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Seth Lundy Leads Penn State Hoops Past Maryland 66-61 In Key Comeback Win

Penn State men’s basketball (10-13, 7-12 Big Ten) stormed back to defeat Maryland (15-12, 10-10 Big Ten) 66-61 on the Terrapins’ Senior Night on Sunday.

Seth Lundy was the man of the moment, scoring 31 points and leading the Nittany Lions in an incredible comeback the last five minutes of the game.

How It Happened

There seemed to be a lid on Penn State’s attacking hoop to begin the game. The Nittany Lions found good looks, but missed their first nine shots. Finally, at 14:28 left in the first half, Seth Lundy finished off of a Myreon Jones miss to get Penn State on the board, down 12-2.

Lundy then decided to explode. The sophomore hit two more layups and a three to score Penn State’s first nine points to bring the Maryland lead back within single digits.

The Terrapins woke up following Lundy’s explosion, including an authoritative Hakim Hart dunk off of a Darryl Morsell lob. Izaiah Brockington got a two to fall with 7:20 to play in the period, with the Nittany Lions already trailing 24-13, for the first points from someone other than Lundy.

The first half was truly 20 minutes of runs. Penn State responded to the mid-half Maryland spurt with a 10-0 run of its own towards the end of the half. In 20 minutes that was largely dominated by Maryland, the Terrapins took a deserved 33-23 lead into the break.

Both teams got off to a hot start to the second half. Lundy completed a big four point play after getting fouled on a made three to continue his hot night early in the period. Soon after, Myreon Jones also got hit while attempting a shot beyond the arc. Jones hit all three foul shots, closing the deficit to 39-34.

Whenever the Nittany Lions got within a possession or two of the Terrapins, they continued to promptly bleed a run of their own. Led by Donta Scott’s back-to-back three pointers, Maryland stormed back to a 50-36 lead mere minutes after Jones had the Nittany Lions down three.

Penn State’s inevitable response was a gritty 11-0 run to bring the game back to a one possession affair with six minutes to play.

With just over four minutes to play, Morsell wrapped up Jones on a drive attempt. Maryland got the jump ball call, which transferred possession back to the Terrapins despite what appeared to be a hook.

The Nittany Lions impressively held their heads high, and responded with five points from Lundy and two Harrar free throws to tantalizingly close the deficit to 57-56 with 1:53 left.

Aaron Wiggins missed a three pointer, and Lundy once again put the team on his back in the ensuing possession. He drove on a kick-out, and dropped his floater over Galin Smith for the Nittany Lions’ first lead of the game with just 1:23 to play.

Up one with less than a minute to go, Penn State executed perfectly. Jim Ferry’s team let the clock wind all the way down, before Lundy hit yet another three with 32 seconds to go. Maryland’s slow finish continued with a miss from Scott, and Penn State was able to complete the shock comeback via free throws.

Penn State’s win doesn’t affect the team’s final Big Ten ranking, and the Nittany Lions will head to the conference tournament as the No. 11 seed. However, the loss for Maryland drops them one spot to No. 8, which will force them to play red-hot Michigan State rather than Indiana.

Takeaways

  • In the last 10 games, Seth Lundy averaged about four points per game. Tonight, the sophomore reminded fans just how explosive he can be, dropping 31 points. Lundy was able to score in just about every way, showing his aggressiveness inside down the stretch to steal the win. Penn State will need all of its weapons if it wants to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament, and it is encouraging to see Lundy back in his groove.
  • Penn State somehow won the game despite shooting 33%. That is a stark contrast to the Terrapins, who finished the night at 47%. How did the Nittany Lions win in a gritty road trip? Offensive rebounds, steals, and, of course, Lundy’s clutch finishing.
  • It is now officially Championship Week. After months of dissecting tournament resumes, one thing is clear for Penn State regarding its tournament chances: the Nittany Lions will need to win five straight games next week if they wish to qualify to their first NCAA Tournament in a decade. Tonight’s win was big for Jim Ferry’s team, but the team had too many games finish the other way in the past few months to be on the bubble. Buckle up, folks: This is March.

What’s Next

That does it for the Nittany Lions in the regular season. On Wednesday, No. 11 Penn State will begin its postseason journey against No. 14 Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The contest will begin at roughly 9 p.m. on BTN.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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