Penn State cruises to 70-49 win over Furman
David Jackson added 16 points and Jeff Brooks had 13 for the Nittany Lions (5-1), who recovered nicely following their first loss of the season, at Mississippi on Friday.
Penn State’s long-range shooting overwhelmed Furman’s defense, whether zone or man. The Nittany Lions led 22-17 at 7:57 of the first half before Jackson hit a three-point play, and Brooks and Battle sank 3s on consecutive possessions to make it a 14-point lead less than two minutes later.
Furman (3-2) got no closer than 10 the rest of the way, hurt in part by foul trouble to third-leading scorer Noah States. The senior forward sat on the bench for much of the first half with three fouls.
Amu Saaka led the Paladins with 10 points on 5 of 15 shooting.
Furman, picked to finish fifth in its division in the Southern Conference, hung close early to Penn State with its own hot shooting.
Saaka’s jumper was sandwiched by two 3s from Darryl Evans, the second with a hand in his face on the wing to draw Furman within five. Evans finished with six points.
But Penn State continued to hit shots from long range, while Furman had trouble against the Nittany Lions’ athletic defense. Furman tried to pound it inside, but those shots didn’t fall either.
After a 3 by Cammeron Woodyard, Tim Frazier tipped away a pass in the backcourt and missed a layup on the break, but Battle was there to convert an easy offensive rebound for a 36-21 lead at 3:07 in the first half.
Battle is the star at Penn State, but the early success by Brooks and Jackson is a confidence-builder ahead of Wednesday night’s tough home game against Maryland. Coach Ed DeChellis hopes Brooks, especially, can assume some of the scoring load heaped on Battle once Big Ten play begins.
Brooks through his first five games was averaging a team-high 18.2 points. He finished 5-of-6 shooting Sunday with six rebounds.