Men's Basketball Falls at Penn State, 76-57

Men's Basketball Falls at Penn State, 76-57

Vlad Moldoveanu and Nick Hendra each scored 17 points but a hot shooting second half for Penn State allowed the Nittany Lions to take a 76-57 victory Monday night in State College, Pa.

Moldoveanu scored 11 of American's (2-9) first 13 points, helping the Eagles to a 13-8 advantage at the 14-minute mark. Moldoveanu began the game with a three-pointer and was later the recipient of a nice feed from Hendra for an uncontested layup. Penn State scored six straight points, including four from Bill Edwards, to take a 14-13 lead but on the Eagles next possession Stephen Lumpkins hit a putback to put American back on top, 15-14.

Penn State opened a 24-17 margin following five straight points scored by Talor Battle and with 4:01 remaining led by as many as 12, 31-19. American, however, was able to regain some momentum before the half, outscoring Penn State 11-5 in the final four minutes to bring the score to 36-30. The run began with a Lumpkins layup in traffic followed by back-to-back baskets scored by Blake Jolivette and Moldoveanu. Grafft capped the scoring off with a two-handed dunk in transition off a feed from Hendra.

Moldoveanu led all scorers at the break with 13 points and two three-pointers. Hendra scored five points in the first half with two assists and Lumpkins added four points and five rebounds. As a team, the Eagles shot 48.0 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from three in the frame. Penn State, meanwhile, shot 46.4 percent from the floor and held an 18-14 advantage on the glass.

American's solid shooting did not carry over into the second half as the Eagles went the first five-plus minutes of the frame without a field goal. Penn State embarked on a 15-1 run during this time and jumped out to a 51-31 lead. American moved the score to 55-38 on a Lumpkins lay-in with 11:35 to play but it wa s as close as the Eagles would get the rest of the way. Penn State led by as many as 28 midway through the frame, 66-38, before the final horn sounded the Nittany Lions victory, 76-57.

Moldoveanu and Hendra each scored 17 points to lead American. Moldoveanu added three rebounds and three assists while Hendra went 4-of-4 from behind the arc to match his career high in points. Lumpkins tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Eagles finished the game shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Nittany Lions hit 54.9 percent of their shots from the floor, 52.9 percent from three and outrebounded American by a margin of 36-25.

American will return to the court on Monday, December 28, at #18 Florida. Tipoff from the Stephen C. O'Connell Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.