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Penn State Hoops Falls To DePaul 72-70 In Overtime

Penn State (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) traveled to Chicago to take on DePaul (3-0) on Thursday night as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. 

Despite closing down a sizable gap as regulation expired, Penn State could muster just two point in overtime as DePaul held on to give the Nittany Lions their first loss of the season.

How It Happened

Josh Reaves hit the first field goal of the game with a three before Lamar Stevens took a loose ball down the court and converted an and-one. Dread eventually hit another three with 17:01 remaining to give Penn State an 11-0 lead. It took 4:14 seconds for DePaul to score its first basket.

By the 10:11 mark, however, the Blue Demons had tied things up at 19-19 behind 7-0 run that stretched 1:24. It really was a team effort to get back into the game as four different scorers brought the home squad even.

DePaul took a 28-26 lead with about four minutes to play in the first half after Devin Gage converted an and-one. The Blue Demons would stretch out their lead to 36-31 at the half. Gage led DePaul with 12 points while Stevens matched that scoring total for the Nittany Lions. 

Lamar Stevens continued to look impressive in the second half. Stevens converted another and-one chance to cut DePaul’s lead to just two after a few minutes of play, bringing his scoring total to 15. A three from Reaves with 16:23 remaining gave Penn State a 41-40 lead.

Dread started to heat up, hitting back-to-back threes to give Penn State a 50-49 lead with 12:18. The Nittany Lions would struggle inside, though, allowing DePaul to clean up on the offensive glass and take advantage of a second-chance opportunities. 

Behind a pull-up three from Max Strus, DePaul inched out to a 60-51 lead with 9:50 to play in the game. By the 6:00 mark, Penn State trailed by eight after failing to put much offense together. 

Penn State was seemingly unable to make a defensive stop without giving up an offensive rebound down the stretch, giving up 13 total offensive rebounds in the game.

A three from Dread followed soon by a steal and layup from Jamari Wheeler brought Penn State within one point at 68-67 with 55.6 seconds left, though. Lamar Stevens would hit 1-2 free throws on Penn State’s next possession, eventually forcing overtime. 

Penn State failed to score in overtime until 41.1 seconds remained in the extra period of play, but trailed just 72-70 after Buttrick hit two free throws. Despite an open look from Dread as overtime was winding down, Penn State failed to tie the game up and suffered its first loss of the season.

Takeaways

  • The only consistent offense that the Nittany Lions have — at least without Mike Watkins on the floor — is through Lamar Stevens. Although Dread and Bolton have been as good as you could hope for, Stevens is the only player who can make his own shot and consistently convert with defenders in his face.
  • The Nittany Lions were sloppy with the ball. At the half, DePaul was +8 in turnover margin before Wheeler turned the ball over on the first play of the second half.
  • The guards seemed to struggle to score, in large part because there wasn’t much of an interior presence on offense for Penn State. DePaul could basically bank on defending the perimeter without needing to help down low against the likes of Harrar or Buttrick.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel abroad to Cancun, Mexico to take part in the Cancun Challenge. On Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., the Nittany Lions will take on Wright State and the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.

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About the Author

Derek Bannister

Derek is a senior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]

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