Penn State men’s basketball found itself in a bit of a battle Friday night in the Bryce Jordan Center against visiting Lehigh, but the Nittany Lions pulled away with a strong defensive effort after halftime to improve to 2-0. Penn State’s 74-65 victory over the Mountain Hawks was led by a 20-point night from Kanye Clary and a solid outing by star transfer guard Ace Baldwin Jr.
Baldwin added 16 points with 3 assists and 2 steals in the win. Penn State also got a solid night in the box score from Qudus Wahab with his first double-double of the year (11 points, 18 rebounds).
Penn State and Lehigh were tied at 38-38 at halftime and the teams battled back and forth to a 50-50 tie after halftime, and Lehigh took the lead with back-to-back baskets for a 54-52 lead. Penn State kept applying pressure and got into a spot where the defense could carry the game the rest of the way to keep Lehigh at an arm’s length.
The win improves Penn State to 2-0 under new head coach Mike Rhoades, who has now won each of his first two games since being hired to be the head coach of the Nittany Lions. Penn State is now 32-11 all-time against Lehigh as well.
Next up for Penn State basketball is another home game against an in-state opponent. Penn State will host St. Francis on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on Big Ten Network.