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A Win is a Win: Penn State Basketball Advances to B1G Semifinals

Their second overtime win against Northwestern advances the Nittany Lions to their first Big Ten Semifinal appearance since 2018.



Penn State Basketball
Mar 10, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; The Penn State Nittany Lions bench celebrate a three point basket against the Northwestern Wildcats during overtime at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State basketball advanced to the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals by upsetting the No. 2 seed Northwestern 67-65 in overtime Friday night. With their second overtime win against the Wildcats in nine days, the Nittany Lions will play in the Big Ten Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2018.

Many bracketologists had Penn State in the NCAA Tournament following Thursday’s massive win against Illinois. But Micah Shrewsberry and company are not leaving anything to chance and continue to rack up impressive wins. The Lions have won seven of eight games since suffering a four-game losing streak in early February.

Sicko Mode

Like the last time these teams played, Penn State struggled to hold on to the basketball early. The Lions had four turnovers in the opening minutes to go along with an abysmal 2-11 start from the field. Thankfully for Penn State, Northwestern was just as bad, shooting 2-13 to start. Going into the midway point of the first half, the 6-6 score looked reminiscent of something we might see in October.

There may be some deeper analysis to glean from the first 20 minutes of play. But there’s also a saying about putting lipstick on a pig. The first half was borderline unwatchable.

Penn State and Northwestern shot a combined 18-57 from the field in the first half. But relatively speaking, both teams went on a scoring spree in the final two minutes. The Lions claimed the lead after an 8-0 run, but Northwestern answered with five quick points to take a 26-25 lead into halftime.

While shooting woes made a one-score deficit feel like a mountain, the Nittany Lions’ lack of ball security was the differentiating factor in the half. Penn State entered the game ranked third in the nation with an average of 8.8 turnovers per game. Through 20 minutes of play, the Lions had already turned the ball over seven times, which led to nine Northwestern points on the other end.

Penn State Unable to Pull Away in the Second Half

Penn State basketball jumped out to an early six-point lead to start the second half, which for this game could have been classified as “running away with it.” Despite shooting 21% to start the half, the Wildcats had nine points off five Penn State turnovers, allowing them to stay in the game. In total, Northwestern had 23 points off turnovers on the night. Using a 9-0 run, Northwestern reclaimed the lead, 47-45, with 6:15 to play.

But then, Seth Lundy silenced the pro-Northwestern crowd with a three-pointer essentially shot from downtown Chicago. Both sides exchanged baskets over the subsequent sequences, but Penn State held a 52-49 lead going into the final media timeout.

Penn State had several opportunities to extend the lead but could not. Northwestern hit a three to take a 54-52 lead, but a Jalen Pickett layup quickly tied the game. With 1:33 remaining, Pickett went to the line with the chance to give Penn State the lead. He missed both shots.

The Wildcats quickly moved the ball down to Robbie Beran, who gave Northwestern the 56-54 lead with 1:08 to play.

With 37 seconds remaining, Seth Lundy drilled a clutch jumper to tie the game.

Northwestern’s next possession came up empty, and Penn State chose not to use their final timeout and instead played out the last possession. Andrew Funk had a clean look from deep but missed, sending the game to overtime.

Lundy Boosts Lions in Overtime

Jalen Pickett hit a three to open the extra period, followed by a point from the foul line to extend the Lions’ lead to four.

The lead didn’t last long, as Northwestern tied the game for the eighth time of the night with 2:03 to play.

After Kayne Clary went 1-2 from the foul line, Northwestern took a 62-61 lead with 1:17 remaining in overtime. But, like in regulation, Seth Lundy came down the floor and hit a massive shot. This time, it was from deep, and Penn State took a two-point lead with 45 seconds left.

Northwestern’s Boo Buie missed a wide-open three-pointer, giving Pickett a chance to make it a two-possession game with 25 seconds remaining. Penn State had missed six of their last eight free throws, but Pickett hit both to make it 66-62.

Much like the entire night, nothing came easy for Penn State. Boo Buie was at the foul line down by three with four seconds remaining. Buie made the first foul shot before intentionally missing the second. The Lions couldn’t get their hands on the rebound, giving the Wildcats one final chance for the win. For what felt like a lifetime, it looked like Chase Audige’s shot would fall. Ultimately the shot rimmed out, and Penn State escaped with the 67-65 win.

On a night when he could not establish any offensive presence, Jalen Pickett showed up in overtime. Pickett had six of his 15 points over the final five minutes of play.

But the hero of the night was Seth Lundy. His stat line won’t go down in the record books, scoring 16 points on 5-12 shooting with seven rebounds. However, Lundy hit two clutch shots – one to tie the game in regulation and one to give the Lions the win in overtime.

And just like that, Penn State’s drive for a Big Ten Tournament title continues.

Penn State Basketball: It’s Time to Believe

Despite Friday’s ugly performance, Penn State basketball is hitting its stride at the right time.

Less than a month ago, the Nittany Lions were in the middle of a two-week-long losing streak. Many outside of the locker room didn’t give the Lions a realistic chance to make March Madness. And at the time, they were right. Penn State was playing lousy basketball.

What the Lions have done since then is nothing short of spectacular. Penn State has won all but one game, including an upset of then No. 21 Marylandtwo wins against Illinois, and two wins against Northwestern. The Lions now have seven Quad 1 victories, including two double-digit wins against Quad 1 opponents.

In all reality, Penn State’s play over the last month was likely enough to punch their ticket to the dance. The win on Thursday night essentially assured it.

But now, it’s about something more. Penn State has a realistic shot to content for – if not win – the Big Ten Tournament title. The Nittany Lions will play the winner of Friday’s late-night quarterfinal between No.3 seed Indiana and No. 6 seed Maryland – two teams the Lions have already defeated this season.

Yes, a rematch against top-seeded Purdue would likely loom in the finals if Penn State were to win. But the Boilermakers have experienced their struggles down the stretch, and Penn State is playing its best basketball of the season.

The Lions may historically give us hope, only to rip it away. But something about this latest stretch feels different. Penn State has gutted out more gritty wins in the last month than at any other point that I can remember in my lifetime.

Folks, it’s time to start believing in Penn State basketball.

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ICYMI: Penn State basketball legend Lamar Stevens finds new NBA home

Former Penn State basketball star finds a new home in the NBA.



Penn State basketball, Lamar Stevens, Boston Celtics
Mar 3, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions forward Lamar Stevens (11) reacts after shooting a three point shot during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Bryce Jordan Center. Michigan State defeated Penn State 79-71. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Argubly the GOAT of Penn State basketball has found a new home after his surprise trade and release this offseason. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, forward Lamar Stevens has agreed to a deal with the Boston Celtics. 

The Penn State legend had spent his first 3 years in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers after signing with them as a free agent after going undrafted in the 2020 NBA draft. He started as a 2-way player with the organization and eventually earned a full contract as his role grew in Cleveland. He played in a total of 165 games for the Cavs, including 38 starts, where he averaged 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Lamar was able to masterfully transition from an offensive focal point and go-to scorer at Penn State to an off-ball defensive-minded role player in the NBA. 

Lamar joins a Celtics team that has been very familiar with Penn State in recent years. Former men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry was an assistant coach for the Celtics for 6 years and has maintained a good relationship with a lot of his fellow colleagues and players. This includes former Celtics head coach and current general manager Brad Stevens, who made his way to Penn State to visit coach shrews and watch the Nittany Lions a number of times over Shrewsberry’s 2 years in Happy Valley. 

Lamar Stevens will look to contribute to a Boston Celtics team that has lofty expectations. After a season that saw them lose in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and a busy offseason of moves, the Celtics will be one of the favorites to win out in the East and ultimately win the NBA finals. Stevens picking up a lot of starts seems unlikely, barring injury, but he has the potential to carve out a great bench role in Boston thanks to his incredible defense and instant energy. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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BREAKING: Penn State basketball lands Dominick Stewart

The Penn State basketball team has landed a new commit in the 2024 class today.



Mike Rhoades, Penn State basketball, Dominic Stewart
Dec 5, 2018; Austin, TX, USA; Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Mike Rhoades walks the baseline watching the team play during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at Frank Erwin Center. Mandatory Credit: John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Rhoades and the rest of the Penn State men’s basketball recruiting staff got some good news today from the recruiting trail as the 2023-2024 season inches closer. The 2023 schedule was released this week and tip-off is nearing closer. But before that takes place, Rhoades and his staff have been hard at work trying to secure the future. A step in that direction was taken today, as the Nittany Lions landed top prospect Dominick Stewart. 

Penn State basketball lands Dominick Stewart

Class of 2024 guard Dominick Stewart announced his commitment to the Nittany Lions on Friday afternoon. Dominick is a 6’5 guard from Maryland and is currently playing at the Southern California Academy in California. He is the 184th-ranked player nationally and a three-star by the ON3 industry rankings. He carries an impressive offer list that includes Butler, Creighton, Mississippi State, and Cal. Penn State offered back in July after Dominick’s very strong showing on the AAU circuit which included All-Breakout team selections at Peach Jam in the Nike EYBL session #3. This commitment comes from a recent visit he took to Happy Valley at the beginning of the month. 

Stewart looks like a good get, especially after that impressive AAU run that got many schools noticing him. He is a smart and skilled player who can fit into many lineups and spots on the court. He is a good shooter with a great jumper. His jump shot is smooth and quick which allows him to avoid contests and score in bunches when he gets hot.

He processes the game at an impressive speed and is constantly making the right play. Not your typical lead ball playmaker, but is a fantastic connector, keeping the ball moving and hitting the open man. Those smarts apply to the other side of the ball too. Stewart uses his good size at hoard effectively to guard up and down the lineup. He is a good and willing team defender which fits the Rhoades style well. 

Where does Stewart fit in at Penn State?

Stewart, originally a member of the 2025 class, becomes the second member of Penn State’s 2024 class after reclassifying. He joins fellow guard Jahvin Carter as the first high school recruit to commit to Penn State since Mike Rhoades took over. Jahvin, who committed back in June, and Stewart make an interesting pair in the backcourt and share a lot of skills that the staff clearly values. The biggest one is their basketball IQ. They should both be important pieces in building a smart and skilled program for the future of Penn State Basketball. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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Penn State Basketball has released its 2023-2024 official schedule

The Penn State basketball 2023-2024 schedule is here!



Penn State basketball, Mike Rhoades, Schedule
Mar 18, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Myles Dread (2) and forward Michael Henn (24) salute fans after a loss to the Texas Longhorns at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

After a long wait, we now know what awaits the Penn State Men’s Basketball team this winter. Year 1 of the Mike Rhoades era is around the corner with the release of the 2023-2024 basketball schedule. The schedule totals 30 games including an in-season tournament, a potential revenge game, and another Palestra special

Penn State Basketball has released its 2023-2024 official schedule

Before all that, however, the season opens up on November 6th against Delaware State. This game, at the Bryce Jordan Center, starts a run of home games to begin the year against Lehigh (November 10th), St. Francis (November 14th), and Morehead State (November 17th). This all leads to the ESPN Events Invitational.

Penn State gets its first big test down in Orlando in a rematch against Texas A&M. The game takes place on Thanksgiving, November 23rd, and will be a great chance to test out the radically different roster against a more familiar opponent. Penn State will play a total of 3 games in the tournament win or lose with the potential for a very intriguing matchup

If the Nittany Lions are able to go all the way to the championship they could match up against Mike Rhoades’ former school, VCU. This would obviously be huge for the coach against his old school, but it also features a “revenge” opportunity for a couple of players as well. Point guard Ace Baldwin Jr. and forward Nick Kern Jr. both followed coach Rhoades from VCU to Penn State this past spring. While this game would be amazing, it is unlikely. Penn State and VCU would both have to mirror each other in each round whether that means winning out, losing out, or somewhere in between. A matchup we are guaranteed is another Big Ten Showdown in Philly.

On January 7th the Nittany Lions will take on Michigan in the Palestra. This will be the second year in a row Penn State will host a game in the historic arena and the 4th time since their 2017 matchup against Michigan State. Penn State has a long history in the arena playing 61 games there since 1927, and win or lose, the environment is always electric. 

The schedule in full goes as follows:

November 6th: vs. Delaware State

November 10th: vs Lehigh

November 14th: vs St. Francis(PA) 

November 17th: vs. Morehead State

November 23rd: vs Texas A&M*

November 24th: vs Butler/FAU*

November 26th: vs TBD*

December 2nd: vs Bucknell

December 6th: at Maryland

December 9th: vs. Ohio State

December 21st: vs Le Moyne

December 29th: vs Rider

January 4th: at Michigan State

January 7th: vs Michigan 

January 10th: vs Northwestern

January 13th: at Purdue 

January 16th: vs Wisconsin

January 20th: at Ohio State

January 27th: vs Minnesota

January 31st: at Rutgers

February 3rd: at Indiana

February 8th: vs Iowa

February 11th: at Northwestern

February 14th: vs. Michigan State

February 17th: at Nebraska 

February 21st: vs Illinois 

February 24th: vs Indiana 

February 27th: at Iowa 

March 2nd: at Minnesota 

March 10th: vs Maryland 

March 13th-17th: Big Ten Tournament

*= ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida

**= home game in Philly at Palestra

Penn State has already played a couple of warm-up games with two big wins in the Bahamas that gave us our first look at this new squad. The team has also announced a third against Robert Morris on October 27th as they gear up to take on this 23-24 schedule. As Mike Rhoades looks to begin a new era in Penn State basketball. 

Thank you for reading Basic Blues Nation. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and insights on your favorite Penn State athletics. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email us at [email protected] or direct message us on our social media. Also, be sure to check out our new site shop. It’s due to your support that we can become one of the market’s fastest-growing Penn State sports outlets!

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