The Lions overcame what was a dismal shooting performance for nearly the entire afternoon and completed a wild comeback, defeating Yale by a final of 58 to 56. In doing so, they moved to 5-0 on the young season. It was an ugly, ugly game, but the Lions remained undefeated thanks to an inspired effort to get themselves back into a contest in which they were able to convert only 1/3 of their shots from the floor. The Lions led for just 56 seconds of game time in this one.
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Leading the way for Penn State was backup guard Izaiah Brockington with 15 points. Lamar Stevens and Myles Dread each put up 13 points, as well. Jamari Wheeler and Myreon Jones racked up 4 steals each, while Stevens led the way with 4 blocks.
On the other side, Azar Swain did his best to win the game for Yale, contributing 21 points while shooting 41.7% from three-point land. Matthue Cotton was dangerous behind the arc, as well, hitting on four of his eight shots from distance.
Yale jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and the Lions were never able to fully recover afterward. Pat Chambers' squad kept settling for bad shots and were unable to find the space inside the paint that they greatly benefitted from in the first four contests of the season.
The game continued with much of the same from there. For near the entirety of this one, Penn State's shooting percentage was dismal. The Lions still ended up converting on just 33.3% of shots from the floor, including a painful 5-of-27 from behind the arc. A mixture of poor shots and bounces so unlucky that Wile E. Coyote pitied them left Lamar Stevens and company flummoxed for most of the afternoon.
But when it got to crunch time, Pat Chambers' team bore down and went on a miraculous 16-2 run to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat. Despite the Bulldogs leading by as many as 16 late in the second half, huge shots from Stevens, Jones, and Dread brought the Lions back from the dead. Stevens also had a massive block that led to the Dread three-pointer than put Penn State ahead for good.
A late Paul Atkinson block of Stevens in the paint gave Yale a chance for a game-winning or game-tying shot and to the great terror of everyone in the Bryce Jordan Center, Cotton did get a clean look on the final Bulldog possession. Thankfully for the Lions, the shot clanged off the rim, and time wound down.
This isn't one that the coaching staff will take too many positives from, but in any other given year of the Chambers era, this game is almost surely a loss. It was anything but a perfect win, but the team did what it needed to do to remain unbeaten.
Penn State will be back in action on Wednesday against Ole Miss. The game is set to start at 5:00 p.m. ET in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.