Penn State basketball couldn’t overcome foul trouble and cold shooting in the second half, as the Nittany Lions fell 89-78 to N.C. State on Saturday afternoon in Atlantic City.
The Nittany Lions opened the afternoon contest fairly well taking an early five-point lead, but it was the largest that Penn State would have all game just a few minutes into regulation. N.C. State’s offense, which shot 61% from the field on Saturday, warmed up, and took the lead not long afterwards.
Penn State’s troubles truly began when Lamar Stevens picked up his third first-half foul. Stevens would eventually be whistled for a fourth foul in the second half. It marked just the 18th time in 82 career games that the junior had accumulated more than three fouls.
Even so the Nittany Lions managed to stay within reach of the hot-shooting Wolfpack, and trailed 40-37 at the break. N.C. State and the Nittany Lions jousted back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the second half but cold shooting eventually plagued Penn State as the Wolfpack ballooned their lead to 16, points with less than four minutes to play.
Penn State had previously cut the deficit to just four points with 7:35 to go before N.C. State made eight of its last nine shots, while the Nittany Lions made four of their last 17 shots in the second half.
Rasir Bolton continued his own hot streak scoring 25 points for Penn State while Josh Reaves and Stevens added 15 and 11 points respectively. Mike Watkins poured in 10 points and five rebounds of his own.
The Nittany Lions fell to 5-5 and travel next to face Duquesne this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBSS.