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Penn State Men’s Basketball Beats Delaware State 60-46 to Finish Out-of-Conference Schedule

Penn State men’s basketball improved to 10-3 overall on Thursday afternoon in the final non-conference game of the year, a 60-46 win over Delaware State at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Fittingly, the game itself aired on the Big Ten’s online affiliate, BTN+, the sort of streaming service which prides itself on making sure everything can be seen by everyone. It’s a relatively low budget affair that between the casual camera work and student led broadcast teams does enough to justify its existence and not a whole lot more.

It was appropriate that this particular game was shown on a service few people get at a time that few people might watch it. In some respects it was an act of kindness by the programing powers at be that nobody could have accidentally flipped their TV to an actual channel to see this game without warning. In a phrase, it was a slog. One team – Penn State, going through the motions, playing down to a lesser opponent – while Delaware State – which ranks near the bottom of a 300+ team list in just about every meaningful category and now has a now 1-12 record to show for it, did just enough well to make a game of things.

It’s not unfair to be critical of Penn State for sleepwalking through this game, the Nittany Lions are, were and will always be the better team. Nevertheless Penn State found itself leading 27-22 at the half behind the sort of shooting effort which lends credence to the idea each team is allotted only so many made baskets per season and that the Nittany Lions didn’t need to waste their makes on Thursday.

All the same the now-healthy Seth Lundy made his return from an ankle injury to lead Penn State with six first half points while Andrew Funk added six of his own on 2-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Penn State tired to bury Delaware State with its otherwise potent three-point shooting but a 5-for-21 shooting clip in the opening 20 minutes of play wasn’t quite enough to strike fear in the hearts of the visitors. The Nittany Lions would however go 5-for-9 inside the arc in that half.

The second half was more or less the same, Lundy adding nine more points to his total while Funk shot 2-for-5 from beyond the arc again for six more points to his name. Jalen Pickett rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points with six assists and four rebounds as he meandered towards another triple-double attempt. Delaware State would cut the lead to seven with 6:49 to go in regulation but would make just one basket from the field the rest of the game while Penn State closed out the game on an 11-4 run. By the end of the afternoon the Nittany Lions had shot 37% from the field and had 14 assists on 22 made baskets.

There is perhaps a tendency to dig apart games like these when it comes to a team like Penn State. In some coaching Heaven where everything goes according to plan Penn State wins this game by 40 because it should have, but instead it won by 14 because it is a team comprised of people who decided that 14 was good enough as long as 14 happened.

And to be honest, if Penn State – a team capable of being quite good – proceeds to be quite good when it actually matters against teams that will punish them if they aren’t, a lazy afternoon on streaming service nobody has in a game nobody really cares about, isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Nittany Lions open the brunt of Big Ten play on Sunday against Iowa in State College. Penn State is 1-1 in conference play. That game will in fact, be on TV.