Penn State and Pickett Avenges its Earlier Loss, With a Dominating Win Over Minnesota

Story posted February 18, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Matthew Scalzo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Revenge is a dish best served cold.

After falling in Minneapolis five days earlier, Penn State avenged its loss to Minnesota with a dominating win, 67-46. The Nittany Lions were fueled by Jalen Pickett’s cold-blooded performance, dropping 20 points.

“It's a battle of mental fortitude,” Myles Dread said of the team’s response from the earlier loss. “In the same time period, good game, and a lot of preparation, we watched a lot of film. We just had a bad taste in our mouth.”

The blue and white jumped out the early lead when the game hit its first media timeout, 6-5. John Harrar got off to a good start nabbing four points and two boards, while Payton Willis had all five points for the Golden Gophers.

Penn State started to get after it on both ends of the floor to spark a 12-0 run. The offense began to find its rhythm and a pair of threes by Caleb Dorsey and Pickett forced a Minnesota timeout.

The Golden Gophers closed the gap down to five with an 8-0 run, but Penn State was able to keep pace with some excellent off-ball movement to take the lead into the half, 27-19.

The defense was the key for the blue and white, limiting Minnesota’s offense to only 33% shooting.

“I told them I said think about how you felt when you left UMass, when you left Indiana, when you left Michigan State,” head coach Micah Shrewsberry said the defensive response. “They took exception to it, they came back and played one of our best defensive games of the year.”

In the opening six minutes of the second half both squads got off to a hot start, but it was Penn State that took control.

Pickett got to work in isolation and began slashing through the lane to become the first Nittany Lion to crack the double-digit threshold.

“I thought [Pickett] was really good in terms of getting to the spots where he wanted to get,” Shrewsberry said. “[Pickett] had been struggling a little bit so for him to break out and have this game is  key for us.”

The Siena transfer’s scoring prowess seemed to spread on to his teammates as Penn State's offensive explosion continued, growing the lead with 11:51 left, 47-33. Myles Dread knocked down a mid-range jumper before nailing a left-wing three to get the Bryce Jordan Center rocking.

The 7726 person crowd got louder as Pickett drilled a three-pointer after some great ball movement to eclipse the 20-point mark. The senior guard was cooking in the final 20 minutes and the Golden Gophers had no response.

The Nittany Lions cruised the rest of the way, going up by as much as 27 before giving a trio of players, Irekefe Oweh, Dan Conlan and Ishaan Jagiasi, their first career minutes.

While Pickett led the way, Dread and Harrar also had strong games. The Philadelphia native finished the game 5-for-6 shooting with 12 points, while the “King of Delco'' had his career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

It was more than “Lockdown Lundy” on the defensive end. Penn State’s smothering defense held Minnesota to only 32% shooting and only 12 points in the paint. Eric Curry, who had a career-high 22 points five days ago, was held in check finishing with a single point.

“We know who we are. We know how we defend. We're gonna make you do every single thing,” Shrewsberry said.

Next up, the Nittany Lions hit the road for College Park for a Monday night date with the Maryland Terrapins, who are 11-14 overall and 3-11 in conference play. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

 

Matthew Scalzo is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mms7477@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Matt Scalzo's photo

Matt Scalzo

Second Year / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew “Matt” Scalzo is a second-year from Ridgefield, Connecticut majoring in broadcast journalism. Matt is a Basketball Insider, broadcaster and writer for the sports department. With CommRadio he has called football, volleyball, basketball and hockey games. Matt is also the Penn State Women’s Volleyball play-by-play broadcaster calling games on both TV and radio. He has written countless articles and appeared on podcasts, live shows and is a part of The Extra Point, a talk show centered around the NFL. If you want to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).