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No. 20 Penn State vs Cornell Preview: Nittany Lions Look To Finish Their Non-Conference Slate With A Win

Penn State will look to finish their non-conference slate with a victory on Sunday afternoon

Maryland vs. Penn State Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Pat Chambers and the Penn State Nittany Lions are off to a great start this season. Owning a 10-2 record, the Nittany Lions are currently ranked no. 20 in the nation. Now, they will look to finish off their non-conference slate with a victory.

On Sunday afternoon the Nittany Lions will welcome the 1-9 Cornell Big Red to the Bryce Jordan Center. Barring total and complete disaster, the Nittany Lions should be well on their way to 11-2 overall and 9-0 at home this season on Sunday.

Scouting the opposition

To put it lightly, Cornell is bad. The Big Red own a 1-9 record and have lost nine in a row following a season opening victory over Binghamton. Cornell is averaging just 65.0 points per game, which ranks 354th nationally. Defensively, they rank 205th nationally allowing 70.0 points per game.

The Big Reds’ best player is Jimmy Boeheim, who is the son of legendary Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. The junior is averaging a team leading 19.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game this season. His 33.7 minutes per game also leads all Big Red players.

Junior guard Terrance McBride is averaging 10.3 points per game. Outside of Boeheim and McBride, the Big Red struggle to score. As a team, the Big Red are shooting just 41.1% from the field this season.

Cornell’s nine game losing streak started with a pair of one point losses. Since then, each loss has been by a double digit average. This includes a pair of 19+ point losses.

What to watch for

Dominating inferior teams - So far this season the Nittany Lions have done a great job of dominating inferior teams. Penn State has blown out Maryland Eastern Shore, Wagner, Bucknell, and Central Connecticut this season. Dominating inferior teams is the sign of a good team. Can they continue to do that on Sunday?

Don’t get stuck looking ahead - Next Saturday the Nittany Lions will play Iowa at The Palestra in what is shaping up to be a top 25 showdown. Penn State needs to avoid getting stuck looking ahead to a vital clash with the Hawkeyes as they kick off the rest of the Big Ten slate. If Penn State comes out on Sunday afternoon and struggles early on with the Big Red, it could be a case of looking ahead.

Stay healthy - This was also a key in Penn State’s last game. As will be the case on Sunday, last time out the Nittany Lions faced a woeful Central Connecticut squad that they went on to blowout. Any time a team plays in a game they are going to win easily some times the biggest positive from the game can be avoiding injuries and staying healthy. That will be the case Sunday afternoon.


Penn State is good. Cornell is bad. The Nittany Lions roll. Penn State 88, Cornell 60