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Penn State Hoops Drops Double Overtime Thriller 101-94 To Clemson

Penn State men’s basketball (6-2) dropped a nail-bitter to Clemson (6-2) 101-94 on Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Nittany Lions started the game off hot and went into halftime with a 35-29 lead over the Tigers while shooting 50% from the field. However, Clemson returned the favor in the second as it quickly jumped out to a lead and held it for most of the second half. Then, with just eight seconds left in regulation, Jalen Pickett found an open Andrew Funk who banked in a three that sent this game to overtime.

In the first overtime, it was largely a battle between the Nittany Lions’ Pickett and Camren Wynter and the Tigers’ PJ Hall, but a missed game-winning three from Pickett sent it to a second overtime.

In the second overtime period, both teams battled, but it was ultimately Clemson’s trio of Hunter Tyson, PJ Hall, and Alex Hemenway that proved to be too much for the Nittany Lions.

Three players scored in double digits for the Nittany Lions. Wynter led the way with 26 and tallied an impressive 11-for-12 from the free-throw line. Pickett and Seth Lundy each dropped 23 with Pickett having eight dimes and Lundy shooting 50% from three-point territory.

How It Happened

Freshman big man, Kebba Njie, made his third straight start for the Nittany Lions, as the rest of the four remained the same for Micah Shrewsberry’s starting five.

Clemson won the tip, but it was the Nittany Lion’s offense that got it going early. In the first five minutes, Pickett started a 10-3 run with a fadeaway jumper in the paint. From there, Camren Wynter swished two from downtown, and Pickett cashed in on an easy bucket in the paint. Penn State shot 4-for-7 from the field before the first timeout was called.

After the timeout, Alex Hemenway knocked home back-to-back threes for the Tigers which brought the game back to a single possession for the Nittany Lions. Then, Seth Lundy drove the basket and got a tough layup to fall that halted a Clemson run from happening.

At the ten-minute mark, Dallion Johnson broke a two-minute scoring drought for the Nittany Lions as he sunk a wide-open corner three that made it an 18-11 lead. Ian Schieffelin answered back with a layup that broke a three-minute dry spell for the Tigers.

Lundy cashed in on a three-pointer, but shortly after, Clemson went on its own run as it scored eight straight points. RJ Godfrey started it off with an easy layup, and PJ Hall cashed in on two threes that tied the game up at 21. Kanye Clary made a tough layup, but Micah Shrewsberry called a timeout shortly after.

Penn State exploded off the timeout as it went on a 12-4 run including back-to-back deep balls from Lundy and Andrew Funk. However, it was the Tigers that scored the last two buckets of the half.

The Nittany Lions finished the first half shooting 50% from the field while connecting on six of their 13 three-point attempts. Clemson also shot impressive from deep as it made five of its ten attempts, however, it was Penn State who held the lead, 35-29.

Hunter Tyson knocked down a three which started an 11-2 run for Clemson to start the second half. Ben Middlebrooks put up back-to-back buckets which gave the Tigers their first lead of the game in just the first four minutes of the second half. Shrewsberry called a timeout as his team made just one shot and turned the ball over four times during the run.

Clemson remained up by four as the game approached the halfway point of the second half. Wynter made two tough baskets for Penn State that brought it within one, but Hall and Hunter made a few free throws to keep its four-point lead.

After another Hemenway bucket with just over six minutes left to play, Penn State scored seven straight points which was finished off by a Lundy three which tied the game at 58. The Tigers responded as Tyson notched five straight points as the Nittany Lions called a timeout with just under four minutes left of action.

Clemson cashed in on a few free throws and reclaimed its four-point lead with just under two minutes left. On Penn State’s next possession, Funk missed a moving three, but the Tigers’ rebound attempt went out of bounds. Pickett took the ball into the post but was unable to connect on his try. Clemson took the ball down the court and Tyson drilled a wide-open three that extended the lead to seven.

Then, Pickett marched down the court and made an easy layup that brought it to five. The Nittany Lions almost forced an eight-second violation, but as Clemson made it past the half-court line, Schieffelin was fouled and made both his free throws.

Lundy was fouled on the next Penn State possession and made both of them. The Nittany Lions were forced to foul, but Brevin Galloway missed his free throw attempt which gave the ball back to the blue and white. Wynter drove to the hoop and was fouled, and he made both for Penn State which brought it to a two-point game with twelve seconds left.

Tyson was fouled but only made one free throw. Shrewsberry called a timeout with 9.1 seconds left down by only three. Coming off the timeout, Wynter found Pickett in the post, and he dished it to Funk who banked a three-pointer that sent this game to overtime.

Hall, Hunter, and Galloway all made their own buckets to start the overtime period, but Penn State only got its point exclusively from the free throw line in the first two minutes. At the two-and-a-half-minute mark, Pickett made the first field goal and took the lead with a fadeaway jumper in the paint.

After a single free throw from Hall, Pickett knocked down another jumper from the right side of the court that extended the lead to two. Hall responded back with two from the charity stripe to tie it back up. Then, Wynter quickly marched down the court and cashed in on an easy jumper to reclaim the lead with 20 seconds left.

Following a Clemson timeout, Hemenway bounced a pass to Hall who backed down Njie for an easy layup in the paint to tie it back up with five seconds left. Pickett took the ball for Penn State and launched one for the job of the key, but it bounced off the rim as the game entered its second overtime period.

Hemenway immediately swished a three to start the second overtime. Funk responded with a jumper, but Hall was awarded another two from the free-throw line that kept the Tigers in the lead. Following the free throws, Lundy sank a clutch corner three that tied this game back up with just under three minutes left of the action.

Clemson responded with six straight buckets coming from Hall, Galloway, and Tyson which put the Tigers up by six with a minute left to play. Then, Wynter and Tyson traded points at the charity stripe before Dallion Johnson drained a three-pointer to make it a three-point game.

Middlebrooks cashed in on two clutch free throws for the Tigers, and on the Nittany Lions’ next possession, Pickett missed a three-point try which then forced them to send Hemenway to the line. He made just one, but Clemson held a six-point lead with 18 seconds left.

Wynter was then sent to the line, but missed his first free throw of the night, and made just one for Penn State. Tyson was fouled and made both that put this game out of reach for the Nittany Lions.

Clemson escaped with a win by a final score of 101-94.

Takeaways

  • Holy moly, what a game! So much for the loss, but this game had everyone (including me) on the edge of my seat. It seemed that both teams were throwing haymakers at each other, but at the end of the day, it was the Tigers who got the best of the Lions. However, if you’re Micah Shrewsberry, this is still an impressive loss in his first true road test of the season.
  • Both teams were just letting it fly tonight. They both hit 11 threes, but Clemson shot 50% from beyond the arc. Despite a lackluster shooting performance in the stat columns, the threes came at big moments for the Nittany Lions, including Funk’s three that sent it to overtime.
  • Jalen Pickett is just so good. Clemson seemed to not know how to answer him at all throughout the night. The thing that is exceptionally impressive about Pickett is his post game. It seems like every time he backs down a defender, he’s either going to slither away and get an easy layup, or step away and hit a jump shot in your mit. Very fun to watch.

What’s Next

Penn State will travel back home to the Bryce Jordan Center and play its first Big Ten opponent of the season against Michigan State next Wednesday, December 7. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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