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Penn State Basketball: Busy February Catches Up To Nittany Lions In 82-66 Loss To Nebraska

by on February 14, 2017 11:20 PM

Penn State basketball has played five games in the past 14 days, three on the road.

Nebraska, the Nittany Lions' late Tuesday night opponent, entered the contest on five days of rest having played four games in the second month of the year, three of which were in Lincoln.

So it was not terribly surprising to see a back-and-forth first half turn into the gradual blowout victory as Nebraska made shots in transition and rebounded well en route to an 82-66 victory on Tuesday night.

Nebraska opened the scoring and led for much of the early stages of the game, getting out to a 20-17 lead with just over 12 minutes to go in the half. The Cornhuskers scored the vast majority of their points in the paint as Penn State's interior defense struggled, often a few steps out of position on some baskets in close.

Even so it was a solid shooting half by freshmen Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens that kept the Nittany Lions within reach. Down 34-24 with just over six minutes to go Penn State managed to claw back to within four at 39-35 as the half entered its final minutes. It looked as though the Nittany Lions would trail by just five at the break but a half court three pointer swished though the net as time expired to put Nebraska up 45-37 at the break.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were a similar affair although Penn State's shooting wasn't as consistent. Nevertheless a Shep Garner layup cut Nebraska's lead to 54-45 with 13:07 to play.

A quick Nebraska run took the wind out of Penn State's sails though as the Cornhuskers went up 63-47 after a Lamar Stevens basket had cut Nebraska's lead to just nine points moments earlier.

From there Penn State never managed a serious attack on the Cornhusker lead. The Nittany Lions shot 39.7-percent from the field while Nebraska managed just over 55 percent. The Cornhuskers also won the battle on the glass, 40-29, and registered 18 assists on a balanced offensive night.

By the game's end Carr and Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 15 and 13 points respectively. Garner's shooting woes continued with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Mike Watkins was busy in the box score with eight points of his own to go with three rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocks. Payton Banks followed up his career high scoring night against Illinois with a 2-of-10 shooting performance, going 1-of-8 from behind the arc.

Penn State will get six days off before hosting Purdue next Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center to start a run of four games to finish out the regular season.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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