Penn State aims to keep rolling against UMass

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Penn State faced plenty of turbulence last season, but at least the current campaign is off to a smooth start.

The Nittany Lions look to improve to 2-0 on Monday when they travel to Amherst for a matchup with Massachusetts.

Micah Shrewsberry was hired as head coach this past offseason after Patrick Chambers resigned in October 2020 due to inappropriate conduct and Jim Ferry finished out an 11-14 campaign. The team's top two scorers transferred prior to this season, but Shrewsberry appears to have rallied the returning players and newcomers into a tight-knit squad that believes in itself.

"When he first got the job and all the guys transferred, nobody thought we were going to be good. He said, 'We're all we got.' Honestly, we're all we need," forward Seth Lundy said after the team's season-opening 75-59 triumph over Youngstown State.

Lundy scored 23 points, Sam Sessoms added 17 and John Harrar shot 7-for-7 from the floor for 16 points for Penn State (1-0), which shot nearly 52 percent from the floor. The Nittany Lions also outrebounded the Penguins 43-25.

"Gritty, not pretty -- that's who we want to be, and I thought we were that tonight," Shrewsberry said. "I'm excited about the first one and I'm ready to get back to work for the next one."

The Minutemen (1-1) are coming off a 91-71 loss to Yale in which they allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 54.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

"We should be able to win games scoring in the (70's) and relying on our defense, and our defense was not good enough today," said UMass coach Matt McCall.

Trent Buttrick is the Minutemen's top scorer on the young season, averaging 13.5 points to go with 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals through the first two games.

Buttrick spent the last four years at Penn State before joining UMass as a graduate transfer. He logged a career-best 13.3 minutes per game last season for the Nittany Lions, averaging 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 25 games, including a pair of starts.

--Field Level Media