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Walker’s Top Five Moments from Penn State’s 2022-2023 Basketball Regular Season

Penn State star Jalen Pickett
Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) January 21, 2023 David Hague/NSN

Penn State has had a memorable season going 19-12 and going 10-10 in conference play. Penn State has had a lot of interesting moments during the 2022-23 season that bubble teams usually go through.

Laying an egg at Nebraska, the bad loss at home to Wisconsin, the electric performances at home against Indiana and Michigan, and so many moments that Penn State fans will cherish or anguish for years to come.

There were a lot of memorable games and moments, but I managed to find the top five memorable moments of the Penn State 2022-23 season.

5. Jalen Pickett’s Big Valentines Day

Penn State came into its Feb. 14 matchup at home against Illinois reeling by losing four consecutive games. Penn State needed a special performance, and boy did Pickett provide it. Pickett scored 41 points on 15 of 20 shooting from the floor and added eight assists in a 93-81 victory. During the game, Pickett also scored his 2,000th career point in the game. Pickett provided the performance that saved Penn State’s season as the season was on the verge of spiraling out of control and the NIT was in doubt at that point.

4.  The “Soft” Game

On Jan. 24 Penn State traveled to Piscataway, New Jersey, and just got bullied on both sides of the floor in its 65-45 loss to Rutgers. Not only Penn State produced its lowest scoring output of the season but they were outrebounded 43-26, and Clifford Omoruyi pushed around Kebba Njie in the paint by scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds. After the game, Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry called the team out for playing soft and stated that “You can’t play soft and win in the Big Ten”. The team played Rutgers again and played much better until:

3. The Epic Collapse

Penn State and Rutgers in Penn State’s annual “Wear White” game, and it seems like the roles were revered from their previous meeting with Penn State on the attack and Rutgers going cold shooting 9 for 33 in the first half. All was well then Steve Pikiell made the proper adjustments as Jalen Pickett was constantly being double and triple-teamed and Penn State could not buy a basket and the team crumbled by not making a field goal in the game’s final 9:16. Unlike Pikiell, Shrewsberry failed to make the proper adjustments as Rutgers came back from a 19-point deficit to send the Penn State faithful home without much hope, or so we thought. Why?

2. Because Wynter Strikes

Penn State came off its loss to Rutgers and came out extremely flat against Northwestern by turning the ball over and making the same bad shot selection that doomed them in its game against Rutgers, Camren Wynter spearheaded the comeback by scoring 24 points on 9 of 15 shooting as he, Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk got the hot hand and forced overtime on the road. In overtime, Wynter grew his legend with a three-point buzzer-beater with 0.5 seconds left in overtime for the win thanks in no small part to Evan Mahaffey, who got the offensive rebound after a Jalen Pickett missed shot that was the biggest play of his career until:

  1. Wynter Strikes Again

Penn State, coming off its thrilling win at Northwestern in another must-win against Maryland. It was senior day, and no one knew what to expect, but they did not expect to be down 13 at halftime, due in large part to Penn State going on a nine-minute plus scoring drought. As we all know by now, Penn State chipped away and chipped away by getting timely shots and clutch three-pointers. Wynter, who scored two points in the first 39:17 of the game made two go-ahead field goals including a layup with 0.5 seconds left on the clock, and once again saved Penn State’s season going into the Big Ten Tournament as they play against Illinois Thursday night.

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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