The Penn State men’s basketball team hung in with No. 16 Texas A&M for much of the game Tuesday night, but the Aggies pulled away in the end 98-87 at the Legends Classic.
The Nittany Lions are now 5-1 on the season. Texas A&M is 4-0.
Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr both made huge impacts, with 25 and 31 points, respectively. But A&M shot 60 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Lions by a 37-to-23 margin.
The Aggies led 42-40 at halftime, and the two teams were tied at 45 three minutes into the second half. But that’s when the ranked team started to pull away — by going on a 21-6 run.
Penn State never fully recovered.
A&M’s unlikely 3-point play: With 5:32 left in the game, Penn State had gradually chipped away at A&M’s double-digit lead and trailed just 77-72. The momentum was starting to shift to the Nittany Lions’ end of the court — up until A&M capitalized off one of its missed free throws.
Josh Reaves fouled A&M’s DJ Hogg, who sank his first free throw and then missed his next. The Nittany Lions failed to box out, and Tyler Davis recorded the offensive rebound by throwing down a dunk and stealing the momentum. The Aggies led by eight at that point, and their cushion remained at six points or above the rest of the game.
Player of the game
Texas A&M’s Robert Williams: The 6-foot-10 power forward, who could be playing in the NBA right now if he wanted to, proved to be nearly unstoppable Tuesday. He was 10 of 12 from the field and finished with 21 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Penn State vs. Oral Roberts, 3 p.m. Friday: The Nittany Lions will be back in University Park for one more non-conference game, before facing N.C. State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 29 and then starting up their Big Ten slate on Dec. 2 against Iowa.