Penn State Falls in Overtime Thriller at Clemson
Penn State faced its first true road test for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and could not finish it in double overtime against Clemson, 101-94.
With the loss, the Nittany Lions fall to 6-2 on the year, while the Tigers improve to 6-2.
“They got a little more physical in the second half, we didn't handle it very well, we didn’t get the normal shots,” head coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “Credit to them for coming out in the second half with a lot of fire and taking away what we wanted to do and forcing us to try and win in a different way.”
The blue and white got off to a hot start taking a 12-3 lead into the first media timeout. However, the Tigers stayed in it thanks to strong shooting from PJ Hall and company.
The preseason second-team All-ACC member drilled back-to-back triples to tie the game at 21.
Late in the first half, Shrewsberry emptied the bench searching for a spark, and got it in his “small-ball” five with Myles Dread at center.
While they lacked in size, Penn State created a cushion and took the lead heading into halftime, 35-29. Seth Lundy led all scorers with 10 points, with Jalen Pickett and Camren Wynter just behind with eight.
In the second half, Clemson came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, working the ball inside, drawing offensive fouls and making life tough for the blue and white.
Another reason for success was getting one of their best weapons going, Hunter Tyson.
Tyson didn’t have a single point in the first half, but the senior forward finished with a team-high 24 points, going 7-for-11 from the floor, with nine rebounds.
“Today we were down, playing against a really good team credit to them and they shot the cover off the ball, but I think our guys really stepped up,” Tyson said. “I was just in the right position and my teammates were able to find me for some open looks.”
However, if there was a place Tyson and Clemson lacked, it was at the charity stripe. Key misses down the line set up the chance to tie and Andrew Funk delivered with a bank three to tie it at 71 and force overtime.
Funk’s huge shot was a tough pill to swallow for Tyson; he made sure his team was ready to fight for as long as it took.
“It was heartbreaking honestly seeing that go through, especially because I just missed a free throw a few seconds before,” Tyson said. “No matter how long it takes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes, just keep playing and we'll get the job done, and you know and then we were able to do that.”
The action continued into the first overtime as both teams traded shots, the Tigers had a late lead, but Lundy tied it with a three, 88-88. Penn State had the ball for the last shot, but Pickett missed from deep at the buzzer.
While the clutch gene continued for Tyson and Clemson, it did not for the Nittany Lions, for which Shrewsberry credits the veteran experience of the Tigers for the strong finish.
“[Clemson] took advantage of some things in overtime to take the lead and they made some big shots,” Shrewsberry said. “That's what older guys do, they make tough shots in clutch moments and that's what they got from those guys.”
While it was a tough loss, the stars for the blue and white came out to play, with Lundy, Pickett and Wynter combining for 72 points.
Lundy finished with a double-double with 23 points and 12 boards. Pickett added another 23, but Wynter had the most with 26, including an 11-12 mark from the free throw.
It marked the first time since 2006 that three Nittany Lions scored 20 or more points.
Penn State will have eight days off before its biggest test as the No. 20 Michigan State Spartans visit the Bryce Jordan Center at 7 p.m.
Matt Scalzo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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