Penn State men’s basketball hosted Rutgers Saturday afternoon for a local Big Ten Conference matchup and fell 70-68 against the Scarlet Knights.
Penn State (12-12, 4-7), trailed throughout the matchup against Rutgers (13-11, 2-9) and struggled to come back after a 45-29 deficit at halftime.
In the second half, the team went on to score 39 points compared to Rutgers’ 35, but the team fell two points short of a comeback. In the fourth quarter, freshman Tony Carr had the chance to tie the game with the clock winding down, but was unable to convert the game tying lay-up and the Nittany Lions dropped their 7th Big Ten Conference game this year.
Penn State junior guard Shep Garner led the team with 24 points and went 6 for 9 at the 3-point line while Carr finished with 17 points and Mike Williams and Deshawn Freeman scored in double digits for Rutgers.
“We definitely didn’t have the juice [tonight],” said head coach Pat Chambers after the game. “We definitely didn’t have the energy that you need to compete for 40 minutes in the Big Ten. You can’t show up in the last three minutes and finally play with some energy and juice. We have to do a better job. You can’t think about the past. It’s like a reliever. You give up a homerun, next play, next game, next day, next practice.”
The game was also Team Ream Day, an annual day celebrated at the men’s basketball game honoring Brandon Ream, a native of Happy Valley and a former Penn State football player who passed away in 2013 after battling cancer. To honor ream, the crowd was treated to a BMX performance at halftime in center court.
Penn State will once again host a local Big Ten opponent Tuesday as the team takes on No. 17 Maryland at the Bryce Jordan Center at 6 p.m. The game will broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.