Penn State 77, Wright State 59: Nittany Lions Go Wire-to-Wire in Cancun Opener

By Craig Fritz on November 20, 2018 at 10:25 pm
Penn State Forward Lamar Stevens
© Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
  1st half 2nd half final
Wright State 28 31 59
Penn State 45 32 77

It was an "all-inclusive" performance in Cancun by Penn State forward Lamar Stevens, as he lead the Nittany Lions to a 77-59 win over the Raiders of Wright State. Despite early foul trouble at the five for John Harrar and Trent Buttrick against Wright State's talented big Loudon Love, Penn State proved to be too athletic and skilled on offense for the Horizon League squad. Stevens scored his 25 points over the first 30 minutes and sat the final ten with four fouls and the game in the balance. His supporting cast was up to the task however and kept Wright State at arm's length, maintaining a comfortable double-digit lead as their star watched the rest of the contest from the bench.

Stevens led the Lions with his 25 points, continuing his streak of 20-point performances in every game this year. True freshman Myles Dread chipped in 13 points and 6 steals, and starting point guard Jamari Wheeler broke out of his scoring funk with 12 points including two triples, the second-best offensive night of his career. Josh Reaves added 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. 

Even though Harrar, Buttrick, and eventually Stevens got in significant foul trouble, the Lions were able to contain Wright State's big man Loudon Love and point guard Cole Gentry. Love had scored at least 14 points in every game this season, and was limited to that same total against Penn State in 32 minutes. Gentry was held to just 11 points on 5-15 shooting. 

  Poss PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FTRate
Wright State 67 0.89 45.3% 25.7% 22.5% 30.2
Penn State 1.16 67.0% 26.1% 24.0% 28.0

The Nittany Lions were once again suffocating defensively at the three-point line. The Raiders came in averaging over 40 percent from behind the arc, and were held to 27 percent from deep and just 40 percent overall.

Only Bradley stands in the way of a Cancun Challenge championship for Penn State. A win tomorrow would give the Nittany Lions the school's first-ever pre-season tournament championship. More on the Braves coming up.