Penn State couldn’t overcome late cold-shooting and a Maryland-favored 25-6 free throw disparity as the Nittany Lions fell on the road 66-59 to the No. 24 ranked Terrapins.
Maryland opened the game hot going ahead 12-3 but the Nittany Lions clawed back to trail just 12-11 as Josh Reaves hit a trio of three-pointers. The senior exploded for an early 13-points in the opening 11 minutes of play.
Penn State would continue to play well in the first half as the Nittany Lions turned an early deficit into a 29-21 advantage with 3:18 to go in the half. A Rasir Bolton jumper would be the only basket Penn State would make in the final minutes though and Maryland worked its way back to trail by just a point at the half 31-30.
The Nittany Lions battled foul trouble all night as seven of the nine players to hit the court for Penn State had two or more fouls by the break. Penn State also struggled on the glass and the Terps made the most of it to the tune of a 40-28 advantage while shooting 25 free throws to Penn State’s six.
The second half was largely more of the same as Maryland pulled ahead early with a 9-2 run to lead 39-33.
Penn State once again worked its way into the game thanks to a back-and-forth affair eventually retaking the lead 48-47 via a Bolton jumper with 10:37 to go.
Unfortunately for Pat Chambers, the Nittany Lions would go on to make four of their next 15 shots, seven of those coming from beyond the arc. With 34 seconds left it was Anthony Cowan draining a deep three-pointer to put Maryland ahead by five and all but ending the Nittany Lions’ upset hopes of a second-straight Top 25 team.
Penn State would shoot 36.7-percent from the field on Saturday afternoon getting 19 points from Lamar Stevens who shot 9-of-24 from the field while Reaves and Bolton 17 and 15 respectively.
Myles Dread and John Harrar were the only other Nittany Lions to score, but adding just eight points to the Nittany Lions’ total. In his second game back from injury and what essentially amounted to suspension, Mikes Watkins logged 11 minutes but managed no rebounds or points.
Penn State returns to action this coming Tuesday to face Indiana at the Bryce Jordan Center.