Sessoms Injury Leaves Nittany Lions Bench Shorthanded in Loss to Ohio State
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Despite leading by eight points with eight minutes to go in the game, the Nittany Lions ran out of gas in an 83-79 loss to No. 13 Ohio State.
Seth Lundy and the rest of the Nittany Lions led a furious comeback toward the end of the first half and the start of the second, but later on, as the Nittany Lions went almost six minutes without a field goal, it seemed as though something was missing.
That something may have been Binghamton transfer Sam Sessoms, who has provided a role as the team’s sixth man and offensive spark plug. Sessoms has wasted no time adjusting to Happy Valley despite the jersey change, as he’s scored double-digit points off the bench in all but three games. He currently leads all bench players without a start in points per game this season with 10.3.
Sessoms was coming off a 12-point game against Northwestern and managed to play that game without any signs that he might be injured.
But when it came time for tipoff against Ohio State, Sessoms was shown sitting on the bench with a boot on his right foot—an ankle injury. Sessoms played a key role during the Nittany Lions two-game winning streak, as he was often one of the few players coming off the bench, playing more minutes due to Myles Dread’s injury against Illinois.
While Dread came back to help a depleted Penn State bench, Sessoms was ruled “out indefinitely” by the Big Ten Network’s broadcast of the game. There is a chance that “indefinitely” ends sooner rather than later as Penn State head coach Jim Ferry hopes to have Sessoms back soon.
“Hopefully we can get him back for Saturday, but we’ll see,” Ferry said.
In Sessoms’ absence, Dread, in his first game back from injury, played 24 minutes while scoring only six points. Those six were the only points scored by the Penn State bench all game. Trent Buttrick played 14 minutes and recorded one steal during that time, and Kyle McCloskey and Abdou Tsimbila played a combined three minutes—but no points from any of them.
This means that the starters had to deal with a minute increase in the game, as every Penn State starter played 30 minutes or more, except for Myreon Jones, who played 27.
If Sessoms is on the floor during the Nittany Lions’ cold streak toward the end of the second half, maybe it’s Penn State who celebrates its second win against a ranked opponent this season. But instead, it’s another tough loss for a team that seems to come by them naturally.
Sessoms’ presence could be crucial, as Penn State will return home to take on another ranked opponent: the Wisconsin Badgers.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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