UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Jalen Pickett finished an assist shy of a triple-double and Penn State defeated Quinnipiac 77-68 on Thursday.
Moving the game time up by four hours because of weather didn’t affect Pickett, who is the only player in the country averaging 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to go with nine assists in his bid for his second triple-double of the season. Pickett also had a steal and no turnovers.
Andrew Funk added 16 points for the Nittany Lions (9-3). Camren Wynter had 12 points and nine rebounds and Michael Henn had 11 off the bench on 4-of-5 shooting.
Penn State was without Seth Lundy, who was injured in Sunday’s win over Canisius and was on crutches.
Tyrese Williams scored 16 points for the Bobcats (9-4), who were playing Penn State for the first time. Ike Nweke and Tymu Chenery both added 12 and Paul Otieno had 10 rebounds.
Nweke made the first two Quinnipiac baskets of the game, including a 3-pointer, but that was the only time the Nittany Lions trailed. Pickett capped a 9-0 run with a jumper for an 11-5 lead. Over the last five minutes of the first half Penn State had a 13-3 run to lead 33-23 at the break.
The Bobcats went 3 of 14 behind the arc and 4 of 22 inside in the first 20 minutes. Penn State was 12 of 36, 2 of 16 from distance.
Dezi Jones hit a 3 for Quinnipiac to start the second half but Penn State scored the next six and the lead stayed in double figures until the last 43 seconds. The Bobcats made 9 of 17 3s after the break and shot 43% but Penn State shot 50% from the field.
The Nittany Lions face Delaware State on Dec. 29 before resuming Big Ten play against Iowa on Jan. 1.