Penn State forced 29 turnovers as they defeated Morehead State in a game that was much more decisive than the score indicated of 74-51 Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
At the game’s outset, Penn State (4-0) went up 10-4, however, Morehead State (2-3) went on a 10-0 run to go up 14-10 as Penn State missed its first seven three-point shots. Puff Johnson ended the Eagle’s run with a layup assisted by Ace Baldwin Jr.
Morehead State continued to maintain its small lead throughout the majority of the half, mostly because Penn State couldn’t put the ball in the ocean. Penn State took the lead after a flagrant two foul on Jordan Lathon which resulted in him getting ejected as Baldwin made two free throws and a Kanye Clary layup, which resulted in Penn State going on an 8-0 run.
Penn State kept extending its lead by forcing turnovers and finally getting easy baskets and getting to the bonus. Penn State shot 29 percent on the floor for the game.
Penn State led 37-26 at halftime despite shooting 30 percent from the floor and going 1-for-9 from beyond the arc. Penn State forced 19 turnovers in the first half.
Penn State slowly but surely increased its lead to start the second half by continuing to run its suffocating half-court defense despite its continued struggles on the floor. Penn State, however, continued to draw fouls to get to the foul line and put the game out of reach.
Qudus Wahab had game-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds for Penn State. Clary also scored 14 points for Penn State, and Baldwin added 12 points and a game-high four assists. Kalil Thomas led Morehead State with 14 points.
Penn State will face Texas A & M in a rematch of the NCAA tournament in the ESPN Events Invitational at the State Farm Field House in Kissimmee, Florida, while Morehead State will remain on the road to take on Bellarmine on Monday night.