This was the first road test for this year’s Penn State Basketball squad, and it took place in Clemson, South Carolina for the Big10/ACC Challenge, and Micah Shrewsberry’s team fell in double-overtime, 101-94.
The Nittany Lions jumped out in this one quickly with a 12-3 lead in the first 5 minutes of the game. After trading some baskets, the Nittany Lions had a 21-13 lead with 9:12 to play in the 1st half.
Clemson proceeded to go on a 8-0 run to not the game at 21 with 6:35 to go in the half. Penn State Basketball would take back control in the half hitting a few three pointers to take a 35-29 lead into the half.
The Nittany Lions shot 50% from the field including 6-13 from three in the half.
Penn State Basketball looked totally outmatched to start the 2nd half. Clemson opened the half on a 13-2 run to give them a 42-37 lead at the 15:10 mark.
Turnovers were a major factor in the slow start. The lack of a big man also proved problematic as the Tigers made it a mission to go inside possession after possession. The inside game also caused the Tigers to get into the bonus just 6 minutes into the 2nd half.
The Nittany Lions continued to struggle from the field in the second half and found themselves down 54-47 with 7:37 to go in the game. Clemson had shot 60% to Penn State’s 26.7% to this point in the half.
Penn State was able to battle back thanks to some success at the free throw line and tie the game at 58. The Nittany Lions found themselves down after a Hunter Tyson 3 to give Clemson a 69-62 lead with 51 seconds left. Picket quickly drove down the floor to cut the lead to 5 and Penn State fouled on the ensuing possession.
Clemson split extended the lead to 6. Myles Dread missed a three pointer but a foul on Clemson and two Seth Lundy makes from the line the lead was 70-66 with 19 seconds to play. Penn State fouled and Clemson missed both free throws, Wynter was fouled on the other end, and he hit both of his to cut the lead to 2 with 12 seconds to play.
Clemson split the pair once again and Penn State called a timeout. What happened next was about as improbable as this being a three-point game. Pickett took the inbound inside the arc, turned and fired to Funk who hit a fall-away bank three pointer with 5 seconds left. The Tigers would miss and somehow incredibly this game was heading to overtime tied at 71.
Clemson opened the overtime scoring with a PJ Hall made jumper to give the Tigers a 2-point lead. After a foul, Camren Wynter once again went 2 for 2 from the line and tied it up. Chase Hunter responded for the Tigers with a three pointer, his first of the game to push the lead back to 3. Wynter once again was fouled, and Penn State cut the lead back to 1. After a Clemson basket Pickett was fouled and he went 2 for 2 from the line.
The Tigers missed the next possession and Pickett responded with another tough fall away jumper to give Penn State a 79-78 lead. Myles Dread would foul out and Clemson hits 1 of 2 to tie the game back up. Jalen Pickett once again hit a fall-away jumper to push the lead back to 2 for Penn State and got a stop on the other end. Wynter was unable to give the Nittany Lions a 2 score lead and Clemson drew a foul on the other end hitting both free throws and knotting the score at 81 with 38 seconds to play in OT.
Wynter did his best Pickett possession, backing down into the paint and hitting the layup pushing him to 23 points on the game. PJ Hall got the ball back inside and backed down freshman Kebba Njie to tie the game back up at 83. Pickett got a good look to end OT but couldn’t get it to go and we went to a 2nd overtime.
Clemson opened the overtime with a quick three to take an 86-83 lead. After trading a few baskets, a three pointer by Seth Lundy saw the game tied once again at 88. Things went south quickly from that point. Two tough Clemson shots gave the Tigers a 4-point lead and then a block on Njie led to a fast break and a 94-88 Clemson lead with 59 seconds remaining in double OT. After exchanging free throws Dallion Johnson hit a 3 to cut the lead to 96-93. Clemson would hit both free throws pushing the lead back to 5. Pickett had one last chance to cut the lead but missed an open 3 and the Nittany Lions were once again forced to foul.
What loss to Clemson means for Penn State Basketball
This loss will be a tough one to swallow as Penn State had the game won in overtime and really had plenty of opportunities. They were able to get back into the game thanks to incredible shooting from the free throw line finishing 25-29. The Nittany Lions had three players score over 20 points in the game with Lundy (23), Pickett (23), and Wynter (26). The difference in the game came down to shooting. Clemson shot 50.8% from the field while Penn State shot 40.8%. The Tigers also shot 52.4% to the Nittany Lion’s 30.6% from beyond the arc.
This was going to be a tough game to win, but it puts Penn State in danger of a losing streak with a tough stretch coming up.
Penn State basketball will return to the Bryce Jordan Center December 7th for a matchup with No. 20 Michigan State.