Penn State guard Jalen Pickett. Photo by Erin Sullivan | Onward State
Penn State men’s basketball improved to 5-1 on the year Sunday evening knocking off Colorado State 68-56 in the final game of the Charleston Classic, rounding out a three games in four days stretch.
The Nittany Lions managed a fairly easy win despite making only nine shots from three-point range, the first time this season that Penn State has failed to hit double-digit three pointers in a single game. All the same an early 13-0 start by Penn State set the tone for a game that the Nittany Lions dictated the entire way. Colorado State would respond after missing its first nine shots, cutting the lead to just six around the Midway point of the first half but would get no closer as Penn State answered with an 11-5 run of its own over the final 5:09 of the first half to take a 33-21 lead into the break.
Seth Lundy led all scorers in the opening 20 minutes of play with 14 points while Jalen Pickett continued his do-it-all play with six points, seven rebounds and three assists in the opening half. Colorado State shot just 30% from the field going 9-for-30 from the floor through 20 minutes of play. The second half was largely more of the same as Penn State matched Colorado State’s early second half baskets before a 12-6 run during the middle portion of the half saw the Nittany Lions go ahead 56-39 with 8:49 to go in the game . The Nittany Lions would never lead by single digits except once – leading by nine – with 10:13 to go.
Pickett poured in 10 second half points to bring his total to 16 and 11 rebounds while true freshman Kebba Njie and Evan Mahaffey both showed high-motor potential with hustle plays and promising looks throughout the game despite limited box-score contributions. Lundy finished the night with a game-high 17 points to go with eight rebounds of his own. Camren Wynter and Andrew Funk combined for 17 points but on a 5-for-16 shooting night between the duo.
Elsewhere in the box score the Nittany Lions continued to struggle on the glass going -7 on the boards as Colorado State poured in 15 second-chance points on 11 Offensive rebounds. In somewhat of a counter to that, Penn State managed 12 points on the fast break while turning the ball over just eight times all evening.
Penn State has most of the week off before a Bryce Jordan Center meeting against Lafayette on Friday evening.