STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Myreon Jones lived up to his nickname on Wednesday night.
The Penn State sophomore, dubbed “Buckets” by his teammates, drained a career-best 22 points to lead Penn State over Wake Forest 76-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Lamar Stevens added 14 points and Izaiah Brockington had 13 for the Nittany Lions (7-1), who never trailed and led by as many as 31 with 6:16 to play.
Olivier Sarr scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds while Andrien White had 10 points for the Demon Deacons (5-4), who trailed 41-23 at halftime after Jones poured it on.
Jones had 16 points in the opening 20 minutes and finished the night 8-for-13 shooting from the floor.
Good defense helped, and the Nittany Lions played sturdy on the backend all night. It was particularly smothering in the first eight minutes.
Mike Watkins, who finished with seven points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, started the game with a block in the corner before the Nittany Lions turned six turnovers, including five steals, into 10 points and a 14-4 lead.
“I thought our defense set the tone for this game,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We defended. We rebounded. We really challenged our team.”
An alley-oop from Chaundee Brown to Sharone Wright Jr. snapped the Demon Deacons out of their lull. It sparked a 16-11 run over the next 5:12 that cut their deficit to 25-20. They wouldn’t get any closer as Penn State went on an 16-3 run to close out the half.
“They came out and delivered the first blow,” Wake Forest coach Danny Manning said. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball. The (turnovers) led to a lot of run-outs for them in transition.”
Brandon Childress entered the game as Wake Forest’s leading scorer, drilling 16.9 per game. He was a nonfactor in 25:29 played. Penn State held the guard scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.
“I watched a ton of film on him,” Chambers said. “Very shifty. Very crafty. Finds ways to produce points for himself.”
The Big Picture
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were sloppy early and never recovered. The comfort of home might help as they’ve played their last six on the road.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions haven’t had much success against current Atlantic Coast Conference teams but improved to 151-193 with this one that was never really close. They’ve won their last nine home games dating to last season.
Wake Forest hosts North Carolina State on Saturday.
Penn State visits No. 6 Ohio State on Saturday.
Miller carries UNC-Greensboro over Kennesaw State 72-54
GREENSBORO — Isaiah Miller matched his career high with 25 points as UNC Greensboro rolled over winless Kennesaw State 72-54 on Wednesday night.
James Dickey had 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for UNC Greensboro (7-2), which won its fourth straight game.
Terrell Burden had 14 points for the Owls (0-7). Tyler Hooker added 13 points and Bryson Lockley had eight rebounds.
UNC Greensboro plays Radford on the road on Saturday. Kennesaw State looks for its first win of the season against Florida International at home on Saturday.
Haygood scores 17 to carry NC A&T over Longwood 52-41
GREENSBORO — Devin Haygood scored 17 points and blocked three as North Carolina A&T broke away late in the game and defeated Longwood 52-41 on Wednesday night.
Andre Jackson added 10 points with six rebounds for NC A&T (3-6), Ronald Jackson added eight rebounds. Kameron Langley had six rebounds and six assists for the Aggies.
Shabooty Phillips had 10 points for the Lancers (4-5), who have now lost four consecutive games.
Longwood held a 37-38 lead with 5:45 to play when Haygood scored on a jump shot, Ronald Jackson followed with a dunk and a 3-pointer as the Aggies closed it out 16-4. Ronald Jackson finished with nine points.
Christian Wilson, who led the Lancers in scoring heading into the contest with 9 points per game, had 2 one 1-for-9 shooting. He was 0 of 5 from beyond the arc. Jaylon Wilson, the Lancers’ second-leading scorer heading into the contest, scored four points on 1-for-5 shooting.
NC A&T plays Bradley on the road on Saturday. Longwood takes on Morgan State on the road on Saturday.
Georgia too much for NC Central
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia coach Tom Crean wasn’t sure how much prized freshman Anthony Edwards would even be able to play on Wednesday because of a problematic lower body injury that limited him to 20 minutes of practice on Tuesday.
Thanks to some work from the trainers, Edwards was able to play and again contribute at a high level. He combined with Rayshaun Hammonds to score 40 points to lead Georgia to a 95-59 win over North Carolina Central University on Wednesday.
Edwards scored 21 points, his third straight 20-point game. The freshman was 8-for-15 from the field, 4-for-8 on 3-pointers, and added four assists. He was the team’s leading scorer for the sixth time this season.
North Carolina Central (2-7) lost its third straight. The Eagles were led by senior forward Jibiri Blount with 19 points, eight rebounds and five steals. C.J. Keyser scored 16 points off the bench. The Eagles were without Randy Miller, a preseason all-conference selection who 14.3 points.
North Carolina Central will finish a four-game road trip on Saturday at Charleston Southern before returning home for its first game since Nov. 21.
Georgia is on the road again on Saturday against Arizona State in a return match of a home-and-home series. The Sun Devils beat the Bulldogs in Athens last season.