Tony Carr hit a jump shot with 2.7 seconds left in overtime to lift Penn State to a 76-74 win over Nebraska on Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Carr scored nine of the Nittany Lions’ 11 points in the extra period. He finished with 17 points and eight assists. Lamar Stevens paced Penn State (13-6, 3-3) with 26 points, and Mike Watkins added 20 points and 15 rebounds.
“I just wanted to be aggressive and I found an opening in the defense,” Carr said. “I just took the shot.”
Carr drilled it to complete a 3-for-4 shooting effort in overtime, and Penn State celebrated the win after leading for most of the night.
The Nittany Lions led by as many as 16 in the second half and held an 11-point lead with less than eight minutes to play, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t close out the win in regulation.
With the game tied 65-65, Nebraska’s Glynn Watson Jr. missed a 3-pointer with four seconds left. Penn State then took possession with 1.3 seconds left, and Carr missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Carr hit a 3-pointer for Penn State’s first points in overtime to tie the game at 68-68. Nazeer Bostick also had a crucial bucket in overtime, pulling down an offensive rebound and finishing a layup to make it 70-70 with 1:47 left.
From there, it was all Carr, who finished 5 for 21 from the field. His teammates and coaches told him to keep shooting and keep making plays during the tough night offensively, and he came through to hit the biggest shot of the game.
“When you’re telling a kid that, he tends not to think about what’s happening as a negative,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “He tends to think, ‘All right, these guys really support me. I’m going to go get the next one.’ He hits a big 3, he hits a couple floaters. It’s big time.”
Player of game
Penn State guard Tony Carr: Carr scored more points in overtime than he did in regulation. He went into overtime with eight points and eight assists. The Nittany Lions needed the star guard — who finished 5 for 21 from the field — to make plays against Nebraska’s 1-3-1 zone to come out on top, and he delivered.
Reaves misses 2nd straight game
Josh Reaves was out Friday night due to an “academic concern,” the program announced before the game.
“We hope he’ll be back soon,” Chambers said.
Reaves, who also missed the team’s loss to Indiana on Tuesday, sat on the bench for the Nebraska game. Reaves is averaging 10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals this season. He leads the Big Ten in steals.
Wheeler earns 1st start
With Reaves out, Penn State freshman Jamari Wheeler earned the first start of his career against Nebraska.
Wheeler has contributed off the bench all season, ranking sixth on the team in minutes going into Friday night and bringing constant energy on the defensive end. Though the freshman didn’t score, he finished with three assists, five rebounds and one steal against Nebraska.
He went into the night ranked second in the league in steals (2.0 per game) behind Reaves.
Minnesota at Penn State, 7 p.m. Monday: The Nittany Lions host Minnesota before back-to-back road games against Northwestern (Jan. 20) and Ohio State (Jan. 25).