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Penn State 72, LeMoyne 55: Lions Tame Dolphins With Three-Point Barrage

PSU knocked down 11 three-pointers, which allowed them to stave off a pesky LeMoyne team that wouldn’t completely go away.

Penn State Nittany Lions guard Kanye Clary (0) drives the ball to the basket as Le Moyne Dolphins guard Trent Mosquera (21) defends during the first half at Bryce Jordan Center. Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a controversial loss to Georgia Tech in overtime last weekend at Madison Square Garden, Penn State sought to put things behind them and dispatch an overmatched LeMoyne team. Given how poorly things ended the last time they found themselves in such a situation against Bucknell, this game sure didn’t feel like a “gimme.”

The game started out close for the first few minutes before Penn State caught fire from three-point range, as Kanye Clary led the way with three triples, while Puff Johnson (two), RayQwandis Mitchell (two), Ace Baldwin (one), and D’Marco Dunn (one) also joined in on the three-point shooting party. LeMoyne meanwhile, had a hard time reciprocating PSU’s success from beyond the arc, nailing only one of their 12 attempts. PSU built its lead at one point to as high as 21 points with six-and-a-half minutes to go, before LeMoyne went on a 14-5 run to finish the half, getting some quality points in the paint. What looked like a game PSU was poised to run away with before halftime was now a non-insurmountable 12-point lead.

The second half saw the three-point shooting cool down for PSU, and LeMoyne hang around enough to not allow this game to truly get out of hand, as PSU got their lead up as high as 17 before the Dolphins ultimately cut the deficit to single-digits at 60-51 with 6:09 left. Kanye however, took over when it mattered most, nailing a few big-time shots to keep LeMoyne from thinking upset, and PSU ultimately prevailed by 17 in a game where they won but also left the fans feeling a little uneasy going forward. That being said, a win like this beats a loss any day of the week.

Players of the Game

Kanye Clary - 20 points (4-for-8 3 PT FG), 6 assists, 5 rebounds

Kanye started the first half leading the barrage of treys that allowed PSU to build a massive lead to begin with. When that lead was being threatened with LeMoyne only trailing by nine, he once again nailed a few clutch baskets to keep the Dolphins at bay. For that, he’s your player of the game.

Random Observations

  • Outhustled Again? - Is it me, or was the effort from PSU rather lackluster compared to what it could’ve been? While it was nice they nailed a bunch of three-balls, they also should not have been so dependent on them and been able to assert their will in the paint. LeMoyne sure made a better effort to get points in the paint, spreading the ball around and getting their share of dunks and layups, which kept the game from getting totally out of hand when the threes just weren’t falling for them.
  • More Bad Reffing - The referees doing tonight’s game gave the ones who did the Georgia Tech contest a run for their money. A couple glaring examples were calling Puff Johnson for a phantom foul while going up to rebound a missed free throw with 0.3 seconds left in the first half, which led to LeMoyne shooting a pair of free throws on the other end, of which they made both. RayQwandis Mitchell also clearly got fouled shooting a three-pointer that only touched backboard and was instead whistled for a shot clock violation.
  • Holiday Hangover? - On the other hand, perhaps this is the result of a team that is mentally checked out a few days before Christmas and is ready to go back home to their families before coming back to prepare for Rider next week.

Up Next

Penn State (6-6, 1-1) hosts Rider next Friday, December 29th in their final non-conference game before diving head-first into Big Ten play. Tipoff will be at 2:00 PM EST on B1G Network.