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FutureStarrPenn State Boosts NCAA Tournament Hopes With 65-64 Win Over Maryland
Penn State University, situated in University Park, Pennsylvania, is a public research university that offers various academic programs including associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
University Park is one of the largest universities in America, with its main campus situated there and nineteen branch campuses scattered across the state.
On Sunday afternoon, the Nittany Lions rallied to win a thrilling Big Ten regular-season finale at home against No. 21 Maryland 65-64 to secure their top-10 seed for the upcoming tournament and keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Penn State started off strong in the first half, taking an early 10-4 lead with four minutes left in the first. However, Maryland answered with a 14-0 run to take control of the game with 11:35 remaining in the half. Unfortunately, several turnovers and lack of timely shooting allowed Maryland to go on this remarkable run.
Jalen Pickett's 3-pointer ignited the Nittany Lions' comeback and Andrew Funk also hit two more to close the gap to 14 points. But Jahmir Young answered with a jumper and Don Carey hit two free throws for Maryland to lead 34-22 at halftime.
Despite an impressive start, Penn State had trouble maintaining possession of the basketball in the second half. They turned the ball over nine times throughout the contest.
When they did manage to put the ball in the basket, they often took poor shots and made poor passes. Defense was another major issue as the Terps had plenty of chances on offense to shoot on the fast break.
After a timeout, Penn State got some timely buckets from Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy to cut the gap to three points. But Don Carey hit a 3-pointer for an even larger lead: 51-44 with 12:11 left in the game.
Maryland held a slim lead over Penn State at halftime, but that would be their only advantage going into the second half. The Nittany Lions quickly responded by outscoring Maryland 30-14 the rest of the way to secure victory and seal an impressive road trip for themselves.
Penn State's comeback victory on Wednesday night against Northwestern is a great sign for their recent success. On Senior Day on Sunday, they rallied from an 17-point deficit to claim victory.
The Nittany Lions kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive and secured a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament with an impressive 65-64 victory against No. 21 Maryland on Sunday at Bryce Jordan Center.
This victory extends their winning streak to six games and keeps them at 19-12 overall, 10-10 in the Big Ten. Additionally, it marks their fifth Quad 1 victory of the season and sixth victory in seven games to finish out regular season play.
Penn State made a slow start in the first half, but rallied for an incredible second-half comeback against Maryland. Pickett, Andrew Funk and Camren Wynter all scored double digits to lead by as many as 11 points at one point.
After Maryland took a 35-22 lead with an 10-0 run late in the first half, Penn State opened the second half on an impressive 20-13 run. Pickett scored eight points during this spurt while Funk and Wynter each added 3-pointers for a 53-45 advantage with 12:22 left to play.
With just under three minutes left, Maryland called timeout and took control of the ball downcourt with a 59-54 advantage. The Terps stayed on their feet, forcing Penn State into two turnovers on their next five possessions before Dread drilled a steal and three to cut the deficit to 4.
On the next Penn State possession, Jalen Pickett made a huge shot to make the score 63-62 with 43 seconds remaining in the game. Suddenly, Wynter stepped up and hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to secure an incredible comeback victory.
Wynter has been on a roll lately, making game-winning shots in crucial moments. He hit buzzer-beating 3-pointers against Northwestern and No. 21 Maryland earlier this month, and now he's made another to help Penn State secure victory in a Big Ten game.
Nittany Lions have earned another important victory, which puts them in position to make a strong run in the conference tournament and potentially gain an NCAA Tournament berth down the stretch. With their chances of making it into the field of 68 still looking slim, it is imperative that they focus on taking each game seriously and make it count.
In the Big Ten tournament, Maryland missed an opportunity for a double-bye by losing 65-64 to Penn State. After trailing by 15 points with 12:11 left to play, Penn State rallied and outscored Maryland 30-14 the rest of the way for an impressive victory.
Maryland's chances for a top-four seed in the Big Ten Tournament remain alive and could be determined later today when conference games conclude. The Terrapins entered today with an opportunity to be seeded as high as second, depending on how Sunday's remaining conference games play out.
Maryland enjoyed a strong start and took an 11-point lead into the locker room at halftime. Young scored seven of Maryland's first 14 points, while Don Carey and Julian Reese each added four as they shot 48.9% to build that early lead.
Donta Scott began a 15-0 run that put Maryland ahead 35-20 with six minutes left in the first half. Hakim Hart added another layup and an alley-oop pass to Scott for another three-point play.
Penn State's momentum began to shift in the final five minutes of the half, as they closed within one point and took a commanding 62-59 lead when Funk hit a two from the corner with two minutes left. Unfortunately, two shots from inside were missed before Njie hit an epic slam dunk to ignite the crowd - but it proved too little too late for Penn State to recover.
With just under a minute remaining, Pickett found Wynter for a layup that gave the Nittany Lions a 65-64 lead. Njie then had an open look at the basket but Lundy intercepted it with 0.5 seconds left and Maryland fell one point behind.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Terps, who began the day with an opportunity to be seeded at the top of the Big Ten Tournament. Now it is time to focus on getting ready for Thursday's start of action at the Big Ten Championship in Chicago.
The Terrapins had made an impressive 8-0 start that appeared unbeatable, but three straight losses to Wisconsin, Tennessee and UCLA revealed some flaws. Chief among them was Jahmir Young's inconsistent 3-point shooting - he made two late triples against Wisconsin but missed all five attempts in losses against Tennessee and UCLA.
Maryland started the game with a strong defensive stand, featuring full court man-to-man coverage to prevent Saint Louis from getting any offensive rhythm for over three minutes. This set the Terps up for an eight-0 run that gave them an early 10-2 advantage, which they held onto until Hart tied it with two free throws with 1:43 remaining in the first half.
After falling behind by 10 points, Maryland responded with an 10-0 run that featured 3-pointers from Young and Carey to take a 14-10 advantage. Martinez came off the bench and hit three consecutive 3-pointers within 2:16 of each other for an incredible 14-0 spurt that gave Maryland a 28-15 advantage.
Though down by 16 points with 9:06 remaining, the Nittany Lions weren't giving up easily. Pickett and Andrew Funk each scored two baskets to cut the deficit to 65-64.
On Maryland's final possession, Pickett kicked the ball out to Lundy who put up an airball, but Wynter recovered and buried it at the buzzer for his second straight game-winning shot - he had also scored against Tennessee in overtime on Tuesday.
Penn State was in need of every win to stay alive in the Big Ten and potentially earn a trip to the NCAA tournament. The Nittany Lions began strong with three from Dread, Lundy layup and Funk jumper to pull within 62-61 with 4:57 remaining.
After Young's 3-pointer, the Nittany Lions tightened up on defense with Pickett and Funk stepping out of the paint to deny Scott, Reese and Clark on the perimeter. On the other end of the court, Young drew an offensive foul and made all six free throws in the final frame for a victory that sealed it for them.