UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State beat the 13th-ranked Virginia Tech men’s basketball team 63-62 tonight in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Only four players scored for the Hokies.
The Hokies (5-1) are now 0-3 in their Challenge duels with Penn State (4-2). Tech is 5-8 all-time in the Challenge.
There are 10 teams either ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 or receiving votes. Penn State is not among them. The 2018 NIT champion Nittany Lions had already lost to DePaul and Bradley this season.
Down 44-41, the Hokies went on a 9-0 run to grab a 50-44 lead with 10:57 to go. Justin Robinson had a layup and 3-pointer in the run, while Kerry Blackshear Jr. had two buckets in the run.
Penn State answered with a 12-5 run to grab a 56-55 lead with 5:31 to go. Myreon Jones had 10 points in the run.
Rasir Bolton hit a 3-pointer to give PSU a 61-58 lead with 3:43 to go.
After a Blackshear layup, Josh Reaves of PSU made a layup for a 63-60 Penn State lead.
After a PSU turnover, Robinson was fouled while driving to the basket with 1:24 left. Jamari Wheeler was whistled for a flagrant foul. Robinson made both free throws to cut the lead to 63-62 and Tech got to keep the ball. But Blackshear missed a shot that would have given Tech the lead.
Penn State turned it over with 31.1 seconds to go, giving Tech another chance to grab the lead.
But after a timeout, Robinson missed a deep 3-pointer. Ahmed Hill got the offensive rebound but missed a jumper. Penn State got the ball and Blackshear committed a foul to send PSU to the line with 4.8 seconds to go.
Myles Dread missed the front end of the one and one. Hill got the rebound but John Harrar picked off the pass.
Harrar missed the front end of a one and one, with Ty Outlaw getting the rebound with 0.4 seconds left.
Hill threw a long inbounds pass to Blackshear, who fumbled the ball.
Robinson had 19 points, Outlaw 16, Blackshear 14 and Alexander-Walker 13. Hill was 0 of 6 from the field.
Tech had 15 turnovers and shot 44 percent from the field.
Virginia Tech was off to its best start since winning the first seven games of the 2012-13 campaign.
With his team down 35-31, Robinson ended the first half by making back-to-back 3-pointers to give Tech a 37-35 halftime lead.
Tech shot 50 percent from the field in the first half to Penn State’s 46.7 percent. Tech was 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) from 3-point range in the half to Penn State’s 33.3 percent (5 of 15). Penn State had eight turnovers in the half but outrebounded Tech 18-13.
Tech went on an 8-0 run to grab a 21-13 lead with 10:40 left in the half. Ty Outlaw had two 3-pointers in the run. He was 4 of 4 from 3-point range at that point.
Penn State answered with a 10-0 run to grab a 23-21 lead.
Penn State center Mike Watkins, a returning starter who had yet to play this season, made his season debut off the bench Tuesday. He had been charged with disorderly conduct last month and told The Black Cager last month that he was dealing with mental health issues.