Jalen Pickett finished with a season-high 26 points, Andrew Funk scored 20 and Penn State held on for an 83-79 victory over Iowa on Sunday.
Pickett made 10 of 16 shots from the floor and all six of his free throws for the Nittany Lions (11-3, 2-1 Big Ten Conference). He added seven rebounds and six assists. Funk sank 7 of 12 shots, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Camren Wynter added 14 points, while Seth Lundy scored 10 and came up with the biggest play of the game.
Funk hit all four of his shots from beyond the arc and scored 16, while Pickett made his first five shots, scoring 14 to power the Nittany Lions to a 44-26 lead at halftime.
Funk’s first 3-pointer came at the 15:20 mark of the first half, giving Penn State a 9-8 lead. The Nittany Lions never trailed again, but things got dicey in the end.
Murray scored 22 of his season-high 32 points in the second half and his 3-pointer with 13:50 remaining pulled the Hawkeyes within nine points. Funk answered with a 3-pointer and Pickett had back-to-back layups, pushing Penn State’s lead to 61-45 just 44 seconds later.
Iowa battled back behind Murray. The reigning conference player of the year scored 17 points from there and his layup with 16 seconds left pulled the Hawkeyes within 81-79. Funk missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Lundy stole the ball on a Tony Perkins pass to Murray, was fouled and made two free throws to preserve the win.
Perkins finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for the Hawkeyes (8-6, 0-3). Filip Rebraca scored 12 with five boards.