Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Cornell Game Preview

Story posted November 22, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Groft

Penn State and Micah Shrewsberry will look to remain undefeated against Cornell at home this season after a 15-point win over Saint Francis Brooklyn.

Sam Sessoms scored his Penn State career high 26 points making 10-of-13 shots in the win over the Terriers. Thanks to Sessoms, the Nittany Lions were able to comfortably win this game as they struggled from beyond the arc in the first half shooting 23.1% from the three.

Penn State is still relying on their big three offensively: Seth Lundy, John Harrar and Sessoms. As a group, the three are contributing to almost 70% of the Nittany Lions’ scoring production.

Returning senior Myles Dread appeared as a starter in the first game of the season but has come off the bench in the last two games. He was able to knock down a pair of three’s against Saint Francis Brooklyn, which is a great sign for Penn State considering he was shooting 14% from the three coming into the game.

A big question that remains is pertaining to Jalen Pickett’s shooting slump. He is now 6-of-26 in his first three games of the season. Before coming into Penn State, he averaged 43% from the field in three seasons at Sienna. It is only a matter of time before Pickett starts connecting from the outside.

Coach Shrewsberry has been testing different lineups giving Jalanni White the start in the game versus Saint Francis Brooklyn. He said that they will continue to test different lineups and at the end of the day it will simply come down to who is playing the hardest.

Scouting Cornell

4-0. This marks the best start in Cornell history in 60 years. What an accomplishment considering they did not play last season since the Ivy League canceled the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Coach Brian Earl must be thrilled with this start considering Cornell has not had a winning season 2010.

Cornell hasn’t had an easy start to the season either. Their first three games came against Binghamton, Lafayette and Colgate. The most impressive win was easily their 10-point victory over 2020-21 Patriot League Champions Colgate.

This is a Cornell team that has a lot of depth. Only two guys averaging double figures, but they have 12, that’s right, 12 guys who are averaging at least 12 minutes a game.

Their leading scorers are Jordan Jones and Chris Manon who are averaging 16 and 13 points per game, respectively. After that the scoring has been even with seven guys averaging in between 6.5 and nine points per game.

Cornell plays at an extremely fast pace averaging 87.8 points per game. They are prolific in causing turnovers and scoring in transition. They are forcing 15.5 turnovers per game and are averaging an impressive 20 points a game off those forced turnovers.

Game Prediction:

This game is going to be a dog fight. Cornell has looked like the better overall team to start the season, but Penn State historically has been efficient at home being 56-25 in the last six seasons at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions are also 6-0 all time against the Big Red when playing in Happy Valley.

The key for Penn State to win this game is to limit turnovers and to stop the fast break. Penn State will take off the training wheels from their first free games of the season and will learn from their persistent mistakes. Coach Shrewsberry gets his first big win of his career in a game that will come down to the final few minutes.

Prediction: Penn State 70, Cornell 64

 

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