Penn State Basketball

Penn State men’s basketball cruises past Oral Roberts

Penn State's Jamari Wheeler, seen here earlier this month, helped lead the Nittany Lions to an 86-48 win Friday over Oral Roberts. Wheeler had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Penn State's Jamari Wheeler, seen here earlier this month, helped lead the Nittany Lions to an 86-48 win Friday over Oral Roberts. Wheeler had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Centre Daily Times, file

Behind a career day from Jamari Wheeler, the Penn State men’s basketball team made quick work of Oral Roberts 86-48 on Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Wheeler finished with a career-high 14 points — which also tied Nazeer Bostick’s team-high 14 points — along with a team-best seven rebounds and a team-best five steals. It was a strong team effort, just three days removed from a rough loss to Texas A&M.

“I was looking forward to see my team compete today after A&M and a tough practice yesterday; I wanted to see how we responded,” coach Patrick Chambers said in a news release. “I think they did a really good job. Leadership was there; discipline was there. I’m really proud of our team to come out and compete like they did.”

With the win, the Nittany Lions improve to 6-1. Oral Roberts is now 1-5.

Turning point

First nine minutes: In the first 9:09 of the game, Penn State opened on a 23-5 run — to effectively put the game away less than 10 minutes in. Oral Roberts never cut the lead to single digits.

Tony Carr nailed back-to-back 3s on PSU’s first two possessions, and the Nittany Lions essentially cruised afterward.

Player of the game

Penn State G Jamari Wheeler: Bostick might’ve also reached a career high with 14 points, but Wheeler was all over the court. During the Nittany Lions’ critical run in the opening half, here’s a look at four straight possessions: Wheeler layup; Wheeler steal then Wheeler layup; another Wheeler steal then another Wheeler layup; Wheeler assist. The guard was also 6 of 8 from the field.

Next up

Penn State at N.C. State, 7:15 p.m. Wednesday: The Nittany Lions will next travel to Raleigh, N.C., for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game is set to be televised on ESPNU. The Wolfpack are 5-2.

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