Andrew Funk had the taking pictures recreation of his profession on Penn State’s largest stage in over twenty years.
Funk made 8 of 10 3-pointers and scored 27 factors Thursday night time in a 76-59 win over Texas A&M for the Nittany Lions’ first NCAA Tournament victory in 22 years.
Funk, in his first 12 months at Penn State after transferring from Bucknell, led the Nittany Lions to their ninth win of their final 11 video games. They subsequent play Texas within the second spherical of the Midwest Region on Saturday.
Penn State’s earlier event win was its second spherical upset of North Carolina in New Orleans in 2001. The Nittany Lions misplaced to Temple within the Sweet 16, they usually misplaced to the Owls once more after they returned to the event in 2011.
Texas A&M (25-10) had received 10 of 12 because it entered its first NCAA Tournament since 2018. The Aggies misplaced within the first spherical for less than the second time in 9 appearances since 2006.
Dexter Dennis scored 19 factors to guide A&M, which shot 34%.
Funk was 0 for five on 3s within the Big Ten championship recreation final weekend. But he made his first 3-pointer in opposition to the Aggies, missed his second, after which hit six in a row. The streak ended when he put up an air ball on a desperation 3 because the shot clock was working out.
Jalen Pickett, the largest star for Penn State (23-13), performed one other robust all-around recreation with 19 factors, eight assists, no turnovers and 7 rebounds.
Penn State led 38-22 after outscoring the Aggies 28-10 to shut the primary half. The Aggies hadn’t scored so few factors in a primary half since a win over Notre Dame on Nov. 24, 2021.
The Lions’ offense ran simply the way in which coach Micah Shrewsberry likes it, with the specter of 6-foot-10 Kebba Jjie within the put up creating house on the perimeter for Funk, Myles Dread and Seth Lundy to do what they do greatest. Dread and Lundy had two 3s apiece and Penn State completed 13 of twenty-two from distance.
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The Aggies have had attempting instances not too long ago with regards to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Buzz Williams was infamously miffed when the Aggies weren’t chosen final 12 months. This season they got here in as a No. 7 seed, decrease than Aggie trustworthy felt truthful.
Penn State: The Lions’ dominance of their first NCAA Tournament recreation since 2011 will solely intensify the highlight on second-year coach Shrewsberry, whose title has been related to openings at Notre Dame and Georgetown.
Texas A&M: The Aggies’ first look within the event in 5 years ended the identical method because the final one — with a thud. They misplaced by 27 factors to Michigan within the 2018 Sweet 16.
Penn State will play Texas for the primary time in males’s basketball.
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