Penn State can't recover from dismal 1st half

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Penn State can't recover from dismal 1st half


LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska made history Sunday night, setting a program record for conference wins and winning 22 games overall for just the third time in school history with its 76-64 victory over Penn State.

"It's a very important night, a historic night from what I'm hearing," said Nebraska coach Tim Miles. "I'm just really proud of these guys, to have that, at least, accomplished. Now certainly we have more goals and we want to go a lot farther. But I'm just happy that this night they can enjoy that and put that in their back pockets."

Nebraska (22-9, 13-5 Big Ten) clinched the No. 4 seed and double-bye into the quarterfinals of next week's conference tournament. The Huskers kept hopes alive for their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2014.

"I'm just glad we finished it, got that bye,' said Nebraska senior Anton Gill, who played his final regular season home game Sunday. "We're not going to New York to just play around. We want to win that, too. We really feel like we have the best team in the Big Ten. More wins would obviously help. But if you ask my opinion, we've proven throughout the year we're a tournament team."

The Huskers, who led by 17 at half, stretched their advantage to 49-28 on Gill's 3-pointer with about 13 minutes remaining. Then Penn State (19-10, 9-9) began to chip away at the lead behind Tony Carr, who had 19 of his 27 points in the second half.

The Nittany Lions cut the Nebraska advantage to 12 six times in the last 4:13, but got no closer.

"I'm really proud of my team the second half there," Penn State coach Pat Chambers said. "Obviously they jumped us. Give Tim (Floyd) and Nebraska credit, they've been playing really good basketball the last month and came out and punched us in the mouth."

Nebraska took control with a 17-3 first-half run, highlighted by three straight baby hooks by Jordy Tshimanga, going up 25-10 on Copeland's basket with 6:44 left in the half.

The Huskers had a 46-28 edge in points in the paint and outrebounded Penn State 45-28.

Isaiah Roby had 13 points for Nebraska and James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. had 11 points each.

Lamar Stevens had 13 points for Penn State and Shep Garner added 11.

Big Picture
Nebraska: With Sunday's win, the Huskers broke the school record for most conference wins in a season at 13. The previous mark of 12 conference wins was set in 1965-66 when Nebraska played in the Big Eight Conference and in 1915-16 when the Huskers were a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Nebraska was undefeated at home in conference play for the ninth time in school history.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions played without Mike Watkins, the team's second leading scorer, who had 20 points and 15 rebounds in the Penn State's 76-74 overtime win over Nebraska in State College on Jan. 12.

Nebraska's Evan Taylor on Senior Night -- "It was crazy. All my teammates were saying I was going to be the one to cry of all the seniors. I was "nah, nah, nah.' But in the tunnel, I got emotional. Everything I had to do to get here, it was a journey...I'm glad the whole community accepted me and we were able to finish strong."

Up Next
Nebraska will play in the conference tournament quarterfinals Friday.

Penn State will play Northwestern on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple

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Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Josh Reaves had his second career double-double, Shep Garner hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes and Penn State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat Temple 63-57 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Reaves shot 7 of 10 from the field, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tony Carr missed 10 consecutive field-goal attempts before scoring his first points of the game on a jumper that pulled Penn State within four with 6:20 to play. That sparked a 16-2 run to give the Nittany Lions a 62-54 lead with 16 seconds left.

Reaves and Garner hit back-to-back 3s to make it 54-all before John Harrar's layup with 1:52 remaining gave Penn State its first lead since 4-3. The Owls made just 1 of 9 from the field and committed three turnovers during the span.

Shizz Alston Jr. led Temple (17-16), which led for more than 35 minutes, with 15 points and Josh Brown added 14.

Carr and Garner -- who came in averaging 19.9 and 11.1 points per game, respectively -- combined to score 10 on 3-of-19 shooting for the Nittany Lions (22-13).

The Owls made just 5 of 14 free throws while Penn State hit 20 of 30.

It was the 93rd meeting between the schools, which are located less than 200 miles apart, but the first since 2011. The Nittany Lions snapped a seven-game skid in the series, dating to Dec. 9, 2000.

Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented

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Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented


NEW YORK — Purdue threw a little of everything at Penn State star Tony Carr, the Big Ten's leading scorer. Bigger guys. Smaller ones. Switches and some double teams.

Carr managed only 12 points in a woeful shooting game, and No. 8 Purdue separated from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory Saturday that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.

Third-seeded Purdue (28-5) faces No. 5 Michigan, which will try to repeat as tournament champs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Purdue frustrated Carr and held him to 4-of-18 shooting. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Nojel Eastern, 5-10 P.J. Thompson, 6-4 Dakota Mathias, 6-8 Vincent Edwards and 6-1 Carsen Edwards.

"When you have a good player like that it takes more than one guy because he's able to make shots and make plays over guys," Vincent Edwards said. "They just did a good job of taking up that space and being able to force him into tough shots."

Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with a career-high 33 points and the senior set a school record with 129 career points in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.

Against Penn State, Purdue used a 12-2 run the middle of the second half to build a 15-point lead. Carsen Edwards led the way, spinning through the lane for a driving layup and making a 3 from up top that made the score 59-44 with 9:15 left. He finished with 27 points and shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range after scoring 26 on Friday against Rutgers.

"It's a consistency," guard Dakota Mathias said of Edwards. "He's being very efficient, too."

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

Isaac Haas, the 7-2 center, added 17 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.

With Carr struggling, Penn State could not keep up. He picked up a third foul in the second half, a push off call that caused Penn State coach Pat Chambers to draw a technical.

"I think they were very physical," Chambers said. "Obviously that's why I felt like I needed to get T'd up, my first T in a long, long time."

Big Picture
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had a chance to work their way into the conversation for an NCAA at-large bid by beating Purdue, but now Penn State seems like a long shot at best. Chambers is still hopefully.

"Well, I'm an optimist," he said. "We have NCAA Tournament talent."

Purdue: The Boilermakers hit a rough patch losing three straight close games in early February to Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, but an argument can be made that they have been the Big Ten's most consistent team this season.

"We had an opportunity to win the Big Ten regular season. We kind of gave that away," said Thompson, one of four senior starters. "But we still had a goal of winning a Big Ten championship on our list before the season started and we put ourselves in position to be able to do that tomorrow."

Purdue does most everything well, except rebound. A night after giving up 17 offensive boards to Rutgers, the Boilermakers allowed 16 rebounds to Penn State.

Shep Shooter
Garner went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, including a four-point play, to carry Penn State in the first half. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.

Up Next
Penn State: An NIT bid is likely coming the Nittany Lions way, though the big question beyond March is whether Carr returns for another season or heads to the NBA draft.

Purdue: The Boilermakers swept the Wolverines in two games decided by a combined five points.

"Just a really skilled offensive team," Carsen Edwards said. "They have a lot of options. For us it's going to come down to defense and getting stops."