Penn State just started its three-game summer tour down in the Bahamas. In the first game of the stretch, the Nittany Lions played the most intense exhibition game known to man, beating the NPBA All-Stars in two overtimes.
The Nittany Lions came back from 13 points early in the 4th quarter to win this game on the backs of Tony Carr and Shep Garner. Picking up from where he left last season, Carr took over the game near the end and willed his team to victory. Although they made a comeback in the fourth quarter, they found themselves down five points late in the first overtime, once again. When all looked lost in the first overtime (less than 10 seconds left, down two), Carr made a floater that sent the game to the second overtime. The Lions took over from there, using some key mistakes by NPBA to seal the victory.
As expected, this being the first game in a while meant a lot of working out of kinks for the team. So playing two overtimes may have been a blessing in disguise for these guys as it allowed them to settle more into the groove of things.
A few notes on players:
Satchel Pierce and Jamari Wheeler got a lot of run, and both looked like they’ll be solid contributors during the season. Pierce had a double-double, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Wheeler had three assists and three steals, and played 20 minutes in the game.
Shep Garner did not start this game, but was the sixth man off the bench (he still played 31 minutes in the game, though). Yet, in terms of stats, this is one of the best games I’ve seen him play. 24 points on 8 of 16 shooting, all makes from three-point line. This may not be the case come November, but if Garner can come off the bench and provide scoring, he may have found himself a role he can excel in.
Lastly, Deividas Zemgulis, who played 10 minutes in this game, saw two of his shots go in (only took four total). We’ve been waiting to see his sharp shooting ability to show itself in a game, and hopefully this was the beginning.
As a sidenote, it was announced sometime last week that Mike Watkins wasn’t going to make it to the Bahamas, for undisclosed reasons. If you were one of those concerned this would have an effect on Watkins, he seems to be just fine: