The Penn State Nittany Lions came off a record setting night in their season opener against Winthrop that saw them make 18 three point shots. On Thursday, Penn State nearly did it again, as they made 16 three en route to another 90-point outing, the second in as many games.
Early in the game, it seemed like Loyola would keep things interesting. After opening up an 11-4 lead, Penn State found itself only up four midway through the first half, as the Greyhounds closed the game to a 17-21 score. From there, there was a little big of give and take, but Penn State would close the half up 11, 40-29.
The Lions would remain hot to start the second half. The shots that started to fall late in the first half continued to fall early in the second, and what looked to be a competitive game got out of hand pretty quickly, as the Lions would balloon the lead all the way to 21 five minutes into the second period.
From there, it was mostly a formality. Loyola would never get closer than 16, and Micah Shrewsberry merely tinkered with the lineups to see which combinations worked best. For a second straight game, Penn State was able to go deep into its bench, giving use a glimpse at what may become the heavy rotation players down the stretch.
An area of concern, if there is one, is the number of fouls the Nittany Lions committed in the game. Seth Lundy himself had three in the first half. The Lions were able to overcome this with their shooting ability, but in a game against a better opponent, Penn State will need to be more disciplined and play without fouling.
Four Factors Analysis
Another easy chart to interpret, as Penn State improved in its points per possession from three nights ago. Sharing the ball, shooting an inordinate amount of threes, and committing few turnovers is going to lead to a ton of outings like this one if the Lions can keep it up.
A less than 20 percent free throw rate might be concerning, but as long as they’re shooting the ball well, that should take care of itself.
Players of the Game
Cam Wynter - 18 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Winter had his 500th rebound on Thursday, putting him in the 1500/500/500 club. He was all over the place in this game, making up for the rough night offensively from Andrew Funk.
Myles Dread - 12 points, 2 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal
Dread hit four three pointers in the game, to go along with the four he made against Winthrop. It looks like the offseason shoulder surgery is starting to pay dividends for the senior.
Share that ball - The Nittany Lions have been sharing the ball pretty well in these early games. They had 21 assists on 33 made field goals in this game. If this trend keeps going, the Lions should be in good shape moving forward.
There’s always someone - Andrew Funk and Jalen Pickett, who combined for 45 of Penn State’s 93 points against Winthrop, had eight points between the two in this game. Yet, the Lions still found a way to drop 90.
It might not be a fluke - Penn State made 16 threes and had 21 assists in this game. It’s possible that this is who the Lions are this season, and Monday was not, in fact, an aberration.
The Lions are back in action on Monday, as they host Shrewsberry’s former team in the Butler Bulldogs. Game tips off at 8:30 PM Eastern on FS1.