Penn State (12-12, 4-7 Big Ten) hoped to rebound from back-to-back tight losses as it hosted one of the Big Ten’s best during an early 6 p.m. tipoff Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center. No. 21 Maryland (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) was attempting to recover from a tough loss of its own against No. 16 Purdue on Saturday, but the Nittany Lions answered Pat Chambers’ call to play a 40-minute game and shocked the Terrapins 70-64 behind a huge night from freshman forward Lamar Stevens.
How It Happened
Penn State came out shooting hot against the Terrapins — starting the game off nearly 50% from the field with Lamar Stevens scoring nine points to lead the way for the Nittany Lions in the first half. After scoring eight of his team’s first 10 points, making him the third active player in the Big Ten with 1,500 points, Melo Trimble quieted down.
Without the Maryland star producing down the stretch in the first half, the Nittany Lions took advantage, especially on the low post. Forwards Mike Watkins and Julian Moore were forces in the paint — drawing fouls and making an impact from the line. The two big men combined for 13 points, 11 of which came from the foul line, as Penn State went into halftime with a 35-29 lead over the ranked Terrapins.
An 8-0 to begin the second half pushed Penn State’s advantage to double digits. Three-straight baskets from Stevens during the stretch plus a Tony Carr jumper forced Maryland to call a timeout down by 13 with 14:27 left in the game.
Foul trouble persisted as the second half continued for Penn State’s only two big men. With Watkins and Moore racking up whistles against them, Chambers was forced to go with an incredibly small lineup, which the Terrapins took advantage of and forced Chambers to call a timeout and take some chances down the stretch.
With junior Moore getting most of the minutes as the second half went along, the Nittany Lions continually held off Maryland as the Terrapins made runs to tie this game.
Stevens, also on four fouls with the two big men and Carr, propelled Penn State forward in the waning stages to bring the upset within reach. Stout defense help the Nittany Lions take it 70-64.
Player Of The Game
Lamar Stevens | Forward | Freshman
Stevens was lights out from whatever role he was called upon to do, with the freshman performing as a pseudo big man at times with Watkins and Moore of the court, to help the Nittany Lions pull off the upset. Stevens finished with 25 points, one short of a career high.
The Nittany Lions are heading back on the road for the next two games against Illinois and Nebraska. Tipoff against the Illini is at 2 p.m. Saturday on BTN.