Comprehensive Penn State Sports Roundup: February 21 To March 13
Penn State’s athletic teams are rolling, folks.
With a handful of ranked teams and other groups in the postseason, it’s an awesome time to be a Nittany Lions fan. Whether it be men’s basketball’s Cinderella run or men’s volleyball’s climb to the top, it’s hard to not get excited.
Let’s take a closer look at how Penn State’s sports team performed over the past few weeks.
Penn State men’s basketball reached the end of its regular season following a run of intense games. On February 23, the Nittany Lions traveled to Ohio State and pulled out a 75-71 win. The team returned home for a game against Rutgers on February 26, which resulted in a disappointing 59-56 loss.
However, the regular season ended on quite a high note. Against Northwestern, Penn State took the game to overtime and snatched the 68-65 victory thanks to Camren Wynter’s heroics. On March 5, the team faced No. 21 Maryland. Penn State returned from a double-digit deficit and scored the game-winning basket in the final seconds to win 65-64.
In the Big Ten Tournament, the Nittany Lions headed to Chicago to face Illinois on Thursday, March 9, and won 79-76. The following day in the quarterfinals, Penn State beat Northwestern 67-65 in overtime to advance to the semifinals.
On March 11, the Nittany Lions snagged another win over No. 19 Indiana, securing a spot in the Big Ten Tournament finals. The team played No. 5 Purdue on Sunday and, despite a hard-fought attempt at a late-game comeback, fell 67-65 to the Boilermakers. Just moments after this game ended, Penn State earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed and will play No. 7-seeded Texas A&M at 9:55 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 16.
To wrap up their regular season, the Lady Lions faced Purdue on February 22, followed by Michigan State on February 25. The women’s basketball team lost both 86-62 and 80-65, respectively.
Regardless, the team still participated in the Big Ten Tournament. The Lady Lions took down Minnesota 72-67 to move forward in the bracket but didn’t outlast Michigan, as the team’s season ended with a 63-61 loss to the Wolverines.
The No. 1-ranked Nittany Lions took on the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, where the team claimed the Big Ten title for the first time since 2019.
Four other wrestlers — Roman Bravo-Young, Levi Haines, Aaron Brooks, and Carter Starocci — claimed individual titles.
Cael Sanderson’s crew heads to Tulsa for the NCAA Championships later this week, where nine wrestlers will contend for national championships.
Guy Gadowsky’s team wrapped up its regular season with a series against Wisconsin on February 24 and 25. Although Friday’s game saw the Nittany Lions win 6-1, they couldn’t complete the sweep as they dropped Saturday’s game 2-1.
In the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State faced Ohio State on the road for a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals. A rough Friday night game led to a 5-1 loss. Saturday’s game kept hope alive, as Penn State snagged a 2-1 win in overtime. Ohio State outlasted the Nittany Lions and knocked them out of the tournament in Sunday night’s game.
The team is awaiting NCAA Tournament selection to see if and when its season will continue.
The women’s hockey team entered the CHA Tournament on an eight-game win streak and had absolutely no intentions of slowing down. The Nittany Lions beat Lindenwood in two back-to-back games, claiming the best-of-three series and a spot in the CHA finals.
The championship game was held on March 4 against Mercyhurst, and the Nittany Lions had home-ice advantage. In an absolute nail-biter that went to double overtime, the women’s hockey team claimed a 2-1 victory over Mercyhurst and its first CHA Championship.
The team’s performance throughout the season led to it claiming a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it faced off with No. 8 Quinnipiac on March 9. Despite an impressive performance that took the game into triple overtime, the Nittany Lions ultimately lost 3-2, ending their season.
Penn State traveled to face NJIT for two consecutive games on February 24 and 25. The team swept both matches 3-0. The following weekend, the team faced Concordia and No. 6 UC Irvine in California.
The Nittany Lions swept Concordia 3-0 and pulled away with a 3-2 win over UC Irvine.
In Honolulu, Penn State faced off against No. 2 UCLA on March 9. Earlier in the season, the Bruins suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Nittany Lions. The Nittany Lions extended the match to five sets but couldn’t finish things off and lost 3-2.
The following evening, Penn State faced another tough opponent in No. 1 Hawaii. The Nittany Lions pull off the upset and claimed a 3-1 victory over the top team in the country.
To wrap up the Outrigger Challenge, the Nittany Lions clinched an easy 3-0 win over Purdue Fort Wayne before heading back to Happy Valley for a pair of home games next weekend.
The Penn State men’s gymnastics team sent four gymnasts to Louisville to compete in the Winter Cup. After this meet, gymnasts are chosen for the junior and senior national teams. The competition also serves as a qualifying event for the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
After a third-place all-around finish, sophomore Josh Karnes was named to the U.S. Senior National Team.
Men’s gymnastics also hosted William & Mary for a meet at home on March 3. The Nittany Lions cruised past the Tribe in a 400.900-386.000 win. The following week, at a tri-meet with Ohio State and Oklahoma, Penn State finished second with a 404.450, one of its highest scores of the year.
The Penn State women’s gymnastics team competed in the Big Five meet on February 24, facing off against Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, and Michigan. The Nittany Lions finished fourth in the meet, only beating out Maryland.
On March 3, the women’s team also hosted William & Mary, where it recorded its highest meet score since the 2016 season. The Nittany Lions easily won 196.875-193.050.
Penn State faced Auburn on March 11 and put up a massive performance, marking its highest team score since the 2016 season. Despite this success, Auburn edged past the Nittany Lions and steal a 197.600-197.025 win.
Swimming & Diving
The Big Ten Championships for the men’s swimming and diving team were held February 22-25. Though the team finished in last place, many individual athletes had impressive performances, cementing their names in the Penn State record books.
Over spring break, the divers traveled to West Virginia for the NCAA Diving Zones, which provided qualifying for the NCAA championships. Several Nittany Lions will be appearing in the finals.
Indoor Track And Field
Both the men’s and women’s teams traveled to Ohio for the Big Ten Championships on February 24 and 25. The men’s squad finished in seventh place, while the women finished in sixth. Individually, Rachel Gearing took home first place in the women’s 800m while Olivier Desmeules finished first in the men’s 800m. Various other Nittany Lions came home with top-three finishes as well.
In the NCAA Championships, Handal Roban brought home a bronze medal in the 800m, securing his place as the nation’s fastest freshman in the event. The team will now prepare for the outdoor season.
It seems that the men’s tennis team is still going relatively strong. The Nittany Lions hosted St. John’s on February 22 for a 5-2 win. Just a few days after, the team hit a small bump in the road. Games against Liberty and USF in Lynchburg yielded 6-1 losses in both matches.
The following weekend saw a return to the win category with a 5-2 victory over Bryant University and a 4-3 win over Dartmouth on March 4 and 5.
A trip to Florida kept the winning streak going, as a match against Florida Gulf Coast University resulted in a 4-3 triumph.
Penn State women’s tennis hosted a doubleheader at home on February 26. It was a successful day for the team, as it secured a 4-1 win over James Madison followed by a 6-1 win over Duquesne.
On March 4, the team faced No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes put up a dominant performance and knocked down the Nittany Lions 7-0. This loss may have shaken up the Penn State team, as it went on to lose its next few matches. The March 8 match against UCF resulted in a 5-2 loss, and Saturday’s match against Charlotte wasn’t much better, yielding a 4-3 loss.
The team moves into Big Ten matchups later this week against Minnesota and Wisconsin.
At the Colleton River Collegiate, which spanned from March 6 to 7, multiple Penn State golfers led the Nittany Lions to finish tied for fourth on day one and in fifth place out of 12 participating teams on day two.
Later in the week, the Sea Island Shootout on March 11 provided Penn State an opportunity to show its skills, tying for first place with Minnesota.
At the Westbrook Invitational in Phoenix, despite a 1-under performance, the women’s golf team finished in ninth place on day one and in 10th place out of 14 schools on day two.
During spring break, the team traveled to another warm location in Jacksonville, Florida, for the UNF Collegiate. Despite ending the first day of play in 14th place, Penn State made up for its performance on day two and ended up finishing in sixth place out of 17 teams.
The Nittany Lions pulled off an upset over No. 5 Yale in a narrow 13-11 victory on February 25. The triumph created momentum for the team and propelled the squad to yet another ranked win, this time against No. 10 Penn with a 15-9 win.
As if two ranked wins weren’t enough, the team continued to rack wins up with yet another upset over No. 3 Cornell. All of these wins landed Penn State at No. 5 in the rankings.
Just like the men’s team, the Penn State women’s lacrosse team is doing pretty well this season. Facing Duquesne on February 21, the Nittany Lions walked away with a huge 19-5 win.
Later that week, on February 24, Penn State recorded another win over Arizona State to continue its win streak. Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, though, the team faltered. Hosting No. 8 Loyola at home on March 4 resulted in an 11-7 loss, the team’s first of the season.
The first loss of the season perhaps shook up the Nittany Lions, as they weren’t able to scoot past Vanderbilt on March 8.
In the Big Ten opener, Penn State faced No. 17 Rutgers and slid back into the win category with a 9-7 win and currently sits at No. 25 in the rankings.
Baseball season is officially in full swing. February 24 brought a doubleheader against Northern Illinois at home. The Nittany Lions secured two wins, 7-3 and 5-1. The following Sunday, Penn State played Monmouth and dominated in an 11-3 win. Overall, it was a pretty good weekend for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State faced Wagner on March 4, and it won 17-6. Later in the day, the Nittany Lions continued the winning streak with an 8-2 victory over Dartmouth.
The following day, the team had two games against Holy Cross. It split the series, giving the Nittany Lions a total of three wins for the weekend.
Penn State faced No. 14 North Carolina on March 8. The Tar Heels were simply too much for the Nittany Lions to handle, and Penn State was handed a rough 15-5 loss.
In a three-game series against Brown over the weekend, Penn State went home with two wins. The series was originally supposed to have a fourth game, but it was canceled due to rain.
After a strong start to their season, the Nittany Lions hit a bump in the road at the Queen City Classic. Across five games, Penn State walked away with wins against Charlotte and Kent State and dropped two games against Boston College, then one more against Georgia Tech.
That’s no worry for these Nittany Lions, though, as they continue to play good softball, highlighting what fans saw at the beginning of their season. At the Pirate-Spartan Classic, Penn State won all three of its games, allowing a total of only three runs.
Over the weekend, the team traveled to Florida for the USF Tournament. Once again, the Nittany Lions swept all of their opponents and currently sit on an eight-game win streak.
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