Penn State 72 Wright State 50: Lions Dominate Second Half For Fourth Straight Win

By Eric Gibson on December 3, 2016 at 7:07p
Shep Garner

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

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There was plenty of uncertainty at halftime of Penn State's game with Wright State. The Lions were only up three points after one of the worst halves of the season. 43 missed shots and 22 turnovers combined between both teams. PSU jumped out to a 22-10 lead, but they suffered through yet another long scoreless stretch that saw the Raiders climb back into the game by the break.

It didn't seem like it was possible for WSU to play any worse, so for Penn State to only be up three at that point was a concern. If the Raiders' three-point shooting had come alive in the second half, the Lions could have been in a dangerous late game situation.

But the Raiders' threes continued to clank, while it was Penn State who was the second half aggressor. Pat Chambers reminded his team who held the size advantage and Penn State made it a point to attack the rim on offense. Lamar Stevens scored six quick points to spark the Lions' second half blowout. The Lions scored 43 second half points to secure their biggest margin of victory on the season.

Penn State's defense was the story, as the Lions disrupted Wright State's offense all game long. Mark Alstork was held to 15 points on 3-18 shooting, while no other Raiders reach double figures. They came into the game with four players averaging over 10 points a game. It was an impressive display from the Nittany Lions.

Four Factors

  Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FTRate
Penn State 76 0.94 47.5% 25.0% 21.0% 33.3
Wright State 0.66 28.8% 26.9% 22.3% 22.7

Penn State dominated defensively. They wore down the Raiders with 10 blocks and 10 steals in an impressive display. Wright State's undisciplined style certainly contributed to their woes, but this was one of the team's best defensive performances ever under Chambers.

The offense was incredibly disappointing in the first half, but they made a remarkable turnaround at halftime. However, you'd still like to see them above 1.0 PPP and 50.0% eFG% against a team like WSU.

Player Notes

  • Shep Garner - This was the captain's most efficient scoring game on the season. He finished with 17 points on 7-12 shooting (3-7 from three) and dished 3 assists.
  • Mike Watkins - He continues to dominate defensively and flirted with a triple-double. His career-high 8 blocks and 9 rebounds anchored Penn State's suffocating defense, while he should've gotten more touches in the offense.
  • Tony Carr - The freshman's scoring struggles continued in this game, but he's a fantastic rebounder. You don't have to qualify that statement by mentioning he's a guard. He brought down a career-high 12 rebounds and had 5 assists.
  • Lamar Stevens - A tale of two halves for Stevens. He spent the first half attempting difficult, turnaround fadeaways, while he sparked the Lions huge start to open up the game. Stevens finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
  • Payton Banks - Numbers looked good for Payton although there were still a few head-scratching moments. You can't hate on 15 points on 10 shots though.
  • Terrence Samuel - This guy is something fierce in the open court, but he also badly missed a few jumpshots. 
  • Julian Moore - He had three turnovers in 10 minutes in the first half. The Lions desperately need more from Moore when Big Ten arrives.
  • Josh Reaves - Good scoring game from Reaves with 12 points on 6 shots and he got to the foul line a couple times.
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