Defensive Efforts Not Enough to Complete Nittany Lion Comeback Against Nebraska
Nittany Lion homestand continues with No. 4/5 Ohio State Thursday on BTN
Credit Source: Penn State University Athletics
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s basketball team (7-10, 4-9) battled back from a second-half, double-digit deficit to take a one-point lead, but a steal and layup by Nebraska with 12 seconds remaining produced a 62-61 win for the Huskers (5-12, 1-9). Two shots by the Nittany Lions in the final 64 seconds didn’t find the bottom of the net and Husker Teddy Allen converted a fastbreak layup off a turnover for the game-winner.
“I thought Nebraska outplayed us tonight,” said Penn State interim head coach Jim Ferry. “They looked really good against Illinois the other night and had a chance to beat them, and came in there and I thought they were the aggressor…They played better than we did tonight…I have been saying that all along. The team that plays the best that night is going to win the game. For us, it’s a shame that we’re just not making the shots, we’re getting them, not making the shots. That’s where you have to continue to stay positive. With this league, there’s a ton of opportunity left…we just have to keep focusing on getting better.”
Nebraska opened the second half on a 10-3 run and shot over 67 percent for the first 12, minutes, building a 60-49 lead. The Nittany Lion defense willed Penn State back into the game as senior guard Jamari Wheeler picked up a steal and then finished the layup to begin a 12-0 run.
The game’s leading scorer with 18 points, junior guard Myreon Jones scored the final six points during the run, which included a four-point play after his 3-pointer tied the game at 60. His made free throw gave the Nittany Lions their first lead of the second half at with 1:58 to play.
During this stretch the Nittany Lion defense held Nebraska scoreless for more than eight minutes, going 0-9 from the field, with Allen’s first points of the second half on a basket at the 8:43 mark. Allen led Nebraska with 14 points, scoring the Huskers’ last four points in the game.
Defensive stops by Penn State were critical and 10 Nebraska turnovers in the second half contributed to the Nittany Lion resurgence.
Junior guard Myles Dread tied a season high with 14 points and tied a season-best with four treys. Senior forward John Harrar finished with a game-best 11 rebounds, his 11th career game with 10 or more rebounds.
Behind Jones’ 12 points in the opening period, the Nittany Lions and Huskers were tied at 35 at the end of the first half. Down by four, 25-21 with 5:01 left to play in the first half, Nebraska made six-straight field goals, keyed by an Allen 3-pointer to take a 35-32 lead. Dread, making this first start of the season, connected on a triple with 12 seconds left in the first half to tie the game at 35 going into the break.
The Nittany Lions’ seven 3-pointers accounted for seven of their 13 field goals in the opening 20 minutes. Penn State outrebounded Nebraska 39-35 and had fewer turnovers, 16-12, but the Huskers’ had 21 points off the bench to the Nittany Lions’ 10, including 13 by Kobe Webster.
Penn State completes its two-game homestand with an 8 p.m. game Thursday, Feb. 18 against #4/5 Ohio State.
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