Penn State Men’s Basketball Game Grades: Iowa
The Nittany Lions get their best win in the Micah Shrewsberry era in a double-overtime thriller over the Iowa Hawkeyes 90-86. This game could end up being a turning point for this program but it was a near disaster for Penn State at the end of regulation.
Despite having the lead for most of the game, sophomore guard Keegan Murray got a tip-in in the final seconds to send this game to overtime. However, Penn State showed they can battle through adversity and ended up on the winning side.
Coming into the game, Penn State ranked last in points per game in the Big Ten. Penn State averaged a putrid 65 points per game on 43 percent shooting in 17 games played.
However, the inconsistent junior forward Seth Lundy came up huge with 17 points on 7-12 shooting. Penn State has been looking for that go-to scorer they can turn to late in the shot clock and Lundy stepped up.
Lundy has shown flashes of brilliance in the past. Notably, he had a career-high 31 points against Maryland last year. This season has been plagued with injuries, and as a result, Lundy hasn’t been able to find that consistent flow. This Iowa game was a pleasant exception.
However, the offense didn’t just revolve around Lundy. It was a team effort. Penn State came out and slowed the pace down and executed their sets beautifully.
Senior guard Jalen Pickett can have his head stretching plays at times, but he has such a knack for hitting contested shots. Pickett picked up 13 points and was enormous in the two overtimes.
Senior guard Myles Dread was also exceptional and hit the biggest shot of the night. Penn State struggled all night with the three-ball, but with their backs against the wall and nine seconds on the play clock, trailing by three, Dread was able to send this game to another overtime with a huge game-tying three.
Penn State came out and stifled the second-best offense in the Big Ten.
Under coach Fran McCaffery, Iowa has been known to play with a fast tempo and they love to shoot from behind the arc. Penn State made it its mission to not let Iowa get out in transition. The Nittany Lions limited turnovers and made this game won in the halfcourt.
These two teams play with two different styles. Penn State made Iowa play its way and it resulted in an ugly affair in State College.
Sophomore guard Keegan Murray had to be keeping Shrewsberry up at night before this game. Murray leads the Big Ten in scoring with 22.4 points per game.
Murray was able to record 21 points on the night, but this was not his best effort. Murray finished 6-18 from the field and 2-7 from behind the arc. Lundy was in his back pocket all night.
Shrewsberry has been searching for that marquee win, and he might have gotten it Monday night. One game removed from their worst effort of the season in Indiana, Penn State came out Monday night and played inspired basketball.
A lot of credit has to go to Shrewsberry. He had a great plan to defend Iowa and he had his team well prepared.
Most teams would roll over and die after blowing the lead late in a heartbreaking fashion. Penn State was up two in the final seconds of regulation and played perfect defense on Iowa, but the Nittany Lions forgot to box out Murray.
However, in overtime Penn State did not back down and turned to their upperclassmen to get a huge win over one of the better teams in the Big Ten.
Aidan Torok is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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