Penn State 85, Cornell 74: Sessoms and Lundy Lift Lions to Win

By Vincent Lungaro on November 22, 2021 at 9:23 pm
Lions guard Sam Sessoms (3) shoots over Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Kobe Webster (10) in the second half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Sessoms and Seth Lundy continue their hot starts to the 2021-22 season. 

The duo combined for 45 points to lift the Nittany Lions (3-1) to an 85-74 win over Cornell (4-1) on Monday night. The pair also poured in 11 3-pointers, playing a large part in Penn State tying a program record with 15 made treys. 

  first half second half final
cornell 38 36 74
penn state 41 44 85

After a decent start for the Nittany Lions, Cornell caught fire offensively and it looked as though Penn State was heading for another blowout loss similar to the one it suffered against UMass just a week ago. 

Following a Dallion Johnson three to put Penn State up by six at the 11:17 mark of the first half, the Big Red went on a 19-3 run to pull ahead 25-17 at the under-8 timeout. 

Instead of allowing a continued avalanche from Cornell that would resemble the 81-56 drubbing from the Minutemen, Penn State roared back to close the first half strong and took a 41-38 lead into the half. 

Sessoms was at the core of the Nittany Lion's first-half comeback, nailing four-straight threes in a two-minute span. 

Cornell started the second half brightly as the Nittany Lions struggled with turnovers -- a common theme in each of their games this season -- and held a five-point lead at the under-12 timeout. 

Trailing by three with less than six minutes to go, Penn State fought back with back-to-back triples from Jalen Pickett and Sessoms giving the Nittany Lions the lead back at 70-67. Penn State wouldn't trail again from that point forward. 

Sessoms followed his six three of the night by hitting a tough step-back jumper to reach the 20-point mark for the second-straight game. Some timely buckets and clutch free-throws from Pickett then allowed the Nittany Lions to keep Cornell at arm's length and close out their third win of the season. Penn State closed the game on a 21-7 run. 

Sessoms has been the engine for the Nittany Lions early this season, and Micah Shrewsberry has largely run the offense through the former Binghamton transfer when he's on the floor. Sessoms added 4 assists and 6 rebounds to go with his 22-point effort. 

Lundy led all scorers with 23 on 9-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three. Pickett has his best game in a Penn State uniform thus far, finishing with 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. 

John Harrar was quiet offensively with just 7 points but did add 12 boards.  

Nittany Lion fans have been used to seeing the opposing teams catch fire from 3-point land in losses in recent seasons, so it had to be a nice change-of-pace to see the Nittany Lions put on a hot shooting display like this one. 

Penn State returns to action on Friday down in Niceville, Florida, for semifinal action against LSU in the Emerald Coast Classic. Depending on that result, it'll run it back on Saturday against either Wake Forest or Oregon State.