Final: Penn State 74, Wagner 54

By Vincent Lungaro on December 9, 2021 at 9:05 am
Dec 1, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Sam Sessoms (3) controls the ball as Miami Hurricanes guard Charlie Moore (3) defends during the second half at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State's matchup with Wagner on Wednesday wasn't necessarily a must-win game, but it felt like it was pretty close. 

The Nittany Lions (5-4) handled the Seahawks (3-2), 74-54, and ended a two-game losing streak. After back-to-back losses and two challenging road games against Michigan State and VCU in the next week, a home loss to Wagner would have been pretty deflating for Penn State. 

Thanks to a balanced offensive attack, which saw five different players scoring at least eight points, Penn State was able to assert its dominance against the Northeast Conference title favorites and get the much-needed win. 

The two teams played a pretty even first half, with the Nittany Lions going into the break ahead by five. The second half proved to be a different story, though, as Penn State outpaced the Seahawks 42-27 in the second frame, including an 13-2 run over a four-minute leading into the under-8 timeout to really blow the game open in the Nittany Lions' favor. 

Sam Sessoms was at the heart of the run, getting it started with a nice finish at the rim. He then found Jalen Pickett for a three and then lobbed a beauty of a pass to Jalanni White for a fast break alley-oop slam.

The run continued on a smooth transition triple from Myles Dread and then an acrobatic finish from Lundy that was capped off with a free throw. Just like that, Penn State was in total control with a 23-point lead. 

Jalen Pickett led all scorers for a second-straight game as he continues his impressive run of form. The senior guard collected 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He's now scored 14 or more points in five of the past six games for Penn State, looking more and more like the player who was the MAAC Player of the Year a few seasons ago. 

Coming off of the bench for the first time this season, Sessoms was excellent for the Nittany Lions as well with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while adding 5 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of steals. Dread (9 points, 3-of-4 from three), Lundy (10 points, 6 rebounds) John Harrar (12 points, 7 rebounds), and Jalanni White (8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) also played a big part for Penn State. 

The Nittany Lions will now hit the road for a pair of games, starting this Saturday at Michigan State and then next weekend at VCU.