Friday’s docket only contained one Big Ten game, but it ended up going down in thrilling fashion between two teams desperate for a win. Nebraska went on the road to face Penn State and ended up going to overtime to settle the score.
Let’s take a look at how the game played out.
Game of the Night:
-Penn State Nittany Lions 76, Nebraska Cornhuskers 74 (OT)
Let’s not sugarcoat things. Friday’s matchup between Nebraska and Penn State wasn’t exactly the prettiest game. Neither team was able to get things rolling all that much offensively and, as such, it became a battle to see who could grind things out in front of a half empty arena of Nittany Lion fans.
Early on, the two teams kept things quite close. However, a late first half run pushed Penn State to a 33-24 lead at the break. Lamar Stevens led the way for the Nittany Lions and ended up scoring 26 points on the night. It was his third-straight game where he scored 20 or more points.
However, in the second half, Nebraska came storming back and was able to get things tied in the final minutes. But after Nebraska butchered a late possession with a chance to win the game, the game went to overtime.
Things were, once again, competitive in overtime. However, Tony Carr came up with some huge plays late to push the Nittany Lions to victory. All told, Carr had nine points in the overtime segment, which is certainly an impressive performance in clutch time.
For Penn State, this is a nice win to get things moving in the right direction once again. The team is now 13-6 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play. It would still take quite a run to get the Nittany Lions back in serious NCAA Tournament contention, but Friday’s win at least keeps the at-large dreams alive. For now.
On the other side, Husker fans have to be beside themselves with how the game unfolded on Friday evening. Heading into the matchup, Nebraska had won five of its last six games with the only loss coming on the road against a great Purdue team. The team looked like it had turned the corner and might be able to sneak its way into the top portion of the Big Ten and a potential postseason bid.
However, with Friday’s loss, Nebraska and Tim Miles find themselves with serious ground to make up to keep those dreams alive. TRank now has Nebraska well outside its list of NCAA Tournament contenders and it’s hard to argue with that logic. The Huskers’ best win came against Minnesota and with the Gophers collapsing, that win doesn’t look that impressive anymore.
Nebraska will face Illinois at home on Monday and Penn State will move on to face Minnesota at home on Monday as well.