Penn State Downed by Minnesota in Overtime
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- The Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-6, 3-4 B1G) handed Penn State (13-7, 3-4 B1G) a frustrating overtime loss Monday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Despite a thrilling 3-point shot from Tony Carr to send the game to extra minutes, head coach Pat Chamber’s Nittany Lions could not get the job done.
With high performances from Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer, and Nate Mason, Penn State struggled to defend the long ball with the Gophers going 10-17 from beyond the arc on the night.
“The defense was not as good as it has been,” Chambers said. “Against Nebraska and at home there’s usually a little more energy, a little more juice.”
Even with multiple sloppy transitions early in the first half from the Nittany Lion offense, overall, Chamber’s team was able to do what they have been working on for so many seasons: share the basketball. Mike Watkins, Shep Garner, Lamar Stevens, and Carr all put up double-digit figures.
Stevens got off to a great start having 11 of the Nittany Lions 22 points with a little over 13 minutes to play. After driving the lane and taking a hard foul, his momentum slowed by what seemed to be an injured wrist/finger.
Stevens’ spark was not enough to give Penn State a lead and first half play was ultimately dominated by Richard Pitino’s offense. Veterans Murphy and Mason attacked from range and in the paint, giving the Golden Gophers a halftime lead, 41-37.
Penn State came alive in the second half with Carr and Watkins having the hot hands. Carr found a steady rhythm with short-range jumpers as well as driving in the paint, taking a total of 30 shots on the night, more than Watkins and Stevens combined.
“He was aggressive and he was engaged,” Chambers said. “I can’t fault his aggressiveness but we need him in the 15 to 18 range. He’s got to make guys better around him.”
With 5:37 left to play in the second half, Minnesota’s senior Gaston Diedhiou committed a flagrant one foul on Nazeer Bostick that ignited the crowd as well as the Nittany Lions.
A silent Shep Garner came alive hitting a momentum-changing three with 4:30 left to play, followed by a steal and slam dunk to tie the score 65-65.
Battling back and forth in the final minutes, Carr hit an NBA leaning shot from beyond the arc to tie the game 74-74 and send the game into overtime.
Overtime was a half-hearted performance by the Nittany Lions. Minnesota was able to convert around the rim and move the ball, while Penn State’s shots on the other end would not fall.
Minnesota pulled away quickly with poor defense on the long ball giving them the 95-84 victory and the Nittany Lions continue to struggle to seal back to back wins in the Big Ten.
“I think we have the right guys to get it done,” Garner said. “Obviously we didn’t get it done tonight but I think we have the right guys to get those wins.”
Penn State takes on Northwestern on the road Saturday at 7 pm.
Tia Pattillo is a senior majoring in psychology neuroscience. To contact her, email email@example.com