Penn State Hoops Falls To Bradley In Cancun Challenge Championship

Penn State (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten) took on the Bradley Braves (5-1) on Wednesday evening to put a cap on the Cancun Challenge. The Nittany Lions went cold offensively, ultimately losing to Bradley 59-56.

Lamar Stevens had a monster game on offense dropping 27 points, but Rasir Bolton was the only other Nittany Lions to put up double-digits in the scoring column. As a team, Penn State shot 4-27 from beyond the arc.

How It Happened

Bradley started the scoring with two threes to make it a 6-0 game early on before Dread cut that lead in half with a three of his own. Penn State trailed 8-7 with 14:10 on the clock after the first timeout of the game.

Lamar Stevens was the go-to guy early on. After converting a layup on a baseline drive, Penn State took a 16-15 lead. On Stevens’ next effort, he was fouled in the paint and hit one free throw. 

Bradley instituted a 3-2 zone defensively later on in the first half and seemed to take the Nittany Lions out of their rhythm. Bradley took a 25-21 lead with 6:03 remaining in the half. Behind Lamar Stevens’ 16 points in the first half, the Nittany Lions would head into the first intermission with a 33-32 lead.

Bradley started the second half on a 9-2 run, taking a 41-35 lead after about four minutes of play. The Nittany Lions didn’t look together on offense. Eventually, a three from Bradley’s Lautier-Ogunleye extended its lead to eight points. Darrell Brown hit another three to make it 53-42 with 10:23 remaining in the game.

The two sides would go back and forth as the Nittany Lions gradually cut the deficit. With about 3:30 remaining in the game, Rasir Bolton hit a three to bring the score to 57-55. The Braves would respond as Elijah Childs hit a baseline jumper. 

Down 59-55, Lamar Stevens went to the free-throw line with 1.5 seconds to play. He hit the first shot, bringing the Nittany Lions within three. His second attempt was tipped out to Myles Dread who had an open three as time expired but the shot just didn’t go in. 


  • I know it’s early in the season, but I don’t know how Penn State can seriously hope to have any chance at a tournament spot if they can’t even take care of Bradley with ease. 
  • The Nittany Lions rarely create open shots in the normal flow of the half-court offense. The only thing they can consistently go to is Lamar Stevens in the post, which simply isn’t enough to win week in and week out.

What’s Next

Penn State will return home to take on Virginia Tech on Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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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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