Penn State Tops Men's Hoops in Exhibition at Kirby
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette men's basketball team took on Big Ten foe Penn State in an exhibition game at Kirby Sports Center on Saturday afternoon, falling by a 102-80 score. All proceeds from the event went to support the One America Appeal for Hurricane Relief.
Senior co-captain Matt Klinewski shined for the Maroon and White, scoring 17 of his 21 points in the first half to lead the Leopards, offensively. Klinewski played just seven minutes in the second stanza, not needing to be pushed in an exhibition setting.
Freshman guards Justin Jaworski and Alex Petrie were the other double-digit scorers for Lafayette, posting 16 and 14 points, respectively, in their debuts in front of the Kirby Sports Center crowd. Petrie went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc on the afternoon, while Jaworski got six of his points from the foul line, hitting all six of his free-throw attempts.
Head coach Fran O'Hanlon, set to begin his 23rd season at the helm on College Hill, played an even rotation of players throughout the day. Ten different Leopards got playing time, with nine of them playing more than 17 minutes on the day.
Twenty turnovers didn't help an offense that was executing efficiently when it took care of the ball. Lafayette made 27 of its 52 shots from the floor (51.9%), hit 8-of-23 from distance (34.8%) and missed just one free throw, going 18-for-19 from the line (94.7%).
On the other side, the Nittany Lions finished with four players in double-figures, led by 23 from Tony Carr and 18 from Shep Garner, including a 6-for-10 mark from three-point range. Josh Reaves chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds, while Nazeer Bostick added 12.
Saturday's game was added to the Leopards' 2017-18 schedule as a way to support the Hurricane Relief effort. The One America Appeal is an initiative launched by all five living former American Presidents to encourage fellow citizens to support recovery efforts in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Penn State came out expectedly strong, as back-to-back three's from Garner opened the scoring in the first minute. Klinewski answered with a triple from the left corner, but four back from the Nittany Lions took the game into its fourth minute with the visitors up, 10-3.
An 11-3 run capped by an E.J. Stephens jumper at the 12:42 mark brought the deficit back within a bucket at 16-14. But the Lafayette offense stalled there as six straight from Penn State pushed it out to 22-14 at the midway point of the opening stanza.
That lead remained through the next stretch before Jaworski found Petrie in transition to cut it to five at 36-31 with 4:56 remaining. Penn State responded once again, though, finishing the half on a 17-8 spurt that sent the game into the break with the visitors on top, 53-39.
The Nittany Lions were the stronger team immediately out of the halftime break, scoring eight of the first 10 points in less than two minutes to push their lead to 20, 61-41. That lead grew throughout the second stanza, ballooning to as many as 29 with 2:57 remaining.
That being said, the Leopards closed strong, hitting a pair of triples in the final minute to reach the 80-point plateau and tighten the final to a 22-point margin, 102-80.
The Leopards will open real, live, regular-season action on Friday when they travel to Fairfax, Va. to take on George Mason with opening tip set for 7 p.m.