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Penn State’s Hot Start Not Enough in 67-58 Loss to Michigan State

Penn State beat Indiana, 85-66, led by coach Micah Shrewsberry
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 09: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Micah Shrewsberry on the sidelines during the menÕs Big Ten tournament college basketball game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Minnesota Golden Gophers on March 9, 2022, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

AJ Hoggard scored a career-high 23 points, to go along with six rebounds as Michigan State managed to slow Penn State down after a hot start holding off the Nittany Lions 67-58 on Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn State (6-3 Overall, 0-1 Big Ten) jumped out to a 16-6 lead in the first half relying on their trademark three-point shooting with shots from Camren Wynter, Caleb Dorsey, and Myles Dread. But later in the first half, Michigan State (6-4 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) chipped away at the lead when they clamped down on defense, playing the trademark Tom Izzo style of basketball, and cut the lead to one at 25-24 on a Jaden Akins three-pointer.

Penn State and Michigan State played a tight back-and-forth affair for the rest of the first half. Michigan State using their small lineup, finally took the lead on A.J. Hoggard’s layup. Jalen Pickett answered with a jumper to tie the game up.

Penn State and Michigan State were tied at 35 at the end of the first half with each team grabbing 17 rebounds against six turnovers. Penn State had nine assists to Michigan State’s seven. Penn State looked like the better team in the first half, however, Penn State shot only 38% in the first half, compared to Michigan State’s 49%.

The second half began with both teams struggling to shoot from the floor and Penn State missing three free throws in a row, and Michigan State committing turnovers. Both teams picked up the pace in the second half trading the lead back and forth throughout the first portions of the second half. Michigan State began to get some separation on a Tyson Walker three-point shot with six minutes remaining. Penn State ended a 3:11 scoring drought on a Seth Lundy layup to make the score 58-54.

However, Michigan State held Penn State without a field goal for the final 2:47. In the second half, the Nittany Lions were held to only a lone three-pointer. Micah Shrewsberry’s team also shot a woeful 8 for 19 on layups.

Lundy led Penn State with 16 points. Pickett scored 13 points to go along with a career-high 17 rebounds and a team-leading eight assists. Wynter also chipped in 10 points for Penn State. For Michigan State, Hoggard finished with a career high 23 points.

Penn State will travel to the State Farm Arena to play their first conference away game on Saturday to face Illinois, while Michigan State will go back to the Breslin Center to host Brown on Saturday.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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