Penn State basketball fades down stretch against Ole Miss in NIT Season Tip-Off |
Penn State

Penn State basketball fades down stretch against Ole Miss in NIT Season Tip-Off

Associated Press
Mississippi forward KJ Buffen (5) stops Penn State forward Mike Watkins (24) from scoring during the second half of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in New York. Mississippi won 74-72.

NEW YORK — It is one of the oldest adages in sports: Good players win games. Just ask Mississippi coach Kermit Davis.

Breein Tyree scored 18 points to lead Ole Miss to a 74-72 come-from-behind victory over Penn State in the first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center on Wednesday night.

Blake Hinson added 17 for the Rebels, who improved to 5-1. Bryce Williams finished with 15 points and KJ Buffen had 13.

“I told the team, ‘That was a players’ win,’ ” Davis said. “We just kept making plays after plays and drove the ball. That was one of the best wins I’ve been a part of in 38 years of coaching.”

Lamar Stevens scored 22 points for the Nittany Lions (5-1). Mike Watkins contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds. Myreon Jones added 12 points.

Whereas Davis was positively gushing about his players, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers publicly questioned his.

“We just don’t have that mental toughness to keep competing at a high level.” Chambers said while pounding the table after the game to emphasize his point. “To be able to finish games. To be able to win.”

Ole Miss trailed by 21 early in the second half, only to tie the game 70-70 on Tyree’s layup and free throw with 1:06 left.

Penn State regained the lead 72-70 on a Stevens layup, but Tyree drilled a jumper and Williams’ two free throws gave Ole Miss their first — and only — lead.

Penn State jumped to a 20-6 lead in the first 7:27, led by 16 with 3:38 remaining and built a 43-27 halftime advantage. The Nittany Lions forced 14 turnovers in the first half, and 20 of their 43 points were scored in the paint.

Jones’ dunk at the 6:13 mark stretched Penn State’s lead to 54-35.

Following a timeout, Ole Miss ripped a 15-3 run in a span of 4:18 to pull to 57-50, but a Stevens left-side 3 as the shot clock expired pushed Penn State’s lead back to 10. It grew to 66-52 before Ole Miss went on an 11-0 run over a span of 2:21 to cut the deficit to 66-63.

Whereas Ole Miss continued to make shots, Penn State went cold. Following a Watkins’ jumper with 7:21 left, the Nittany Lions only scored six points — all from the free-throw line.

“I think they started making shots and their effort was much better in the second half as opposed to the first half,” Chambers said. “I thought we got good shots. We didn’t make (them). And then we started turning the ball over.”

Penn State finished with 16 turnovers, eight in each half.

Categories: Sports | Penn State
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.