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Penn State Men’s Hoops Gets Embarrassed By Nebraska 93-70

Penn State men’s basketball (12-14, 7-11 Big Ten) lost badly to Nebraska (8-21, 2-16 Big Ten) in its final home game of the regular season.

Bryce McGowens and Lat Mayen led the Cornhuskers with 25 and 13 points, respectively. In the final home game of his collegiate career, the “King of Delco” John Harrar scored nine points, while grabbing eight rebounds.

How It Happened

For the final home game of the regular season, head coach Micah Shrewsberry didn’t make any big changes involving his starting five.

Both teams started out hot from the field early on. Penn State hit all of its first five shots, while Nebraska started out 6-10.

Early threes from Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy, and Dallion Johnson pushed the Nittany Lions into double digits just two minutes in. Despite its hot shooting, Penn State struggled defensively to open the game, allowing Nebraska to jump out to a six-point lead, prompting head coach Micah Shrewsberry to use his first time-out.

The Cornhuskers shot the ball well in the first eight minutes, shooting over 60% from both the field and the three-point line.

At the midway mark of the first half, the Nittany Lions trailed 28-15. Bryce McGowens led the Cornhuskers with ten points on 4-7 shooting.

Penn State’s defensive struggles persisted, as Nebraska consistently got open looks in transition as well as increased second-chance points when John Harrar was on the bench.

At the 15-minute mark of the first half, Nebraska led 34-24 despite not having a free throw attempt. The Cornhuskers shot an impressive 5-8 from behind the arc, with two of them coming from freshman Bryce McGowens.

Nebraska’s big lead carried into halftime, as the Cornhuskers led 49-31 at the break. McGowens led all scorers with 12 points. Seth Lundy, John Harrar, and Sam Sessoms all entered the half with a team-leading seven points.

The second half opened up with a three-point play from Alonzo Verge Jr. to push Nebraska’s lead to 21.

Penn State’s offensive struggles continued after halftime, scoring just one basket in the first two and a half minutes of the second half.

Nebraska’s run to begin the second half was highlighted by a Lat Mayen three-point play following a foul by Jalen Pickett.

Penn State’s nightmare first half carried into the second, as Nebraska’s hot shooting continued, putting the game out of reach for the Nittany Lions, despite there still being over ten minutes remaining.

Head coach Micah Shrewsberry employed a full-court press trying to do something to close the gap. It didn’t work, as Nebraska pushed its lead to 29 with just under eight minutes remaining.

Back-to-back corner threes from Kobe Webster and C.J. Wilcher buried the Nittany Lions even further, giving Nebraska a 28-point lead entering the final three minutes.

With both teams emptying the bench, Nebraska still dominated every possession, pushing its lead north of 30 for the first time in the game.

In his final home game as a member of the Nittany Lions, senior big man John Harrar checked back into the game, fittingly grabbed his eighth rebound of the game and immediately checked out to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Takeaways

  • While all Nebraska players scored with ease Sunday night, no Cornhusker had the impact that Bryce McGowens had. The freshman scored 25 points on 8-13 shooting, while grabbing five rebounds.
  • Second chance points were at a premium for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers outscored the Nittany Lions by 11 in the second chance points department. This was in large part because Nebraska grabbed 10 offensive rebounds.
  • Penn State’s defense was poor right from the tip. Nebraska consistently got the looks they wanted while converting on 13 of its 20 three-point attempts. It was never a close game, mostly because of Penn State’s inability to close out and force tough shots, particularly from beyond the arc.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will hit the road to take on Illinois on Thursday, March 3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on FS1.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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