MBB: Nittany Lions Defeat Terrapins in a Stunning Upset
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State men’s basketball (13-12, 5-7 Big Ten) defeated No. 21 Maryland (20-4, 8-3 Big Ten), 70-64. The Nittany Lions were not expected to win, and this was their first defeat of the Terrapins since 1990. After a tough loss to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights this past Saturday, the Nittany Lions were looking for a morale boost.
Penn State is a very young team with four true freshmen and four true sophomores. Therefore, Coach Pat Chambers is teaching the players how to play the full 40 minutes. Penn State did just that on Tuesday night, which helped them to defeat such a highly-talented Big Ten team.
From the start of the game, the Nittany Lions played with high levels of aggression and physicality. However, the Terrapins responded with just the same levels of aggression and toughness, making it an intensely physical game.
Damonte Dodd of Maryland committed the first foul with 18:43 still remaining in the first half. In addition, Penn State players Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, Tony Carr, and Julian Moore each recorded four personal fouls. Despite the high number of fouls that these players recorded, they all played a strong game on the offensive end of the ball.
Lamar Stevens had a stellar performance and he scored a total of 25 points. When asked about his high level of play, Stevens stated, “I consider myself a shooter now.”
Watkins, Carr, and Moore scored a fairly decent amount of points as well. Watkins recorded 10 points, Carr recorded 14 points, and Moore recorded nine points.
The aggression and physicality of the game lead to a high number of shots at the line for both teams. The Nittany Lions were more successful at the line, ultimately causing them to come away with the win. Mike Watkins never missed an opportunity at the line, and made all of his shots.
Both teams posted a high number of rebounds, with Maryland having a total of 39 rebounds and Penn State having a total of 37 rebounds. Mike Watkins dominated on the defensive end of the ball with eight defensive rebounds, and Lamar Stevens came in as a close second with five defensive rebounds. Watkins also had a total of four blocks. Penn State’s strong game on defense caused star player Melo Trimble to have a mediocre performance. Trimble had a total of only 11 points and two rebounds.
When discussing Penn State’s overall performance, Coach Pat Chambers said, “I felt like our team made big plays when we had to.” In addition, Penn State maintained very strong chemistry throughout the game, which definitely helped them to succeed. Although Maryland generally attains more talented and skilled players, Penn State worked as a more of a cohesive unit, both strategically and mentally.
The Nittany Lions will face the Fighting Illini one last time this season at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Sammy Grossman is a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism. You can contact her at email@example.com.