Penn State Men’s Basketball Game Grades: Wagner

Story posted December 9, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

Penn State was able to finish off its three-game homestand on the right foot with a decisive 74-54 win over the Wagner Seahawks on Wednesday.

The Nittany Lions ended a two-game losing streak with the win which was propelled by a strong second half.

Here’s how each position group performed in the win.

Offense: B+

It took a long time for the Penn State offense to get things going as the first half ended rather close.

The Seahawks ran a full-court press on defense for most of the game which seemed to tire out the Nittany Lions and force some bad turnovers.

Once adjustments were made coming out of the locker rooms, however, the Nittany Lions didn’t look back scoring 42 second-half points.

Jalen Pickett and Sam Sessoms, who came off the bench, both finished with 16 points which led the way for Penn State.

The Nittany Lions had four players score in double-digits in the win as the balanced scoring attack paid dividends for an all-around solid offensive night.

Defense: A

The Penn State defense was able to hold strong from beginning to end during the win as Wagner could only score 27 points in both halves of play.

That defense especially held strong in the second half as the Wagner offense was stuck in several long scoring droughts which allowed the Nittany Lions to pull away.

Penn State’s defense from beyond the arc was especially strong as the Seahawks only made two three-pointers throughout the entire game.

Wagner’s leading scorer on the night was Alex Morales, who came into the game averaging 18 points on the season, with just 11 points as he was the only Seahawks player who scored in double figures.

There’s a lot to be happy about for the Penn State defense as it allowed the fewest number of points against any opponent so far this season.

Coaching: A+

How about a perfect grade for the first-year head coach Micah Shrewsberry.

His second-half adjustments, to put it simply, won the Nittany Lions the game as he was able to plan around the full-court press which had stumped the Penn State offense during the first half.

During the Nittany Lions’ previous loss against Ohio State, one of the main reasons for the defeat was the lack of scoring off the bench with only five points not coming from the starting five.

Shrewsberry moved Sam Sessoms to the bench as he played a sixth-man role he was very familiar with after last season.

Sessoms finished the night tied for the team lead in points providing a much-needed spark whenever he was put into the game.

Shrewsberry’s adjustments led to a much-needed win for his Nittany Lions as they are now 5-4 on the season with a road trip to take on Michigan State coming up next.

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