Sophomore guard Myreon Jones scored 14 of his career-high 21 points in the opening six minutes to spark Penn State to an 81-66 road win over Georgetown in physical Gavitt Tipoff Games action Thursday night in Washington.
Penn State earned its third 3-0 start in head coach Patrick Chambers’ nine years at the helm, with help from all-Big Ten senior forward Lamar Stevens, who recovered from a slow start to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and four steals.
Sophomore guard Myles Dread (14 points) and senior Mike Watkins (eight points, eight rebounds, four blocks) helped the Nittany Lions lead from start to finish.
Seven-foot senior Omer Yurtseven paced Georgetown (2-1) with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for his third double-double in as many games in a Hoyas uniform. Sophomore point guard James Akinjo added 13 points, but Penn State limited to Hoyas to 37.7 percent shooting while forcing 21 turnovers.
Jones strapped the Nittany Lions to his back from the start. He canned a jumper and a 3-pointer in the opening 74 seconds to stake Penn State to a 5-0 lead, then flushed three 3-pointers in a 47-second stretch that gave the Nittany Lions a 16-5 lead just 5:08 into the night.
Penn State’s lead swelled all the way to 25-7 on Dread’s 3-pointer with 9:28 left in the first half.
Akinjo steadied the Hoyas with back-to-back buckets that ignited a 15-3 run. Freshman forward Myron Gardner’s pair of free throws at the 4:32 mark cut Penn State’s lead to 28-22.
Penn State maintained a 42-34 halftime lead despite Stevens’ limited contributions (four points on 1-of-7 shooting).
Georgetown started the second half quickly when Yurtseven dunked in transition while getting fouled on the Hoyas’ first possession. When he made the accompanying free throw, Georgetown was within five points for the first time since the opening five minutes.
Penn State never allowed the Hoyas to get closer. When backup junior center John Harrar posted a layup and a dunk, he pushed the Nittany Lions’ advantage to 66-50 with 10:11 to go. Georgetown couldn’t cut the lead to single digits again.
—Field Level Media