Penn State lost three of its last four games and hopes to put together a more complete effort Wednesday when Wagner visits State College, Pa.
The Nittany Lions (4-4, 0-1 Big Ten) have played a respectable schedule over their last four outings -- facing LSU, Oregon State, Miami and Ohio State -- but they only were able to defeat the Beavers. However, they lost by just five to the Tigers and Hurricanes and trailed by six with under a minute left against a Buckeyes team that recently knocked off No. 1 Duke.
Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry knows that his team has more room to grow, particularly in the consistency department.
"We're getting better, but we're not playing 40 minutes," Shrewsberry said after the 76-64 loss to Ohio State. "And you have to against a good basketball team. That's a really good basketball team. ... You've got to play great when you play a team like that.
"You don't have to be special. You don't have to step outside of yourself. You have to be the best version of yourself and hope that's good enough. And I didn't think we were the best version of ourselves for 40 minutes."
Jalen Pickett led Penn State with 23 points in that contest, while John Harrar posted 12 points and 12 rebounds. Seth Lundy (14.9 points) and Sam Sessoms (13.1) are the team's top scorers on the season.
Meanwhile, Wagner (3-1) is coming off a 29-point road win against Stony Brook on Saturday as Alex Morales scored 19 points while also contributing nine rebounds and six assists.
Morales leads the Seahawks with an 18-point scoring average. Elijah Ford chips in 11.5 points per game, and Will Martinez (11.3) and Raekwon Rogers (10.5) aren't far behind.
Wagner has been hit hard by COVID-19, as three of its games have been postponed and the team is still trying to get back to full-strength.
"I'm especially proud of my guys for responding to a really tough situation with COVID," Seahawks coach Bashir Mason said after beating Stony Brook. "I didn't know how hard we'd be able to play. I thought we fought hard defensively. We rebounded (well). We shot it great. I was blown away. I didn't expect us to play this well."
--Field Level Media