Penn State men’s basketball came away with its second win over a ranked opponent this season on Tuesday when it beat No. 21 Maryland — giving the Terrapins their fourth loss of the season.
Nazeer Bostick played only 12 minutes during the contest, but his impact with the time he had on the court was one of the biggest reasons why the Nittany Lions came away with the victory.
Bostick arguably had the biggest stretch of the game around the three minute mark in the second half. Maryland was on a 10-3 run at the time and had cut Penn State’s lead to only four. The Nittany Lion faithful had fears that this team was going to let another close game slip away.
Then Bostick flew through the air — corralling an offensive rebound amidst four Maryland players and laid the ball in to give Penn State a six-point advantage. The energy in the building was starting to escalate as the crowd sensed that Penn State could complete the upset.
On the other side of the court, Bostick swatted an Anthony Cowan shot with authority and the Bryce Jordan Center erupted.
Penn State didn’t look back the rest of the way — beating Maryland 70-64. Bostick’s stretch helped keep the Terrapins at bay and keep momentum on Penn State’s side during the final three minutes of the game.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) February 8, 2017
Bostick also had a solid game defensively — helping the team limit Maryland to a season-low 34 percent shooting from the floor. Coach Pat Chambers gave some insight into his future role with the team.
“He had some huge offensive rebounds and putbacks,” Chambers said. “He’s earned the way into the rotation and get out there with these guys. It was great seeing four freshmen and a sophomore out on the floor. That’s exciting stuff.”
Bostick received some extra minutes Tuesday with Terrence Samuel out due to illness. He recorded his most minutes since Nov. 20 against Cincinnati and made the most of it every time he was on the floor, including during his crunch-time success.
High school teammate Lamar Stevens wasn’t surprised Bostick stepped up late in the game.
“He has the nickname ‘Horse,’ because he makes plays like that,” Stevens said. “He comes up big in huge moments, and he’s always done this since high school. It’s not surprising to see Naz just being that tough, physical guy, and he deserved to make that play.”
Tony Carr couldn’t have been happier for his best friend.
“It’s great to see Naz have that moment,” Carr said. “We’ve kind of been waiting for that all year, and for him to go out there and just make those huge plays down the stretch for us, and then ultimately kind of help us win a game this big. That’s my best friend. I’m just happy to share that moment with him.”
It remains to be seen whether Bostick will continue to see an expanded role when Samuel returns to the lineup, but he certainly showed the potential he has.