Penn State Dominates Defensively, Shoots Well from Deep, Tops Oregon State

Story posted November 27, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Groft

Penn State bounced back and won its second matchup in the Emerald Coast Classic, holding Oregon State to a season-low 45 points, the best Penn State defensive performance since 2018.

After an overtime thriller Friday, Penn State got off to a slow start, scoring only 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Regardless of the sluggish performance at the beginning of the game, Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry was pleased with the defense.

“You saw our fight, our defense, you can see us starting to get more and more confident in what we’re doing. We came in and had a great weekend,” Shrewsberry said.

Coming into the weekend, Penn State was allowing opposing teams to shoot 36% from the 3-point range. The Nittany Lions held both Oregon State and LSU to a combined 20% from beyond the arc, and each game they allowed only four 3-pointers.

This is a huge improvement considering the Nittany Lions had multiple games this year where they allowed double digits triples.

In the season opener they allowed Youngstown State to hit 10 3-pointers and in their loss to UMass they allowed 13.

Overall, Penn State improved immensely from Friday night’s loss to LSU in several categories. It won the rebound battle 35-29 and only turned the ball over seven times, its lowest all year.

Senior guard Sam Sessoms had a season-low two points, his first time scoring single digits this season. This didn’t seem to be an issue for Penn State’s attack, though, as it had three other players score double figures.

“For Sam to still play when it is not his night, I think that is growth from him. He’s growing and maturing as a guard. He is pushing us in the right direction, and I think he has played really well to start the season,” Shrewsberry said.

This weekend featured other Nittany Lions stepping up offensively. Jalen Pickett made four 3-pointers again in this matchup, leaving Florida shooting 50% beyond the arc.

This is huge news for Penn State.

If he can continue this shooting into Big Ten play, he will be valuable in terms of scoring when Seth Lundy or Sessoms has an off night.

Myles Dread got his season high with 12 points, shooting 50% from deep, just like Pickett.
Dallion Johnson displayed his shooting capabilities coming off the bench and burying a triplet of 3-pointers, en route to his career-high nine points.

Saturday’s win improves Penn State’s record to 4-2 overall, with all its wins coming by double digits.

Penn State will host the Miami Hurricanes in the ACC/Big Ten showdown this Wednesday, tipping off at 9:15 p.m, where it’ll look to remain undefeated at home.

“Proud of our guys’ effort – it was a total team effort, everybody that played really helped out,” Shrewsberry said. “I think we’re taking steps and moving in the right direction.”

 

Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email atg5271@psu.edu.