Penn State Basketball Weekly Preview: Michigan State and Nebraska Headline Week Ahead
While it wasn’t the best week offensively for Penn State, the Nittany Lions still managed to record a split in their last two games.
First, the Nittany Lions traveled to Madison to face Wisconsin in a rematch. The two teams had faced off a few days before, ultimately resulting in a Penn State win. However, thanks to a dominant second half by Wisconsin, it wouldn’t be the same story as Game 1.
Only two Nittany Lions recorded double digits with leading scorer Myreon Jones needing 15 shots to put up 14 points. The Nittany Lions had a tough time shooting the basketball, as they shot 39% from the field and just 25% from 3-point land. Only six 3s were made during the game, which helped lead to a 72-56 Wisconsin victory.
The luck for the Nittany Lions would turn around the next game, as they welcomed the Maryland Terrapins to the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State would go on to win but only recorded 55 points in the game: its lowest total of the season and one point lower than the previous loss to Wisconsin.
This would be another tough defensive battle, as the leading scorer for the Nittany Lions, Izaiah Brockington, would finish with just 13 points. Both Seth Lundy and Myreon Jones struggled throughout, making just two shots for four total points. Penn State would take the win 55-50 with 16 of their 32 second-half points coming from free throws.
Sparty is up next on the calendar. The Nittany Lions will travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the one and only game between these programs this season. Head coach Tom Izzo isn’t seeing his usual production from his team, which is 9-7 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
Similar to the Terrapins and the Nittany Lions, Izzo and company are holding on to their NCAA Tournament hopes with one finger, as one more loss could decide their fate. Before beating bottom-feeder Nebraska on Saturday, the Spartans were on a four-game losing streak that included a 67-37 defeat to Rutgers.
But the Spartans are 7-2 and averaging over 77 points per game at their home Breslin Center. Penn State has scored more than 77 on the road just three times this season, and only one of them has resulted in a win.
The Nittany Lions will hope they don’t need as much offensive firepower when they head back home to take on last-place Nebraska on Sunday afternoon.
After postponements and scheduling changes, the 4-9 Cornhuskers will face four teams this week. While the Nittany Lions will have four days rest before this matchup, head coach Fred Hoiberg and his guys will host Wisconsin and Illinois Wednesday and Friday after playing Minnesota on Monday.
They’ll look to lean on junior guard Teddy Allen, who is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in points per game at 17.2. But Nebraska’s issues are most prominent at the defensive end, as the Cornhuskers hold the worst scoring margin in the league at minus 0.2.
After the Nebraska matchup, just five games remain on Penn State’s schedule before the Big Ten Tournament is scheduled to begin in March.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jack McCune is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jack McCune is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism from Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is outside of Philly and just across the Delaware River from New Jersey. He attended Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. He’s a huge fan of the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Penn State football and Penn State basketball. He’s a sports anchor and multimedia reporter for the Centre County Report. He’s a Football Insider for CommRadio. His talk show, Broad Street Bros, airs Thursday nights at 5:45, as he talks about Philly and Penn State sports. He hopes to some day become a play-by-play announcer for football, basketball and/or baseball, and he is also interested in becoming a bartender.
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism