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Penn State Hoops Falls To Nebraska 68-49, Extends Three-Game Losing Streak

Penn State men’s basketball (12-14, 6-9 Big Ten) were defeated by Nebraska (17-8, 7-7 Big Ten) 68-49 in an embarrassing road loss. The Nittany Lions scored a season-low 49 points as the Cornhuskers handed Penn State its third straight loss.

Zach Hicks led the way scoring 13 points, including 11 in the first half, and Ace Baldwin Jr. added 10 points of his own but shot 4-for-11 from the field and didn’t score until the second half.

How It Happened

The Cornhuskers won the opening tip but couldn’t score on the opening possession after a missed Keisei Tominaga three. D’Marco Dunn got the scoring started for the Nittany Lions scoring the first points of the game on a driving layup.

After multiple stops by Penn State on the defensive end, Zach Hicks entered the scorebook with a layup of his own. With still no points after nearly the first four minutes of action, Nebraska got on the board with a layup from Josiah Allick. Brice Williams grabbed a steal and found Juwan Gary for another layup to tie the game at four.

Nebraska kept the pressure on with Rienk Mast drilling a three-pointer. However, Dunn ended the 7-0 run with a mid-range pull-up jumper heading into the first media break of the game.

Out of the timeout, both teams missed multiple shots and struggled to get any offense going. That was finally ended when Gary drove to the lane and got a layup to drop and Mast picked up a foul call and hit 1-of-2 free throws. Penn State continued to miss shot after shot, and the Cornhsukers scored once again as C.J. Wilcher hit a second-chance layup.

Down six, the Nittany Lions got their first three-pointer of the game to drop after Ace Baldwin Jr. found Hicks open for the triple to cut the deficit in half, and after a stop on the defensive end, Nick Kern Jr. hit a jumper to make it a one-point game.

Jamarques Lawrence didn’t let that last long as he went right down the floor and scored a layup. Dunn one-upped him on the other end with a three to tie the game at 14. Mast and Lawrence hit back-to-back shots to go back up four, but Hicks kept them in it drilling a jumper heading into another media break.

With just over seven minutes left to play in the first half, Hicks tied things up at 18 after being fouled on a three and hitting 2-of-3 shots. Tied at 18, Tominaga finally scored his first bucket of the game on a jumper in the paint. Kern missed a pair of free throws, and Hicks missed a three that allowed Allick to score a layup to go up four.

After missing his previous shot, Hicks scored a layup for his 11th point of that game, the first time he’s scored double-digits in the first half, although Tominaga drilled a three on the other end to make it 25-20 Nebraska. Dunn picked up a foul call and drilled a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game once again.

For the next 2.5 minutes, both teams were unable to score any kind of points, keeping it close heading into the final minute of the half. With under 30 seconds to play, Gary drove through the lane scored a layup, got the and-one call, and made the free throw. Penn State missed on its final possession of the half, and the teams went into the break with Nebraska leading 28-22.

At the start of the second half, Mast opened things up with a hook shot in the lane. Hicks continued his hot start with a jumper for the first points for Penn State, but Allick answered on the other end with a layup to increase the lead to eight.

The Cornhuskers kept their foot on the gas as Gary scored another two points from a pair of free throws, and Williams hit a layup to go up 12, forcing Mike Rhoades to call a timeout.

After the timeout, Tominaga hit a stepback jumper but was answered after Baldwin finally scored his first points of the game. After a turnover by Mast, Kern scored a layup to make it a 10-point game, but Tominaga followed that bucket up by drilling a long three.

Gary kept the Cornhuskers rolling hitting a layup, but Jameel Brown answered back with a layup of his own. After that bucket, Nebraska went on an 8-0 run. Sam Hoiberg started it off with a layup Lawrence kept it going with four points in a row and Gary scored another layup.

Kern finally ended the scoreless run with a single point on a free throw, but Wilcher kept it going with a pair of free throws. Now down 22, Penn State got a run of its own going, and Qudus Wahab sunk a layup and an and-one free throw to score while Baldwin followed with a three.

Mast got a much-needed bucket for Nebraska on a dunk, but Brown and Baldwin drilled back-to-back threes to make it 55-43. With only five and a half left to play, Tominaga drilled a three, and Mast followed up that bucket with a hook shot to go back up 17.

Baldwin got another layup to score but after the bucket, he was issued a technical foul, and Tominga drilled both free throws and scored a jumper on the possession that followed. Penn State continued to miss shot after shot, and with time winding down, the game grew out of reach.

With just over a minute left to play, Cale Jacobson hit a layup and Kern answered with one of his own. Hoiberg scored a layup off the following possession, and Brown was fouled shooting a three and hit 2-of-3 free throws. After the free throws, the Cornhuskers dribbled out the clock and won 68-49.


  • The offense was terrible. There’s no sugarcoating it. The Nittany Lions scored only 49 points in the loss, their lowest total in any game this season. From the field, they shot 18-for-54 (33.3%) and from three 5-for-23 (21.7%) to register one of the worst shooting performances of the season.
  • Zach Hicks played well but went cold in the second half. With Kanye Clary out with an injury once again, Hicks stepped up in the first half scoring 11 points but only managed to score two points in the second half. He also added six rebounds.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will return to Rec Hall for the “Return To Rec” game against the No. 14 Illinois Fighting Illini. The game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21, and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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