|1st Half||2nd Half||OT||Final|
After a tough loss at Indiana earlier in the week, Penn State men's basketball pulled back up to .500 in the conference with a much-needed overtime win over Nebraska. The Nittany Lions let a 16-point lead slip away in the second half, but fought back in the overtime period to secure Pat Chambers' 100th win in Happy Valley.
Lamar Stevens was absolutely fantastic for the Nittany Lions for the third-straight game, leading all scorers with 26 points on 56 percent shooting. Not to be overlooked, Mike Watkins also had himself a day with 20 points and 15 rebounds - his fourth-straight double-double. He and Tony Carr found rhythm in the pick and roll together, and Watkins delivered on his end by going 7-8 from the field as Carr racked up eight dimes for the game. For the second straight outing, Chambers was without Josh Reaves, who remains sidelined with what the program is calling "academic concerns." This time started Jamari Wheeler in his place after Nazeer Bostick got the starting nod against IU, though each played 26 minutes.
Nebraska started the game going toe-to-toe with Penn State, but some great Lions paint defense forced the Huskers to become one dimensional and try their luck on jump shots. Nebraska managed just four points in the paint for the first half and 14 for the game. The stingy defense held the Huskers scoreless for nearly the final three minutes of the first half, while Penn State built a near double-digit lead.
The Nittany Lions kept on adding to that lead and had it as high as 16 early in the second half. Nebraska slowly chipped away throughout the frame, but with about ten minutes remaining, something clicked for the Huskers, as they found a way into the paint and could not miss the shots that hadn't been falling earlier in the game. Penn State, meanwhile, went cold trying to figure out Nebraska's 1-3-1 zone, and when the dust settled, the game needed to go to overtime as Glynn Watson's potential game-winning three from 23 feet clanked off the side iron.
In the overtime period, Carr took over. While he did not have his best game from the field - he shot 5-21 for the game - nine of Carr's 17 points came in crunch time, including the game-winning jump shot with three seconds left.
Next up for Penn State (13-6, 3-3) is a Monday match-up with Minnesota. The Gophers are in a tailspin due to injuries and off-court malfeasance, though Nate Mason and Jordan Murphy still form one of the league's best duos.
Chambers and Carr Postgame Quotes
Chambers on who was the key to tonight's win:
"Bostick made some big-time plays for us. Lamar was terrific for most of the game and Mike was just a beast. But I really felt like Bostick and the guys off the bench provided us exactly what we needed to accomplish this win tonight."
Carr on his mentality heading into overtime:
"Keep attacking. There's going to be nights like that where your shots aren't falling and the defense is keying in on you. You just need to keep attacking and keep taking the shots that I've been working so hard for."
Chambers on Reaves' status going forward:
"He's attending to his academics right now. We hope he'll be back soon."
Carr on hitting the game-winning jump shot:
"It felt great. My last game-winner didn't go, this one did. Hopefully they keep going in, I know there's gonna be more."
Chambers on Stevens' hot play of late:
"He's playing consistent basketball right now. We're really relying on him to be one of our top scorers. ...Tonight I felt like he gave us 40."