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Penn State 68, Colorado State 56: Lions Earn Third Place In Charleston Classic

Penn State opened up a 13-point lead to start the game and never looked back.

Nov 18, 2022; Charleston, South Carolina, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Evan Mahaffey (12) is stopped in the second half by a Virginia Tech Hokies defender at TD Arena. David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

The Nittany Lions came into this game looking to finish the Charleston Classic with a winning record. In the first 10 minutes of the game or so, it looked like Penn State would cruise to that record.

The Colorado State Rams missed their first nine shots of the game, and Penn State slowly built a 13-0 lead on the backs of strong defense and their patented three-point shooting. The Rams, of course, went on a run on their own that saw them close the game out to a 17-11 deficit at the under-8 media timeout.

Penn State picked up the pace, and scoring, for the remainder of the half, finishing the period by extending its lead back to double digits.

The second half looked a little similar to the first, where Colorado State started cold, but the Nittany Lions didn’t start as hot as they did in the first, but they started hot enough to keep the double digit lead through the first six minutes of the game. Every time the Rams would threaten, Penn State would make enough shots to keep the lead between 12 and 15.

Of course, expecting that for the entire second half would be unrealistic, and Colorado State did their part in closing the game in. With about 10 minutes left to play, the Rams made a three that would shrink the lead to nine, but, again, Penn State responded by scoring eight straight, ballooning the lead back to 17, the highest of the contest.

The rest of the game was a formality from there, as Penn State basically kept the margin the same throughout.

Four Factors Analysis

If my memory serves me right, Penn State has scored over a point per possession in each game except the Virginia Tech loss, which bodes well moving forward. The biggest improvement in this game came with the increased number of free throws. Now if they could stop missing about half of them, that would be great.

Player of the Game

Seth Lundy - 17 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal

Lundy led the Nittany Lions in scoring, three of which were from beyond the arc. He was also his usual defensive monster self, making life hard for every Ram who tried to score on him.

Random Observations

More freshman action - Kebba Njie started this game and played well over his 10 minutes per game average. Kanye Clary also saw early action in this game, coming into the contest in the first half and seeing some more time in the second. Evan Mahaffey, of course, has been seeing increased time throughout the tournament. Still no sign of Demetrius Lilley.

Droughts feel different - Penn State still goes on droughts this season, but at least six games in, it doesn’t feel like their droughts are cause for alarm. Someone is always there, waiting beyond the arc, to get Penn State back in scoring form.

Sound the alarm - Penn State shot fewer than 10 threes for the first time this season, as they only made nine in this contest.

Looking Ahead

Penn State takes a bit of a break for thanksgiving, and will be back on the court on on Friday, November 25 when they host Lafayette. Game is at 7:00 PM Eastern on B1G+.