Jalen Pickett helped Penn State get the new year off on the right foot scoring 26 points in a 83-79 victory over Iowa Sunday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. The win moved the Nittany Lions to 2-1 in conference play and 11-3 on the season.
Pickett paced the Nittany Lions going 10 of 16 from the field and six for six from the line as Penn State saw an 18-point halftime lead evaporate late in the game.
Iowa forward Kris Murray led the late charge scoring 22 of his game-high 32 points in the second half while guard Tony Perkins added 10 of his 17 points in the second half.
It was the opposite case for the Nittany Lions as Pickett scored 14 of his 26 points in the first half as fellow guard Andrew Funk joined the first half scoring outburst by scoring 16 points of his own.
The first half saw Penn State shoot 63 percent from the field before cooling off significantly by shooting 46.4 percent in the second half including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
As Big Ten play heats up, the Nittany Lions will need a lot more second half consistently if they want to keep up their winning ways. It’s very much been hot or cold many a night for Penn State so far this season, but a little more consistency should go a long way for the Nittany Lions as they make their case to make the NCAA Tournament.
Seth Lundy chipped in 10 points for Penn State who’ve now won five games in a row including two Big Ten conference games.
The Nittany Lions will head to Michigan Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip in an early Big Ten conference test.