Another day, another loss for the Penn State basketball team. Pat Chambers usually takes the blame after a loss, but this one is all on the players. The score was close all game, with the largest Nebraska lead being 10 points, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t get over the top. The game was in their hands, right there for the taking, but couldn’t take advantage of some easy opportunities in the last possessions of the game.
With 30 seconds left in the game, Jermaine Marshall made a three to make the score 66-63 Nebraska. On the ensuing inbounds play, D.J. Newbill was able to steal the ball from Ray Gallegos with 25 seconds to play. The last 25 seconds would be disastrous for PSU. Newbill got fouled after the steal and would go to the line for two free throws. But, the referees also called a flagrant foul on Nebraska for an elbow to the face of Ross Travis. So, Ross Travis would get 2 free throws, and Penn State would get the ball. In total, PSU would get four free throws and the ball back, only down three points. Newbill, a 68% shooter, made 1-2. Ross Travis, a 60% shooter, bricked both of his attempts. Penn State, now down 2, inbounded to Jermaine Marshall, who drove to the hoop and drew a foul. Marshall was 6-6 on the day and is a 76% free throw shooter, but you can probably see where this is going. Marshall missed both of his free throws, leaving Penn State’s deficit at 2 with only 15 seconds left to play. In total, Penn State went 1-6 from the foul line in a span of 10 seconds. A team can’t choke like that and expect to win, and they didn’t. Brandon Ubel would sink two free throws to effectively put the game out of reach. The final score was 68-64, dropping Penn State to 0-6 in the Big Ten.
Nebraska got a huge performance out of Freshman Shavon Shields, who came into the game averaging only 6.2 points per game. Shields shot 10-11 from the field and 8-8 from the line to get 29 points on the game, his career high. Penn State’s leading scorer was Jermaine Marshall with 18, but he was only 5-16 from the floor. Penn State didn’t get much from anyone else, and leading scoring D.J. Newbill struggled mightily shooting the ball and looked extremely uncomfortable running the point. Newbill has been playing out of position almost all year, and this game might have been his ugliest as a point guard. He committed six turnovers, and seemed to lose control of the ball almost every time he tried to dribble past his man. D.J. only scored 11 points on 3-11 shooting. Both teams struggled to score the ball early, highlighted by Nebraska’s 1-10 start. Penn State started 3-10, and that trend would continue, as they finished at a measly 38% shooting. The Huskers, however, fixed their struggles, and finished the game at 47%. Penn State’s defense has been a problem all year, and letting a team as bad as Nebraska hit almost half of their shots is pretty terrible.
Penn State’s next game is Wednesday night in Bloomington, Indiana as they take on the Hoosiers. The game starts at 7 on the BTN and Penn State will again look for their first B1G win of the year. The two teams already faced each other this year, with the Hoosiers winning by 23 points.