Penn State Basketball seniors lead slugfest 55-50 over Maryland

Penn State Nittany Lions forward Seth Lundy (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State Nittany Lions forward Seth Lundy (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Penn State Basketball
Penn State Nittany Lions forward John Harrar (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /

Wow.  This was ugly.  But Penn State Basketball did just enough to earn the hard-fought 55-50 win over the Maryland Terrapins.

Unlikely strong play from Jamari Wheeler (6 points and a dime), Trent Buttrick (a slam dunk, assist and three rebounds) and Myles Dread (5 points with an assist) kept the Nittany Lions afloat during a truly ugly first half.

Were the Lions still playing Wisconsin?

Penn State also forced 11 Maryland turnovers, which helped make up for a 10-29 (34.5%) first half of shooting, including a measly 3-14 (21.4% from beyond the arc).  Maryland built up a 23-14 lead with 2:47 to go but scoring from the aforementioned Dread, Harrar and Brockington knotted up the game as both teams looked to improve their offensive in half two.

The only other key facet of half one was Maryland only being called for two fouls (one offensive) compared to the Lions 6.

Penn State Basketball ran the lead up to 7 but Maryland cut it right back.

Myreon Jones and Seth Lundy kept getting good looks but the shots just would not fall for the traditionally leading scorers.  A Dread three put the Lions back in the lead 53-46 with 4:34 to go after Maryland missed an open look on the other end.

The Lions got another stop but despite another amazing effort from John Harrar on the glass were unable to add to their lead.  Two Donta Scott free throws cut the lead to five and Myreon missed another close floater.  A missed Maryland three, a horrible live ball turnover by Jones and a missed wide open layup by Maryland kept the lead at 5. Another Lions turnover was followed by another Maryland turnover as the game deteriorated to first half level.  Maryland failing to convert on either live ball turnover allowed the Lions a huge sigh of relief as Ferry (actually Harrar) called their second to last time out, leading 53-48 with 1:42 to go.

Out of the timeout, somehow, John Harrar got called for an offensive foul, the Lions third turnover in a row. Maryland Missed a WIDE open three and Penn State got the ball on the alternate possession on the rebound.

This was ugly.

Penn State broke the press and worked the shot clock. Myreon Jones turned it over AGAIN and Maryland drove to the bucket and earned two free throws.  Eric Ayala made both free throws and Myreon Jones went to the bench with an apparent injury joining Lundy as our best two free throw shooters road the bench.

Penn State almost turned it over against the Maryland press but the ball went off Maryland.  Then Penn State Basketball almost turned it over again as Ferry screamed for his last timeout to avoid the 10 second back-court violation with 24.6 seconds left.

Could Penn State get the ball into the front court and make the clutch free throws?

Maryland immediately fouled Jamari Wheeler as the shot clock was turned off.  Big time seniors make big time shots, right? And he’s hit three 3’s already today, right?

The 52.4% shooter drilled both free throws!

Penn State almost forced a turnover but Maryland got the ball on the alternate possession trailing 5 with 9.1 seconds left.

A missed three and final rebound by Harrar sealed the win for the Lions.