms only hit one of two crucial free throws that would’ve tied it had he hit both.

Head coach Jim Ferry said after the game that his team missed an opportunity to get a big victory.

“Really disappointing loss, I thought we played a fantastic first 15 minutes, then we got away from what we were doing,” Ferry said. “Up eight with two minutes to go, that's a game you have to win.”

One positive from the loss is that Lundy followed last game’s performance where he put up a career high 32 points with another great game. Lundy finished with 23 points and seven rebounds on good shooting numbers, as he played the most minutes of any Nittany Lion in the game. Lundy was one of six Nittany Lions who put up 10 or more in the loss.

The Nittany Lions continued to fire away from beyond the arc, as they made 13 3-pointers in the game on 34 shot attempts. Another noticeable number was the turnovers, as the Nittany Lions finished with 14 in the game. Lundy led the team with four, and Sam Sessoms had three of his own. Ferry believes that number was a big reason for the loss.

“That's uncharacteristic of us,” Ferry said. “Our goal is always 10 or less (sic), and if we have that, we win the basketball game.”

Many Nittany Lions got in foul trouble during the game. Myreon Jones had two fouls early on, while Izaiah Brockington, John Harrar and Sessoms all fouled out.

The next game for Penn State will be in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is an undefeated 4-0 and is currently ranked 16th in the country. Penn State won last year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge game against Wake Forest and beat Virginia Tech by one point when the two teams last met in 2018.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.