Myreon Jones scored 21 points and went 5-8 from three as Penn State comfortably defeated Georgetown 81-66 Wednesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. It was an impressive win from a Nittany Lions team facing its first quality competition of the 2019-20 season. Penn State entered as slight underdogs and emerged double-digit victors.
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Jones' stat line had a strong foundation early, as he nailed four of his five three-pointers in the first five minutes of the game. His strong first half which was halted only by foul trouble, helped buoy the team while its star struggled.
Senior forward Lamar Stevens has been a little tight out of the gate, and that trend continued in the first half of this game. He had four turnovers and four points in the first half and was clearly pressing as he missed open layups and free throws.
Fortunately, the team played well around him and took an eight-point lead into the half. More importantly, Stevens settled in a bit in the second half, and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, despite his six turnover performance.
Turnovers were the one other negative for Penn State in this one, as it struggled at times with Georgetown's press. The backcourt combined for 12 turnovers, and their performance may entice future opponents to consider the full-court press as well.
But the takeaway from this game should be positive. Per KenPom rankings, it is the highest quality non-conference road win for Penn State under head coach Patrick Chambers since defeating St. John's in New York in 2013-14. It's the kind of early-season statement a talented team with postseason expectations should make.
Mike Watkins was relatively quiet but strong in 24 minutes, managing 7-footer Omer Yurtseven when on the court and contributing eight points and eight rebounds of his own. Yurtseven had a big game against Watkins and the Nittany Lions two years ago when he was still with NC State, and Watkins was able to return the favor on this night.
Izaiah Brockington had a strong first half and finished with eight points and seven rebounds, including three impressive offensive boards. Myles Dread contributed 14 points and six rebounds, hitting on 4 of his 11 three-point attempts. Wheeler led the team with five assists on the night.
Penn State returns home for two games, taking on Bucknell Tuesday (BTN) and Yale next Saturday (on BTN+). They will then spend Thanksgiving in Brooklyn for the Barclays Classic, with a Thanksgiving Eve tilt with Ole Miss (ESPN2), followed by a Black Friday matchup determined by the Wednesday results.