Penn State men’s basketball can’t hold late lead in loss to Maryland

The Penn State men’s basketball team could not hang on down the stretch, falling 75-69 at Maryland on Tuesday night.

Anthony Cowan led the Terrapins (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten), who have won seven straight, with 18 points and Freshman Bruno Fernando added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Mike Watkins netted 17 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (11-5, 1-2), Tony Carr tossed in 16 points to go with eight assists and Lamar Stevens scored 15 points. Josh Reaves drilled three 3-pointers for nine points to go with six assists.

Penn State held a 61-56 lead after Watkins made 1 of 2 free throws with 6:22 left, but the Terps launched into a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. A Stevens 3-pointer briefly ended the run with 2:29 remaining to pull within 65-64, but that was as close as the Lions could get.

The Nittany Lions missed 10 of their final 13 field goal attempts over the final six minutes, and scored fewer than 70 points for the first time since Dec. 4, a 64-63 loss to Wisconsin.

Player of the Game

Maryland’s Kevin Huerter scored all of his 13 points in the final 12 minutes, including a 9-for-9 showing from the foul line and seven of the Terps’ final 19 points.

Charity stripe disparity

The foul line played a major factor. Maryland was 23 for 34 in free throws, while Penn State was just 2 of 4 in the game. The Lions were whistled for 24 fouls, the Terps had 12 calls against them.

“You’ve got a home-court advantage here,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers told the media in College Park. “I don’t know if that influenced (them) at all, but 34 free throws versus four is tough to swallow because we played some really good basketball.”

Added Maryland coach Mark Turgeon: “Did we get a good whistle? Probably.”

Up next

Maryland visits No. 1 Michigan State on Thursday. Penn State hosts Northwestern at 8 p.m. Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center.