The Penn State men’s basketball team led by as many as 11 Wednesday night — but it watched that lead dissolve into an 85-78 loss to N.C. State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Nittany Lions opened the game on an 11-0 run, as the Wolfpack didn’t score their first points until Allerik Freeman made a jumper 5:23 into the game. But N.C. State took its first lead less than 10 minutes later and ended the first half on a 10-2 run to lead 37-30 at the half.
Both teams ended up shooting similarly from the field, but Penn State was 5 of 13 from 3 while N.C. State was 10 of 16.
With the win, the Wolfpack improve to 6-2 while Penn State falls to 6-2.
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Player of the game
Penn State’s Tony Carr: He finished with 29 points on 12-of-25 shooting and added seven rebounds in the loss. He was the only player, on either team, to score more than 19 points. He also had an assist and a steal.
N.C. State’s response in final 90 seconds: The Nittany Lions led by as many as 11 and trailed by as many as 13 — but they chipped away at the deficit in the second half. With 1:49 left in the game, Tony Carr hit a trey to cut the deficit to 75-72. But N.C. State had a response every time Penn State was about to change the game.
After Carr’s 3, Freeman made a jumper. After Carr made two free throws, N.C. State’s Braxton Beverly made two free throws. After Lamar Stevens made a layup, the Wolfpack nailed one of two free throws. You get the idea. Right after that, with 30 seconds left, Penn State’s Nazeer Bostick turned the ball over, and Beverly made another two free throws to put the game out of reach.
Penn State at Iowa, 5 p.m. Saturday: The Nittany Lions will open up their conference season against the Hawkeyes and will host Wisconsin on Monday night.