DES MOINES, Iowa (WHTM) — Penn State was one of the hottest teams in the field coming into the NCAA Tournament. And they were undoubtedly the hottest team in Des Moines, Iowa as Penn State crushed Texas A&M 76-59 in the first round of the tournament.

The 10-seeded Nittany Lions could not miss from deep, especially Andrew Funk. He was 8-10 from deep and posted a season-high 27 points. Penn State shot 13-22 (59.1%) deep as a team.

The victory marked Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.

The Nittany Lions flew out of the gate at the start of the game, shooting 6-9 from three in the first half to take a 38-22 lead into the locker room. While Penn State might live and die behind the arc, their defense was locked in. They held the Aggies to their lowest first-half points total of all season.

The Nittany Lions didn’t skip a beat coming out of halftime, they built a 20 point lead five minutes into the half, 48-28, and never took their foot off the gas.

Jalen Pickett finished the game with 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Seth Lundy also added ten points.

The glaring statistic was on the glass. Penn State allowed Texas A&M to grab 17 offensive rebounds, but they couldn’t turn them into many points as PSU held the Aggies to 33.9% (20-59) from the field.

The Nittany Lions will take all this momentum into the next round as they draw No. 2 Texas on Saturday at 7:45pm.