Penn State men’s basketball opened its season with a dominant win Tuesday night and found its way into the national spotlight. The Nittany Lions defeated the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, 84-46, and were led by senior forward Lamar Stevens.
Stevens finished the game with 17 points and 6 rebounds, and two of those points showed up in “ESPN SportsCenter: Top 10 Plays” Wednesday morning.
The play started how many of Penn State’s transition opportunities do — with a steal by junior guard Jamari Wheeler.
Wheeler bolted down the sideline in front of the scorer’s table and Penn State head coach Pat Chambers with a 2-on-1 opportunity in front of him. Wheeler saw Stevens running in transition with him and drew the UMES defender in by leaping toward the rim. Instead of trying to finish around the rim, Wheeler lobbed a pass high off the backboard into the hands of a leaping Stevens. The senior forward rocked the rim and energized the crowd with a two-handed dunk and an emphatic flex toward the baseline.
The dunk gave the Nittany Lions a 51-19 lead and put a nice bow on a dominant opening-night performance.
They’ll be in action again on Saturday when they take on the Wagner Seahawks at 4 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center.