Penn State Men’s Basketball vs. Michigan State: Game Grades

Story posted February 17, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Ethan Ellis

The Bryce Jordan Center was rocking as the Nittany Lions earned an upset win against the Michigan State Spartans.

Forward Seth Lundy led the team in points with 17 as Penn State got the 62-58 win over Michigan State.

This was only the Nittany Lions’ fifth win in the Big Ten this season in a conference that has seen large amounts of success this season with five teams currently ranked.

Here’s a breakdown of how Micah Shrewsberry’s squad got the home win.

Field Goals: C-

Penn State shot at 39.3% from inside the arc, led by John Harrar, who had one of his best nights out on the court, unlike Sam Sessoms.

Sessoms only accounted for three of Penn State’s field goals, which is not something that should be seen out of a high impact player like him.

Sessoms has been inconsistent on the season with his field goals, so this isn’t surprising to see.

3-Pointers: A-

It’s hard to not mention 3-point shots without bringing up Seth Lundy.

Lundy led the team in 3-pointers Tuesday night as he went for 5-12.

Jalen Pickett also contributed to the 3-point game as he shot 2-5 on 3-pointers.

Overall, the team shot at 40% on 3-pointers for the night, which is much better than it had been shooting in its past games.

It’s encouraging to see some progress being made in this aspect of its offense and hopefully for Penn State the team can capitalize on this and use the momentum further down the road.

Rebounds: B-

When it comes to rebounds, it was a pretty average night for the Nittany Lions. Penn State has been up and down all season when it comes to rebounds and Tuesday night’s rebound count of 34 was right in the middle in terms of how it’s been all season.

Harrar had himself a night with rebounds, as he accounted for an impressive 16 rebounds. This impressive outing from him was definitely a key factor in the upset of Michigan State.

Overall, most of the players got in on the action when it came to rebounds, which is encouraging to see for Penn State and could carry over to Thursday’s game against Minnesota.

Defense: C-

Defensively, Penn State did what it needed to in order to keep themselves in this game. As mentioned above, Harrar played a pivotal role in this Penn State defense with ten defensive rebounds on the night.

Jalen Pickett led the team in steals with three, followed by Sessoms with two. As history shows, if Penn State can keep the game to be a somewhat low-scoring affair, then there’s a good chance it will take the win, which is what it did Tuesday night.

While there were a lot of bright spots with this defense, there were still some issues. Penn State allowed Michigan State to go on an 8-0 run to start the second period and, at one point, was down 43-29 to the Spartans.

Penn State shouldn’t be letting opponents build big leads in games and that falls on the defense who needs to be able to force turnovers with steals or get those rebounds. Overall, it was a night of highs and lows for this defense.

Ethan Ellis is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email