Game Grades: Maryland
March may be quickly approaching, but the madness has already begun in college basketball. Penn State defeated No. 17 Maryland on Wednesday night by a score of 78-61. This was a game that the Nittany Lions dominated from the beginning, improving their record to 12-16 (5-12). The win also capped off Penn State’s first three-game win streak of the season. Let’s take a look at some grades for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State’s offense exploded out of the gate early, going up 14-3 in the first five minutes and never looking back. Junior forward Lamar Stevens led the team in scoring with 24 points, and Freshman guard Myles Dread tacked on 17. The Nittany Lions were 16 of 31 from the field in the first half and finished the game with 11 offensive rebounds, opening the door to numerous second chance opportunities. Penn State also found success at the charity stripe, going 17 for 21 from the line. The Nittany Lions have found a way to share the wealth offensively. Having players other than Stevens step up has been huge for their success, and this was no different on Wednesday night. Overall, the Nittany Lions took advantage of a rattled Maryland defense by hitting shots from all over the floor. It wasn’t their biggest game offensively, but it got the job done.
Penn State’s defense had the No. 17 team in the country gasping for air on the offensive end. Maryland was only able to put up 20 points in the first half. The Nittany Lions finished the game with 11 steals, with senior guard Josh Reaves having four of his own. They forced 17 turnovers in all. Maryland’s leading scorer in junior guard Anthony Cowen Jr. was held to only three first half points, before finishing with 15. Penn State did a great job of applying pressure in transition, leading to turnovers and forcing bad shots. Maryland missed 20 of its 29 shots in the first half and finished 23 of 56 from the field. The Nittany Lions also out-rebounded the Terrapins 34-33. Penn State’s defense has looked strong as of late, and this game continued to prove that.
The madness continues with a clean sweep of A grades for the Nittany Lions. Head coach Pat Chambers has fought through adversity this season, with 11 of their 16 losses coming by single digits. However, he has turned this team around as of late, winning five of their last seven games and taking down their third ranked opponent of the season. Chambers had his team more than ready for this one, and his defensive scheme boggled Maryland’s offense. This Nittany Lion team may not be heading to the NCAA Tournament (yet?), but know this: no team wants to see Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament right now.
Preston Shoemaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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