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Jalen Pickett helps Penn State hold on vs. Iowa

Jan 1, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Jalen Pickett (22) dribbles the ball towards the basket during the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Bryce Jordan Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Pickett collected a season-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists to fuel Penn State to an 83-79 victory over Iowa on Sunday in University Park, Pa.

Pickett made 10 of 16 shots from the floor and all six attempts from the free-throw line. His point total eclipsed his previous season high of 23, set during the Nittany Lions’ 93-68 win over Winthrop on Nov. 7 and matched in a 101-94 double-overtime loss against Clemson on Nov. 29.

Andrew Funk highlighted his 20-point performance by sinking five 3-pointers for Penn State (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten), which completed a perfect four-game homestand and extended its winning streak to a season-high five games.

Camren Wynter scored 14 points and Seth Lundy added 10 to go along with a crucial steal in the waning moments of the game.

The Nittany Lions shot a robust 54.5 percent from the floor (30 of 55) and 47.4 percent from 3-point range (9 of 19).

Iowa’s Kris Murray recorded a season-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the floor. His point total eclipsed his previous high of 31, set in an 81-65 win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 29.

Tony Perkins had 17 points and Filip Rebraca added 13 for the Hawkeyes (8-6, 0-3).

Iowa whittled an 18-point halftime deficit down to two at 79-77 after Perkins made a 3-pointer and Murray followed with a layup with 53 seconds to play. Pickett made a pair of free throws and Murray answered with a layup before Lundy stole the ball and converted twice at the charity stripe to seal the win.

Funk and Pickett provided quite the 1-2 punch to stake Penn State to a 44-26 lead at halftime. Funk highlighted his 16-point performance in the first half by making all four of his attempts from 3-point range, while Pickett poured in 14 points after sinking 6 of 9 shots from the floor.

Connor McCaffery made a 3-pointer to trim Penn State’s lead to 27-20 before the Nittany Lions went on a 17-6 run to close the first half. Funk drilled a pair of 3-pointers and Myles Dread converted from beyond the arc with one second remaining to highlight that closing surge.

–Field Level Media