Myreon Jones Scores Career High, Nittany Lions Get First Road Conference Win at Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. — Penn State (8-12, 5-11) clawed out a victory after a four-game losing streak, defeating Nebraska (5-16, 1-13) 86-83 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games that went the other way,” said interim head coach Jim Ferry, whose team has lost eight games by single digits this year. “These guys haven’t given up at all this year. [They] keep believing.”
Ferry’s first road Big Ten victory comes just two days after Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour announced that applications were opening to fill the void at the head coaching position for next season. It isn’t likely that Ferry has been invited to the auditions, but Barbour has commented on her trust and confidence in the interim coach in the past.
Ferry could certainly thank guard Myreon Jones for the close win, as the junior put up a career-high 29 points on 45% shooting with six 3’s and seven makes at the line.
But Jones didn’t even lead in scoring; Nebraska junior Teddy Allen put up a Big Ten-best 41 points on 67% efficiency. He had 28 at halftime—a school record—while no other Cornhuskers had made more than one field goal in the 39-38 deficit at the break.
Allen gave his team a chance to win when he made a layup with 16 seconds to go to cut Penn State’s lead to one. But after a well-crafted inbound pass by Myles Dread, senior Jamari Wheeler knocked down two free throws on the other end to give him 13 points on the night and extend the lead to three. Nebraska junior Trey McGowens then missed a contested jumper on the other end as the red lights flashed.
Only Allen and McGowens would score in the 10’s column for Fred Hoiberg's Cornhuskers, while all five Nittany Lions starters reached double-figure scoring. Senior big John Harrar recorded his fourth-career double-double with 10 buckets and 14 boards as the Blue and White won the rebound battle 42-29.
What still concerns Ferry is his team’s dry spells that tend to come every second half. This time around, the team failed to hit a field goal in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
“It’s always a priority—we never want to have a drought,” Ferry said. “The big thing is just believing. You can’t put your head down.”
Just three games remain on the schedule for the Nittany Lions, with the next on Friday at 7 p.m. back at home in a rematch with Purdue. Sitting at third-to-last in the standings, Penn State still has an opportunity to avoid the first round of the Big Ten Tournament by placing at least fifth-to-last.
Minnesota stands one place ahead of the Nittany Lions at 6-10; the two teams will face each other on March 3.
Jack McCune is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jack McCune is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism from Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is outside of Philly and just across the Delaware River from New Jersey. He attended Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. He’s a huge fan of the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Penn State football and Penn State basketball. He’s a sports anchor and multimedia reporter for the Centre County Report. He’s a Football Insider for CommRadio. His talk show, Broad Street Bros, airs Thursday nights at 5:45, as he talks about Philly and Penn State sports. He hopes to some day become a play-by-play announcer for football, basketball and/or baseball, and he is also interested in becoming a bartender.