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Penn State Hoops Falls Short Of Nebraska In 70-64 Defeat

Penn State men’s basketball (7-9, 0-5 Big Ten) couldn’t pick up its first conference win in Pat Chambers’ return from suspension, falling 70-64 on the road to Nebraska (12-4, 2-3 Big Ten).

The Nittany Lions were sparked by 20 points from Josh Reaves, and Myles Dread and Lamar Stevens chipped in offensively with 13 points each.

How It Happened

Penn State’s offensive struggles continued at the start of the game, shooting 3-for-12 out of the gate. Star forward Lamar Stevens didn’t score until 10:28 remained in the first half, and it seemed like another one of those nights for the Nittany Lions. However, Josh Reaves and Myles Dread picked up the slack to pace Penn State, leading a 7-0 run to put the team up 19-15 early on.

After a three from the top of the arc by Dread, Reaves hit a circus layup to give each player eight points on the night. As the half winded down, it was clear that neither team would go down without a fight.

The Nittany Lions shot just 38 percent from the field, but they managed to out-rebound the Cornhuskers and force five turnovers. When the buzzer sounded, Nebraska led 33-31 behind 10 points from forward Isaiah Roby. Josh Reaves had a game-high 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting to keep Penn State in the game at the break.

Reaves silenced the crowd to begin the second half, draining back-to-back threes to give the Nittany Lions a three-point lead. However, Nebraska’s Glynn Watson Jr. answered, draining a trey of his own to put the Huskers back up three.

After a dunk by Mike Watkins, Isaiah Roby flew high for a one-handed jam of his own to energize Pinnacle Bank Arena. Every time Nebraska seemed like it would pull away, Penn State fought its way back into the game.

Watkins registered a double-double with just under five minutes remaining, giving the Nittany Lions a boost down low in the paint. However, the combination of Roby and Watson was ultimately too much for Penn State to handle down the stretch.

The road from here doesn’t get much easier, either, as a top 10-ranked Michigan State team will visit State College this weekend.

Takeaways

  • Penn State once again struggled from field, shooting a mere 36 percent on Thursday night. Outside of Josh Reaves, the Nittany Lions couldn’t find any consistent scoring option to provide a spark on the road. If Pat Chambers wants to win more games in the loaded Big Ten conference, fixing the offense should be a priority.
  • Freshman Myles Dread had one of his better games of the season, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds. He has looked more and more confident in each game, something Penn State needs from its backcourt players.
  • Penn State looked great on the offensive glass, keeping many possessions alive and converting on those with second-chance points. Mike Watkins is finally returning to form, and it’s definitely reassuring to see consistent rebounding down low.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return home to face No. 6 Michigan State this weekend. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on January 13, and the game will be broadcasted on CBS.

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About the Author

Austin Smith

Austin Smith is a junior broadcast journalism major. He grew up in New Jersey and is a writer for Onward State. He specializes in football, basketball, and the New York Knicks.

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