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PSU hoops gameday: Lions set to battle Seton Hall

Photo by Penn State Athletics: John Harrar

Penn State hosts Seton Hall at 8 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions will be looking to build on Wednesday’s thrilling win against VCU as Myles Dread buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Penn State: The Lions are 2-0, with the other win coming against VMI. Seth Lundy scored a career-high 32 points against VCU, while Sam Sessoms had 17.

The opponent: Pirates are 1-3 and coming off an 83-70 loss to No. 21 Oregon. They’ve also lost to Rhode Island (76-63) and Louisville (71-70), with their lone win coming against Iona.

TV: BTN

Series: Penn State is 5-1 all-time against the Hall, but the teams haven’t met since the 2007-08 season. PSU won that in OT, 89-86.

Lions to get tested inside: Penn State has a bunch of good guards and wing players, but the challenge this season will be containing opponents inside. VCU was able to get the ball inside whenever it wanted last time out, and that very well could be a huge issue once Big Ten play starts.

Seton Hall is led by 6-foot-11 Sandro Mamukelashvili, who’s averaged 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds. He likely will cause big problems for PSU inside.

Interim coach Jim Ferry said these non-conference games will help the team figure out what the plan will be going up against bigger, stronger teams in the Big Ten.

“That’s what we need because our league is the best in the country, so we’re gonna find a lot out about ourselves (tonight). We play against a very big and physical Seton Hall team.”

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The flip side, Ferry pointed out, is those bigger teams have to figure out a way to play against Penn State’s smaller teams with a bunch of players who can handle the ball.

“We can’t stray too far from who we are, like, they have to match up to us,” Ferry said.

Prediction: PSU is favored by 2 points. Seton Hall has played good competition and is sitting here at 1-3. I don’t see a repeat of Lundy lighting it up tonight, and the Pirates are in a little bit of desperation mode to get a win. So I’ll take Seton Hall, 75-71.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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