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Penn State 90, Cornell 59: On to Philly

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The Nittany Lions finished off the non-conference slate with a blowout win over the Big Red.

NCAA Basketball: Cornell at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

The final Penn State men’s basketball game of the decade ended with a bang, as the Nittany Lions easily dispatched a one-win Cornell squad, scoring a perfectly even 45 points in each half to win by 31 points in the end. Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens were your co-leading scorers, racking up 19 points each, and Watkins finished with a double-double by adding ten rebounds.

Myreon Jones also put up 18 points, thanks in large part to shooting 3-for-6 from downtown, while Izaiah Brockington led the bench brigade with 11 points and a pair of steals. Cornell forward Jimmy Boeheim (yes, the famed Syracuse coach’s son) led the way for the Big Red with 17 points and six boards, but it was clearly not enough to overcome the significant talent advantage PSU brought to the table.

With the win, the 20th-ranked Nittany Lions improve to 11-2 on the season, and will bring some positive momentum into Philadelphia’s famed Palestra building next Saturday when they play host to Iowa, as they have now completed the non-conference slate, and prepare for the meat grinder comprising of the 18 remaining games on their Big Ten schedule.

PPP and Four Factors

Penn State shot a solid 52 percent for the game and did a solid job garnering second chance points, as evidenced by their whopping 50 percent offensive rebounding rate. They also won the turnover battle, 17-11 as their defensive pressure garnered quite a few steals and errant passes that went out of bounds. The free throw shooting will need some work though, as the team shot only 67 percent, hitting 12 of 18 attempts.

Random Observations

  • While the crowd was predictably sparse, it was still larger than your typical holiday break crowd against a cupcake opponent. It’s amazing what being ranked does for your attendance.
  • The best part of blowouts like these is seeing the bench get emptied and guys like Taylor Nussbaum and Stephen Beattie, two guys who I’m sure put in just as much blood, sweat, and tears into being a part of this program as any of the scholarship players, some actual game action. Very well-deserved.

Up Next

It’s all Big Ten play from here on out, as No. 20 Penn State plays host to No. 25 Iowa in Philly’s Palestra this Saturday, January 4th. Tip-off is at 2:00 PM ET on BTN.