Penn State not up to Maryland's gigantic challenge

uspresswire-psu-mike-watkins.jpg
USA Today Images

Penn State not up to Maryland's gigantic challenge

BOX SCORE

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A big lineup and a huge advantage at the free throw line provided Maryland the leverage it needed to secure a gritty victory.

Freshman Bruno Fernando had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 18 and Maryland rallied past Penn State 75-69 on Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to seven.

Kevin Huerter scored all 13 of his points in the final 12 minutes to fuel the comeback, and Michal Cekovsky contributed 10 points and six rebounds for the Terrapins (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten).

With Ivan Bender (knee) and Justin Jackson (shoulder) lost for the season, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon felt compelled to "re-invent" the makeup of the squad by pairing the 7-foot-1 Cekovsky and 6-10 Fernando in the starting lineup.

"Everybody knows we got unlucky with injuries. But we adjust," Cekovsky said. "We've got great length. We're still deep, even with those injuries. We had a really good game so it feels good."

Maryland was called for only 12 fouls compared to 24 for Penn State (11-5, 1-2). The Terps went 23 for 34 at the line, and the Nittany Lions finished 2 for 4.

And that explains why Maryland won despite making five fewer baskets.

"You've got a home-court advantage here," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "I don't know if that influenced (them) at all, but 34 free throws versus four is tough to swallow because we played some really good basketball."

Said Turgeon: "Did we get a good whistle? Probably."

Mike Watkins had 17 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Penn State. Tony Carr finished with 16 points and eight assists, but he missed 17 of 23 shots.

Maryland trailed 61-56 with just over six minutes left before scoring nine straight points to take the lead for the first time since early in the second half.

Huerter made two foul shots, Darryl Morsell connected from beyond the arc, Cekovsky dunked off an offensive rebound and Morsell capped the surge with a driving layup.

A 3-pointer by Josh Reaves made it 71-69 with 22 seconds left, but Cowan followed with two free throws to clinch it.

"We kept battling and battling and figured out a way to win it," Turgeon said. "So yeah, they're much more confident now than they were 24 hours ago."

Fernando played a career-high 32 minutes for his first career double-double. Cowan played all 40 minutes and led the team with four assists.

"Coach always says we don't have any time to feel sorry for ourselves," Cowan said. "We just have to figure out ways to win, like we did tonight."

Morsell missed his first eight shots and finished with nine points on 2 for 10 shooting.

Maryland will put its winning streak on the line Thursday night against top-ranked Michigan State, the Terrapins' first road game since a Dec. 3 overtime win at Illinois.

Big picture
Penn State: An excellent effort on the road in a conference game should help the Nittany Lions get over a home loss to Rider on Dec. 22 and let them know they can compete on the road in the conference.

"We did some really good things," Chambers said. "The two statistics we didn't win were free throws and the score. Our kids came in here and competed. They played fearless."

Maryland: The Terrapins are going to have plenty more close games in the Big Ten, and this can only help them prepare for that. Their three conference games thus far have been decided by a total of 12 points.

Up next
Penn State: Hosts Northwestern on Friday night. In only meeting last year, Wildcats won by 10.

Maryland: Terps face a Michigan State team that this week climbed to top spot in AP Top 25 for the first time since 2015-16.

Penn State comes up short in overtime

usa-psu-minnesota-basketball.jpg
USA Today Images

Penn State comes up short in overtime

BOX SCORE

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dupree McBrayer scored 14 of a career-high 24 points in the second half and overtime and Minnesota beat Penn State 95-84 on Monday night.

Nate Mason added 25 points and Jordan Murphy scored 22 and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Golden Gophers (14-6, 3-4 Big Ten) who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Tony Carr scored 33 points, Mike Watkins added 20 and 11 rebounds and Lamar Stevens chipped in 12 for Penn State (13-7, 3-4).

Minnesota made 53 percent of its field goals on 35-for-66 shooting. That included a 10-for-17 pace from 3-point range with three coming in overtime after the Golden Gophers gave up a 13-point lead with 8:56 to play.

McBrayer hit a jumper then to put Minnesota up with its largest lead of the game at 63-50 but Penn State raced back with a 15-2 run. Mike Watkins capped Penn State's surge with his second steal, sprinted the other way for a dunk that tied it 65.

The teams traded baskets down the stretch before Carr sank a 3-pointer with three seconds left to make it 74-all and force overtime.

Big Picture
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers needed some positive energy. Losers of three straight since star Reggie Lynch was suspended and talented sophomore Amir Coffey was hurt, a win to kick off an East Coast road trip featuring three games in six days should boost their morale.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions need Josh Reaves back. They looked listless at points in this one without arguably their most fiery player. Notably, Penn State has allowed nearly 10 more points per game with their best defender suspended for academic reasons.

Up Next
Minnesota travels to Maryland on Thursday.

Penn State travels to Northwestern on Saturday.

Tony Carr saves his best for last in OT

uspresswire-psu-tony-carr.jpg
USA Today Images

Tony Carr saves his best for last in OT

BOX SCORE

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tony Carr has had some nice second-half efforts lately. Penn State's top shooter saved most of his best stuff for overtime on Friday.

Carr scored nine of his 17 points, including a game-winning long jumper with three seconds left in overtime, and Penn State beat Nebraska 76-74 and secure Pat Chambers' 100th win as Penn State's coach on Friday?night.

Lamar Stevens scored 26 points and Mike Watkins added 20 and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten), who led by as many as 16 in the second half.

But it was Carr, who notched 18 of 28 in the second half at Indiana on Tuesday, who wrestled control back with tough makes through crowds of defenders in the final five minutes.

"Tony had the guts to come out and hit some big shots for us when he didn't have the best shooting night," Chambers said.

When Carr was working to find his shot, Stevens was taking over in a fashion that's become typical for him of late. The hybrid forward entered the game averaging 22 points over the last three.

He quickly kept at it with 10 of Penn State's first 19 points and Penn State closed out the first half on a 21-9 run and led 33-24. Nebraska made just five of its final 14 field goals in that span and finished the first half 9-for-32 from the floor.

"You can't just get blasted in the first half like that," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "We have to be more prepared to battle with a guy who's a warrior like that because he just attacks the rim."

Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland scored 21 points apiece while Isaiah Roby and Anton Gill scored 12 and 10, respectively, for the Cornhuskers (12-7, 3-3).

Shep Garner made a 3-pointer to give Penn State its largest lead at 42-26 just over two minutes into the second half.

But the Huskers fought back from there and switched to a press look to slow Penn State's offense.

They put together a 39-23 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers from Copeland and Watson that made it a two-point game with?3:28?to play. They combined for four free throws and Watson hit the final shot of regulation moments later to send it to overtime 65-65.

The big picture
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were on a good stretch with five wins in six tries before?Friday's?game. Runs like that could come more often if they shoot better. Nebraska entered the Bryce Jordan Center shooting just 43 percent from the floor and 36 percent from 3-point range for the season.

Penn State: All three of Penn State's conference losses have come by six or fewer points and although they played a poor-shooting team in this one, the Nittany Lions have enough talent committed to playing defense to keep even good offenses at bay. Whether they can outscore those teams, or hold on to big leads, remains to be seen.

No Reaves
Penn State was again without its top defender as Josh Reaves sat out a second straight game for academic reasons. Reaves leads the team and is 15th nationally with 2.47 steals per game. He's chipped in 10.8 points per game, too.

Awaiting word on Tshimanga
Nebraska was without starting center Jordy Tshimanga, who did not make the trip to Penn State as he mulls whether to transfer. Multiple outlets reported Tshimanga's frustration with the way his season has unfolded.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore started all 18 games previously and was averaging 3.5 points and 5.1 rebounds over 15.2 minutes per game.

Miles said he couldn't offer an update yet on Tshimanga's status.

"I won't know until I get home," he said.

Up next
Nebraska hosts Illinois (10-8, 0-5)?on Monday.

Penn State hosts Minnesota (13-5, 2-3) on Monday.