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Jalen Pickett Leads Lions Past Michigan

Pickett led all scorers in Penn State’s historic win over Michigan.



Jan 4, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Penn State's Jalen Pickett (22) shoots a three point shot against Michigan in the first half at Crisler Center. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Pickett scored 25 points as Penn State basketball (14-7, 5-5 Big Ten) soared past Michigan (11-10, 5-5 Big Ten) 83-61 at home on Sunday. Pickett had one of his strongest scoring performances of the season, shooting nearly 60% from the field and 50% from three.

In a must-win scenario, the Nittany Lions responded with the largest margin of victory (22) against the Wolverines in program history. With the win, Penn State has moved into a three-way tie with Michigan and Maryland in the clustered Big Ten standings.

Dueling Stars

The first half was a battle between two of the Big Ten’s premier guards.

Spurred by Jalen Pickett, Penn State used a 10-2 run to jump out to an early lead. Pickett scored 17 points on 7-8 shooting in the first half. The senior guard continued his historic season with one of his best outings of the season. On top of his 25 points, Pickett also finished the game with eight rebounds and eight assists.

With this showing, Pickett is still well on his way to becoming only the second player in the last 30 years to average at least 17 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds for an entire season.

Michigan came roaring back midway through the first half on the back of its star guard, Jett Howard. Returning from injury, Howard also started the game 7-8 (including 4-5 from three) en route to 18 first-half points.

However, the Nittany Lions’ other standout guard helped Penn State pull away. With Pickett on the bench, Penn State went on a 19-2 run over the final five minutes of the half. Andrew Funk led the way for the Lions, hitting five of his last six shots, including going 3-4 from beyond the arc. Funk finished the game with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Answering the Bell

After being dominated inside during several of its most recent games, Micah Shrewsberry’s squad seems to have responded to his call for a more “prideful” defense. Unlike the last time these two teams played, the Nittany Lions kept the Wolverines’ in check underneath. Michigan’s starting big men finished the day with only 13 points. Penn State held the Wolverines’ Hunter Dickinson to six points, well below his season average of 18 points per game.

The Lions also responded to Shrewsberry’s plea for better scoring distribution. Seth Lundy shot 4-9 from behind the arc and finished the game with 22 points. The most surprising performance came from Michael Henn, who was inserted into the starting lineup to defend Dickinson. Henn scored 10 points on 4-4 shooting, including two crucial three-pointers in Penn State’s run to end the first half.

Overall, Penn State shot the ball exceptionally well on Sunday. The Nittany Lions finished shooting 54% from the field and 43% from deep. Both exceed the team’s scoring averages (48% FG; 41% 3P) for home games and victories (49%; 42%) this season. Penn State’s 13 three-pointers are the most made by any team against Michigan this year.

Tough Test Looming

The Nittany Lions could use the momentum from Sunday’s win to carry over into this upcoming week. On Wednesday, Penn State heads to Mackey Arena to take on the No.1 Purdue Boilermakers (21-1, 10-1 Big Ten). In their last meeting in Philadelphia at The Palestra, Jalen Pickett had another strong outing. Pickett had 26 of the Nittany Lions’ 63 points, along with nine rebounds and eight assists. в это время делать ставки на события на выводимые средства mostbet По правилам букмекера, клиента в любой момент могут попросить о верификации аккаунта

However, Penn State had no answer for Purdue center Zach Edey. The presumptive national player of the year produced a double-double, posting 30 points and 13 rebounds on the Lions. Shrewsberry’s move to a bigger lineup was fruitful on Sunday against Michigan. It’ll be interesting to see if a similar tactic is employed on Wednesday. While Michigan’s big men are a challenge, the Boilermakers will present the ultimate test for this lineup.

Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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