Despite Loss, Lamar Stevens Puts Penn State Hoops ‘On His Back’ Against Indiana

Other than an impressive second half push, Penn State basketball is going to want to forget a lot of what it did on Sunday against Indiana.

The Nittany Lions put up just 24 points in the first half at Assembly Hall, while shooting just 8-23 (34.7%) from the field. While a 24-5 scoring run out of halftime was enough to give Penn State the lead for a few minutes, the team’s lack of consistency scoring down the stretch proved to be too much to overcome. Despite that, there was clearly one bright spot on the offensive side of the ball: Lamar Stevens.

The senior finished his afternoon with a game-high 29 points on 27 shots attempted and added six boards as well. With the impressive performance, Stevens climbed all the way to second place on Penn State’s all-time scoring list with 2,145 career points. He’s now just 68 points behind Talor Battle’s all-time record of 2,213 with four regular season games to play.

Chambers’ described his star players’ performance perfectly at his post-game press conference.

“Man did [Lamar] put us on his back. He even did all of that while in foul trouble,” Chambers said.

While the head coach was proud of Stevens’ highlight effort, he was also well aware of the fact that the Nittany Lions will need other players to step up on offense. Myles Dread was the only other player to finish in double-figures, as he had 10 points on the day, while Jamari Wheeler was the third-leading scorer with just seven.

“Lamar Stevens was great tonight but he needs help,” Chambers said. “We can’t play that way. When we’re successful we’re sharing the basketball and multiple guys score in double-figures.”

The numbers clearly back up Chambers here, as the Nittany Lions had at least three players score in double-figures in several of the victories during their eight-game win streak. While they didn’t get the same production throughout the roster, the head coach was still especially proud of how his team battled back during a tough second half.

“I’m proud of my team, we didn’t start well, but we came out of halftime and punched back, and that’s everything you want,” Chambers said. “Tough environment, it was crazy, loud, things weren’t going our way. But we competed to the end. We were right there.”

While the whole team’s ability to battle back was impressive, there’s no doubt that this was one of Stevens’ strongest scoring performances of the season so far. He’ll have just two more chances to play in front of his home crowd, one of them being at 7 p.m. on Wednesday when the Nittany Lions welcome Rutgers to the Bryce Jordan Center.

Whether the Nittany Lion legend eclipses Battle’s record during the regular season or later on in the postseason, there’s no doubt that Stevens will go down as one of the best Penn State men’s basketball players of all time — if not the best.

Despite his team’s recent two losses, Stevens has still managed to lead a squad that was expected to struggle to a 20-7 overall record and No. 16 ranking in the AP poll. The Philadelphia native will now have a chance to finish his Penn State career with an NCAA Tournament berth.

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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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