Texas too much for Penn State in the NCAA Tournament
Des Moines, Nia. (WHTM) — After dispatching Texas A&M in convincing fashion, the Penn State Nittany Lions will have to double down on the Texans if they want to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2001.
The top-ranked Texas Longhorns proved to be a bigger challenge. The Longhorns’ length upset Penn State’s shooters, limiting the Nittany Lions to just 29 percent shooting from outside the arc as the Texans advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a 71-66 win.
The Nittany Lions took a 58-55 lead with less than five minutes left on Seth Lundy’s quick-break layup, but the Texans retook the lead on Dylan Disu’s jump shot and never looked back.
The Nittany Lions hung with the Texans throughout the first half despite struggling on the ground, but an 8-2 run to close the half—punctuated by a Marcus Carr two-pointer before the buzzer at the end of the first half—sent the Texans into the locker room with a 31-23 lead.
Penn State stayed within striking distance for the first 15 minutes of the second half, never trailing by more than nine points, before a 10-0 run late in the second half gave them the lead. The Longhorns responded with a 10-0 run to regain a 63-58 lead, and took the win from there.
Disu was a difference maker for the Longhorns. The Texas forward led all scorers with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Sir Gabri Rice added 13 points off the bench for Texas. Marcus Carr was also in double figures for Texas with ten points.
Penn State did well defensively, and didn’t allow a Texas three-pointer until the middle of the second half. The Longhorns shoot only seven percent from deep, but 51 percent from the field. Texas narrowly edged Penn State 37-33 and won the nine-to-five capital turnover battle.
Camryn Winter (16 points), Andrewunk (12 points), Seth Lundy (11 points) and Jalen Pickett (11 points) scored double figures for Penn State, with Pickett notching a double-double (10 rebounds).
Texas moves on to face the winner from 11th-ranked Pittsburgh and three-time-ranked Xavier, who play Sunday at 12:10 to crash out of Day 2 of the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.