Penn State aims to extend its winning streak to a season high-tying four games on Thursday afternoon when it hosts Delaware State in University Park, Pa.
The Nittany Lions (9-3), who won four to start the season, have pieced together a nice run. They posted convincing victories over then-No. 17 Illinois and Canisius before securing a 77-68 triumph against Quinnipiac last Thursday.
Jalen Pickett led the way in all three games for Penn State, scoring 20 points versus the Fighting Illini on Dec. 10 and 16 more against the Golden Griffins. The Big Ten Player of the Week saved his best performance for the Bobcats, collecting 21 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and zero turnovers.
“You love to have him. He can make so many things happen,” Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry said of Pickett, who boasts team-leading averages in points (16.6), assists (7.8) and rebounds (7.7) on the season.
“He can, you can look at the game and watch the game and he could be having a game that’s struggling — like we feel like he’s struggling because we see him play so well. And then you look at the box and he almost has a triple-double. That’s the impact that he makes. He’s a winner. I love having him on our team.”
Seth Lundy, who is second on the team in both points (13.7) and rebounds (6.7), sat out against the Bobcats with an ankle injury. Shrewsberry did not provide an expected return date for the senior guard when speaking on Zoom on Tuesday afternoon.
While Penn State is enjoying a modest winning streak, Delaware State (1-11) is mired in a 10-game losing skid.
Brandon Stone made 9 of 14 shots and finished with 23 points in the Hornets’ 58-51 setback to Wagner on Dec. 20. The total fell two points shy of his season high, set in Delaware State’s lone win — a 104-67 rout over Immaculata on Nov. 10.
Kyle Johnson added eight points and season highs in both rebounds (10) and blocks (five) versus the Seahawks.
“We have to get a taste of winning right now,” Hornets coach Stan Waterman said earlier this month. “It’s one thing to say that we’re playing well, we’re playing well, we’re getting better, we’re getting better, but we have to make sure we keep our guys encouraged.”
–Field Level Media