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No. 24 Penn State Hoops Dominates Nebraska 76-64 For Fourth Consecutive Win

No. 24 Penn State men’s basketball (16-5, 6-4 Big Ten) made easy work of Nebraska 76-64 (7-15, 2-9 Big Ten) in Lincoln on Saturday night.

Myles Dread led the way with 14 points, while Lamar Stevens and Myreon Jones each added 13 of their own. The Nittany Lions were efficient from three, as well, as they went 10-26 from deep. After a tight first half, Pat Chambers’ squad exploded on offense and shut down the Cornhuskers on the defensive end.

How It Happened

Nebraska came out firing, as the Cornhuskers nailed two threes before Penn State could put any points up. Lamar Stevens got the Nittany Lions’ going with a pretty mid-range jumper, but Nebraska hit yet another three shortly after that. Jamari Wheeler responded with a trey of his own, and Penn State trailed 13-7 at the first media timeout of the game after more back-and-forth scoring.

The threes continued to flow out of the timeout for both sides. Myles Dread hit two, Myreon Jones hit one of his own, and Wheeler sunk another. Nebraska countered with a couple of strong looks inside and another three from Thorir Thorbjarnarson, but the Nittany Lions held a 21-20 lead with 11:23 left in the first half.

Penn State’s offense suddenly heated up in the form of 9-0 scoring run that included another three from Stevens, and took a 27-20 lead at the media timeout. A 9-3 scoring run for the Cornhuskers quickly evened things out, but an emphatic block from Stevens and a couple of gritty buckets inside got the Nittany Lions back on track.

Nebraska picked up some momentum after Penn State’s bench got called for a technical, but a a three and a couple of converted free throws for Seth Lundy helped the Nittany Lions take a 38-33 lead into the locker room.

John Harrar, Jones, and Stevens all scored to get the second half going for the Nittany Lions, and Mike Watkins followed that with a massive alley-oop finish. Penn State took a 46-33 lead and forced Nebraska to take a timeout with 17:15 left in the game.

The Cornhuskers couldn’t seem to keep up with Penn State after the early run, as the Nittany Lions made several stops on defense and Watkins was scoring at will inside. An and-one finish inside for Izaiah Brockington gave Penn State a 55-39 lead with 13:42 left.

Wheeler and Stevens connected on an alley-oop shortly after that, and a three from Stevens stretched the lead to 60-39.

The Nittany Lions followed that with an 8-0 scoring run that included yet another three from Dread, and this one quickly became a blowout. Penn State held a 70-46 lead with just over seven minutes left in the game. Nebraska started to battle back a bit, but a converted jumper by Brockington stretched the lead back out to 72-53.

The game slowed down in the final minutes, and Penn State ran out the clock on its last few possessions. One final alley-oop finish for Watkins finished off the Cornhuskers, and Penn State left Nebraska with a 76-64 victory.

Takeaways

  • There was offensive production coming from just about every corner of Penn State’s roster tonight. Myles Dread had 14 points, Myreon Jones and Lamar Stevens each added 13, and Mike Watkins finished with 11 of his own. If the Nittany Lions can rely on several players to score at an efficient clip on a nightly basis, they’ll be tough to stop come Big Ten Tournament time and a possible March Madness run.
  • If nothing else, Pat Chambers’ team flat out had fun tonight. The Nittany Lions were consistently able to run the floor during their second half scoring runs and finished with several acrobatic alley-oops. Penn State was flexing on a Big Ten opponent with a massive lead in the second half. If that doesn’t show you how far this team has come, I don’t know what else will.
  • Lamar Stevens became just the third player in Penn State men’s basketball history to score 2,000 career points tonight. That’s quite an achievement for a guy who has been an anchor for the Nittany Lions on both ends of the floor all season, and will need to continue to be if this team wants to stay hot.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel to East Lansing to take on No. 14 Michigan State on Tuesday, February 4. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. and be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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