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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Dominate Wake Forest 76-54

by on December 05, 2019 12:34 AM

Penn State basketball has fielded plenty of competitive teams under Pat Chambers but the 2019 iteration might turn out to be the best yet.

The Nittany Lions rolled again on Wednesday night, beating Wake Forest 76-54, and leading by as many as 31 before subbing out the majority of its important pieces with most of the second half already on the books.

Once again it was a group effort, Myreon Jones with a career-high 22 points to pace the Nittany Lions while Mike Watkins dominated on the boards with 16 rebounds, Penn State pulling down 17 offensive boards over the course of the evening. Lamar Stevens also managed 14 points and seven boards while Izaiah Brockington led the way off the bench with 13 points and five rebounds.

The result was a 41-23 halftime lead, a chunk of which came with Stevens on the bench saddled with two fouls. Penn State led by just four points with 9:29 to go in the first half, a margin that extended to 28 points nearing the midway point of the second. Penn State leaned on relentless defense and efficient work down low, the Nittany Lions outscoring Wake Forest 40-18 in the paint while pulling down nearly 20 more rebounds than the visitors.

In turn much of the second half was a formality as Penn State pushed ahead and never the looked back. The Nittany Lions made just five shots from beyond the arc as Myles Dread continues to look cold from deep, but Penn State was so dominant in nearly every other area that Wake Forest had no real answer on either end to make any meaningful charge at the lead. So far this season the Nittany Lions have allowed an average of 61.75 points per game and is ranked the 12th best team in terms of defensive efficiency on KenPom.

The win improves Penn State's record to 7-1 on the year but with a Saturday meeting against No. 6 Ohio State in Columbus and a Tuesday night clash at the Jordan Center against No. 3 Maryland the road will not be an easy one in the early two-game stretch of Big Ten play.

Although as Chambers noted earlier in the week, the Nittany Lions will have to prepare.

"But they'll also have to say they're playing us too."

And with the Nittany Lions looking poised and confident on both ends of the floor, whose to say Penn State can't pull off an early season upset or two.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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