WASHINGTON (AP)After two blowout victories against lesser competition to start the season Penn State passed its first real test with flying colors.
Myreon Jones scored a career-high 21 points as Penn State led by as many as 18 in an 81-66 victory over Georgetown on Thursday night in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Jones scored 14 of the Nittany Lions’ first 16 points – highlighted by four 3-pointers – as Penn State jumped out early and never looked back.
Penn State (3-0) eventually took a 25-7 lead after a 3-pointer by Myles Dread, who finished with 14 points. Lamar Stevens also scored 14 points and added nine rebounds. Jones was 5 for 8 from beyond the arc.
”Coach kept telling me to keep shooting and stay aggressive,” Jones said as he scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half.
Jones finished six of 13 from the field, connecting on five 3-pointers.
Penn State coach Pat Chambers knows how crucial it will be for his team to get off to a good start with a challenging schedule still ahead that includes two Big Ten games in December and home games against Wake Forest and Alabama.
”It was important,” Chambers said about the early season nonconference victory. ”To be able to go on the road and get a good win, now we know what it takes.”
Penn State shot 13 for 29 on 3-pointers while Georgetown made just 4 of 13. The Nittany Lions scored 22 points off 21 Georgetown turnovers. Penn State had nearly as many turnovers as Georgetown with 20 but the Hoyas were unable to capitalize.
”They beat us at everything,” said Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing.
Omer Yurtseven had 16 points and 10 rebounds to record his third straight double-double for Georgetown (2-1) after transferring from N.C. State. James Akinjo added 13 points for Georgetown, which never led.
After trimming the margin to just eight points at the break at 42-34, Yurtseven started the second half with a three-point play to cut it to five points but the Hoyas would never draw closer.
An All-Big Ten performer last season, Stevens missed his first five shots and scored 10 second-half points.
”The fact that he didn’t have his best night and we were still up a good amount going into halftime that shows a lot about the talent that we have on this team,” Chambers said about Stevens.
Stevens also finished with four of Penn State’s 15 steals.
The Nittany Lions picked up their first win in the last six meetings against Georgetown and got a road win against the Hoyas for the first time since 1972.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions passed their first and only true road test before Big Ten play. Penn State will play Mississippi in the NIT Season Tipoff in Brooklyn on Nov. 27 before facing either Syracuse or Oklahoma State two days later.
Georgetown: Since Patrick Ewing took over in 2017, the Hoyas are just 1-3 against Power Five teams with one more shot at home against longtime-rival Syracuse on Dec. 14.
Sophomore Mac McClung scored just two points on 1-for-7 shooting for Georgetown. Over his last two games McClung has hit just 2 of 17 from the field, scoring eight points. Last season McClung earned a spot on the Big East Freshman team while scoring 13.1 points per game.
Penn State: Has the weekend off before returning home to host Bucknell on Tuesday.
Georgetown: Hosts Georgia State on Sunday for the first time since 1997.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25