Penn State scored the first 13 points to set the tone for a 68-56 victory over Colorado State Sunday night in the third-place game of the Charleston (S.C.) Classic.
Jalen Pickett paced Penn State (5-1) with 16 points and 11 rebounds to earn his 14th career double-double and a spot on the all-tournament team. Seth Lundy posted a game-high 17 points with eight rebounds.
Senior guard John Tonje led Colorado State (4-2) with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his first double-double. Isaiah Rivera scored 15 points and Patrick Cartier added 11 for the Rams, who shot just 32.8 percent from the field that included 6 of 30 from 3-point range.
Penn State jumped to a 13-0 lead as five Nittany Lions each hit one basket. Meanwhile, Colorado State missed its first nine shots. The Rams finally got on the board when Cartier banked home a post move at the 12:35 mark.
Colorado State wriggled its way within six points at multiple times during the first half, but Penn State regained a 33-21 lead by the break. Lundy capped a 14-point first half by posting up for a layup and earning a free throw with 39 seconds on the clock.
Penn State maintained its double-digit cushion in the second half until Taviontae Jackson drilled a second-chance 3-pointer to cut the margin to 48-39 with 10:13 left.
That sparked the Nittany Lions to respond with eight straight points in a 59-second stretch. Lundy drove for a layup, Myles Dread took a charge, Kanye Clary slashed to the hoop for a scoop and an accompanying free throw and Andrew Funk sank a 25-footer. That gave Penn State a 56-39 margin as Colorado State called a timeout with 8:46 to go.
The Rams went 4:59 without a basket down the stretch as Penn State dialed up the lead all the way to 19 points.
--Field Level Media