Flyers mascot Gritty drains half-court shot at Rutgers-Michigan State game

Flyers mascot Gritty drains half-court shot at Rutgers-Michigan State game

What doesn't this mascot do?

Gritty was just casually spending his Friday night up the road at the Rutgers' men's basketball game against ninth-ranked Michigan State.

Oh, and he was just casually sinking half-court shots like it's his job.

Not sure what's better: the shot or the celebration?

The split, flick of the jersey and no-big-deal strut off the court is pretty legit.

The guy knows how to have fun and kick off a weekend — you can't argue that.

And we have a feeling he's ready for the Penguins Saturday night.

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No. 14 Penn State's defense dominates Rutgers

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No. 14 Penn State's defense dominates Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Trace McSorley threw two touchdown passes to tight end Pat Freiermuth and No. 14 Penn State's defense set up two touchdowns with turnovers in a 20-7 victory over Rutgers on Saturday, sending the Scarlet Knights to their 10th straight loss.

McSorley's touchdown passes covered 6 yards in the second quarter and 18 in the fourth as the Nittany Lions (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP) beat Rutgers (1-10, 0-7) for the 12th straight time. Jake Pinegar added field goals of 22 and 19 yards.

The win was No. 30 for McSorley as a starter, making him the winningest quarterback in school history. The senior had been tied with Todd Blackledge (1980-82) and Tony Sacca (1988-91). The two touchdowns increased his total - running and passing - to 101.

Raheem Blacksheer scored on a 2-yard fourth-quarter run for Rutgers to deny Penn State its first shutout in more than a season.

The dominant group for Penn State was its defense, which forced three turnovers, had four sacks and 11 tackles for losses and held Rutgers to 46 yards passing.

Safety Garrett Taylor intercepted a horrible pass by freshman Art Sitkowski late in the second quarter to give the Nittany Lions the ball at the Rutgers 28. Four plays later, McSorley (17 of 37 for 183 yards) found Freiermuth for a 10-3 lead with 2:04 left in the half.

Senior Gio Rescigno replaced Sitkowski (3 of 7 for 18 yards and two interceptions) after the bad decision on the screen pass Penn State read from the start.

A Daniel Joseph recovery of an Isaih Pacheco fumble at the Rutgers 46 late in the third quarter set up the second TD pass early in the fourth for a 20-0 lead.

The Scarlet Knights should have scored in the third quarter. After moving 82 yards on 14 running plays, they ran a fourth-down flea flicker from the 2-yard line and a wide-open Rescigno dropped a soft pass from Trey Sneed, who had lined up outside and took a toss from Blackshear.

The takeaway

This was not an impressive performance by the Nittany Lions, who were hoping to move into a position for a possible New Year's Day bowl game. The offense never got going and the only reason it was no contest was the Penn State defense.

The Scarlet Knights are now facing the prospect of their first one-win season since going 1-11 in Greg Schiano's second season, in 2002. Rutgers was 0-11 in 1997, so this isn't rock bottom. The 10-game losing streak is the longest since losing 11 in a row over the end of the 1998-99 season.

Up next

Penn State: Plays host to Maryland next Saturday and then waits for a bowl bid.

Rutgers: Finishes season at Michigan State next Saturday.

Penn State follows up miracle buzzer-beater with comfortable win

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Penn State follows up miracle buzzer-beater with comfortable win


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Mike Watkins scored 15 points, grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds and Penn State beat Rutgers 60-43 on Saturday.

Tony Carr led Penn State with 16 points and Josh Reaves added 15 for the Nittany Lions (15-8, 5-5 Big Ten), who took control just before halftime for their second straight win.

Issa Thiam scored 12 points for Rutgers (12-11, 2-8), which made just 31 percent of their field goals on 16-of-51 shooting and have lost five of its last six games.

After nine lead changes in the opening 17 minutes, Penn State took the lead for good after Watkins hit a short jumper to spark a 7-0 run. Carr capped it with back-to-back baskets to give Penn State a 28-23 lead at the half.

The Nittany Lions pulled away in the second with an opening 9-0 run and extended their lead to as many as 18 with 2:34 to play.

Big Picture
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights have played good defense this season, but they're not helping themselves on the other end. Rutgers has shot better than 33 percent from the field just once over its last five games, entered the Bryce Jordan Center ranked last in the Big Ten in scoring and field goal percentage, and began this one 3 of 15 over the first 10 minutes.

Penn State: Coupled with the buzzer-beater at Ohio State, the win gives the Nittany Lions their first set of consecutive victories since winning three straight in December. They're suddenly, with eight games left, just two conference wins away from equaling their best mark in coach Patrick Chambers' seven-year tenure.

Up Next
Rutgers travels to Illinois on Tuesday.

Penn State visits No. 6 Michigan State on Wednesday.