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Penn State Basketball Roars Past Georgetown 81-66

by on November 14, 2019 8:50 PM

In the long history of Penn State basketball there have been ample opportunities for the Nittany Lions to pick up resume-boosting wins against teams outside the Big Ten.

While this has not always been the case -for example a win over Virginia Tech in 2018- Penn State has often come up short in marquee early season contests that could act as confidence boosters and proof of quality come March.

On Thursday night, Penn State picked up such a win in fairly commanding fashion, beating Georgetown on the road 81-66 just three games into the regular season.

The Nittany Lions led the entire way, going ahead 25-7 behind a white-hot Myreon Jones shooting performance that saw the sophomore score 16 first half points, 14 of those coming in the early stages of play. Georgetown would eventually right the ship as Penn State cooled off from the field, but would still trail 42-34 at the half.

For Penn State the halftime lead likely brought with it two emotions. On the one hand the Nittany Lions struggled to hang on to the ball against Georgetown pressure, eventually turning it over 21 times by the end of the night. Equally true, Penn State would steal the ball 15 times by the end of the night and had the services of an active Mike Watkins who picked up three quick blocks early in the game en route to an eight point, eight rebound and four block outing.

The Nittany Lions also had an ace in the hole, star forward Lamar Stevens struggled with turnovers and cold shooting in the first half. The all-Big Ten player was unlikely to play so poorly in the second half, and with steady defense paired with the likely emergence of Stevens, the Nittany Lions had more answers than questions.

That theory turned out to be true in the second half as Stevens scored 10 points including two deep threes in the game's final minutes to deliver the finishing blow. Georgetown would cut the lead to five early in the half, but Penn State had an answer each time, ballooning the margin to 17 points with just over nine minutes to go in regulation.

By the end of the evening Penn State could hang its hat on both the victory and the confidence of winning while not playing its best. The Nittany Lions managed 19 points off the bench and 15 second-chance points while shooting 43% from the field and making 13 from beyond the arc on 29 attempts.

Jones led the way with 21 points while Myles Dread added 14 points and six rebounds. Do-it-all Jamari Wheeler chipped in five assists and four steals on a confident night from the Nittany Lion point guard.

Penn State will face Bucknell and Yale in the coming week before heading to Brooklyn to face Ole Miss and then either Oklahoma State or Syracuse in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

But for now the Nittany Lions will enjoy a win well earned, and for their postseason hopes, a victory a long time coming.

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