Kanye Clary led Penn State with 20 points as it held off a fiesty Lehigh team 74-65 at the Bryce Jordan Center Friday night.
Clary started off to a hot start as he scored Penn State’s first nine points of the game. Penn State (2-0) went to a small lineup in which Ace Baldwin was the sixth man.
Lehigh was doing its best to keep pace with Penn State, only trailing by three midway through the first half due to Penn State cooling off and committing turnovers. Keith Higgins scored from beyond the arc to tie the game at 17, and JT Tan made two layups to put Lehigh up 21-17. Qudas Wahab’s putback finally broke a 13-0 Lehigh run.
The teams went back and forth, and Lehigh would not go away and kept maintaining its lead, mostly due to an assortment of Penn State errors.
Penn State made a small run at the end of the first half, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Clary.
The score was tied at 38 at halftime.
Penn State took the lead at the under-16 timeout with baskets by Zach Hicks and Clary. It started to shut down Lehigh’s motion offense. Penn State started to clamp down on defense and Baldwin made a timely jumper to make the score 50-44.
Lehigh answered with three-pointers from Cam Cillus and Higgins to tie the game at 50, but Penn State answered with baskets by Baldwin and Nick Kern Jr.
Penn State extended its lead on steals and layups by Kearn and Clary to turn momentum to Penn State’s side. Penn State started to tire out Lehigh as it started to pull away from the Mountian Hawks.
Baldwin contributed 16 points for Penn State, and Wahab contributed 18 rebounds. Higgins was the only player from Lehigh to score in double-figures with a game-high of 23 points.
Penn State will remain at home to take on St. Francis Tuesday night, while Lehigh will travel to Chapel Hill to take on No. 19 North Carolina on Sunday.