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Penn State Hoops Falls To Maryland 67-61 Due To Second-Half Meltdown

Penn State men’s basketball (11-13, 6-10 Big Ten) lost to Maryland (13-14, 5-11 Big Ten) 67-61 Monday night in College Park. John Harrar led the way with another double-double, scoring 14 points and bringing in 13 boards.

Jalen Pickett also had a big day on the court. He scored 13 points to go along with six assists and rebounds. Sam Sessoms had a massive day off the bench as well, scoring 17 points.

How It Happened

John Harrar got the scoring started for the Nittany Lions with a close0up jumper. The Terps would follow up with five straight points before Myles Dread tied it with a three. That didn’t stop them, however, as they went on another run that led to a six-point lead. Harrar kept Penn State close, scoring six points before the first media timeout.

Jalen Pickett got hot out of the break, scoring on back-to-back jumpers to cut Maryland’s lead down to one. The Terps maintained their hot streak, hitting a three to extend the lead. Threes were traded back and forth, with Seth Lundy hitting a wide open shot and Maryland following up with another.

Jevonnie Scott got to the free throw line for the first time in the game, sinking both freebies. Sam Sessoms scored his first two points of the game on a quick layup, and suddenly the game was all tied up. On the next possession, Harrar had a trademark offensive rebound and basket, and suddenly Penn State was back on top.

The Terps did hit a three to retake the lead, but Sessoms wouldn’t let that stand for long. He beat everyone to score a quick layup. The defense held up strong, and that led to a wide-open three for Dallion Johnson and a Maryland timeout.

The half did not end the way the Nittany Lions wanted it to. Maryland scored four points in the last minute, and tied the game. Both teams went into the half tied at 28.

Penn State was hot coming out of the break. Pickett scored four points, and Harrar continued his gritty game with a layup. Maryland did inch its way back into the game before the under-16 media timeout.

The Terps exploded out of the break. They went on a 12-5 run that forced head coach Micah Shrewsberry into burning a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. The timeout did not help, as Maryland dominated the Nittany Lions defensively.

Penn State went on a three-minute scoreless streak, which was only broken on a Lundy three. During those three minutes, Maryland built a double-digit lead. Harrar was able to cut the lead from 12 to 10 with a layup, and then he drew an offensive foul on the other end, but that was one of the few positives for the Nittany Lions throughout the half.

Pickett and Harrar kept fighting to keep Penn State in this game. They singlehandedly brought the Terps’ lead down to six. It stayed that way until there was around 45 seconds left in the game, when Sessoms hit a three that cut the lead in half.

Despite last second baskets, Penn State could not do enough to get the win. It fell 67-61.

Takeaways

  • We don’t think we need to say it, but just as a reminder, John Harrar is that dude. His toughness and grittiness has given this team an identity. Penn State is a tough, defensive team that forces its opponents to find different way to beat it. Harrar doesn’t just play this way, he embodies it. He is the perfect representative for Micah Shrewsberry’s style of play.
  • Seth Lundy needs to take more shots. He only took four shots all game long. He should be taking eight or nine a game, but he doesn’t. Penn State can only go as far as its best players can take it, and if Lundy is not playing at his best, then it is not going to do well.
  • The Nittany Lions cannot win on the road. They have won only one game on the road in conference play, and that was a comeback win over Northwestern. Home-court advantage may be real, but if they want to have a chance to play in the post season, these are games they must win. Only winning one road game in conference play is unacceptable.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions return home to play Northwestern on Friday, February 25. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and air on the Fox Sports One.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in secondary education and minoring in social justice in education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor", and yes mom, actually doing school work. If you would like to talk about sports or "Survivor", the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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