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Penn State Annihilated by Nebraska, 82-66

If the first half was bad, the second was just plain ugly.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska ran our Nittany Lions out of Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday night in Lincoln. The Huskers won 82-66 thanks to a superb offensive effort that will leave many Penn State fans shaking their heads after the blue and white looked solid on defense against Maryland and Illinois. Freshman center Jordy Tshimanga dominated on the interior early on and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. He was just one of four Huskers in double figures, as Australian forward Jack McVeigh scored 15 points off the bench including a 45-foot prayer to end the first half with the score 45-37 Nebraska.

Unfortunately, that last-second heave was only a sign of things to come. Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens helped Penn State keep pace in the first half, but Nebraska kept pouring gas on the fire during the final 20 minutes. Usually it’s Penn State that has the advantage in the transition game, but the Huskers took control with three straight fast-break buckets midway through the second half.

Following a Stevens miss, Glynn Watson Jr. went coast to coast and finished with a layup and the foul for three of his 15 points. After Nazeer Bostick missed a three-pointer, Isaiah Roby answered with an alley-oop dunk from Josh Reaves’s former high school teammate Evan Taylor. To cap off the spurt, Roby dunked again following a rushed Shep Garner layup attempt. That made the score 63-47 with 11 minutes to play, and the game was pretty well in hand.

Four Factors

Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Penn State 70 0.94 42.8% 23.7% 11.4% 25.4%
Nebraska - 1.17 60.0% 28.0% 17.1% 35.7%

Penn State shot the ball pretty well in the first half, but as the game started to get away from the Lions, they missed more and more three-pointers, finishing 4-for-20 from beyond the arc. That’s not going to get the job done when you let the other team shooting as well as Nebraska did. The Huskers did a better job moving the ball around, with assists on 18 of 31 field goals, compared to six on 25 field goals for Penn State.

Pat Chambers’s team was at least able to keep the turnovers down, and that might have meant something if the shooting or defense was up to par tonight.

Player of the Game

Tony Carr showed off his jump shot in this one, and he finished with 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting for his seventh straight game in double figures. That type of consistency is great for a Penn State team that doesn’t know what it’s going to get from Shep Garner every night. On this night, it got very little from the junior shooting guard, and Carr did all he could to pick up the slack.

Random Observations

  • This weekend showed us that Payton Banks is fun to watch when he’s on, but when he’s off, basketball viewing can get pretty painful. I kept wondering if he was imagining himself as Larry Bird or Reggie Miller when he kept jacking up those threes.
  • Terrence Samuel continues to be under the weather or something. He didn’t check in tonight until garbage time. That wouldn’t be as much of a problem if Nazeer Bostick could give Penn State something on offense. For now, the raw freshman is just an energy guy.
  • Watching Banks and Shep Garner miss a lot of shots makes me wish that Josh Reaves was a bigger part of the halfcourt offense. He’ll flash some skills from time to time, but he’s not a consistent double-figures guy yet.

Up Next

Penn State has THON Weekend off and will next play on Tuesday, February 21 at home against Purdue. The game will be televised on BTN!