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Dread’s Three Lifts No. 16 Nittany Lions to 65-64 Victory

Courtesy of GoPSU sports

Photo by Tim Weight

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Sophomore guard Myles Dread’s late-game 3-pointer sealed the Penn State men’s basketball team’s (21-7, 11-6) 65-64 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-11, 9-9) on Wednesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Rutgers guard Geo Baker nailed hit a jumper from the left wing with 45 seconds remaining to give Rutgers its first lead of the game at 64-62. Less than 15 seconds later, Dread came off a screen and connected on the Nittany Lions’ only 3-pointer of the second half to put Penn State back on top 65-64. Dread finished the night with 11 points and a career-best seven assists.

Penn State’s stout defense on the Scarlet Knights’ final possession forced a contested trey that hit off the back of the rim. John Harrar grabbed the rebound, his seventh, as time expired.

“I’m really proud of Myles [Dread], it took a lot of courage to want to take that shot,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “…We were in a storm, man, were we in a storm in that second half. I give Pikiell credit for what he’s done at Rutgers. I told the guys at halftime, ‘You know Rutgers, I know Rutgers, they’re not going away. This is what they do. This is how they play.’ Unfortunately, for us, it came to fruition, but there’s a lot of lessons to be learned here, and we’ll watch this film and get better.”

The Scarlet Knights overcame a 17-point Nittany Lion lead by shooting 51.4 percent in the second half and going 6-7 over a 3:25stretch to pull within one, 51-50, midway through the second half. Back-to-back field goals by senior forward Lamar Stevens and a Brockington off-balance jumper put Penn State back up by seven, 57-50 with seven minutes to play.

Penn State pulled back up to a double-digit lead at 60-50 after Harrar had a dunk and then added a free throw just under the six-minute mark. The Scarlet Knights responded with a 12-2 run to tie the game at 62 with 92 seconds to play and then took the lead with 42 seconds left.

The Nittany Lions got off to a fast start, taking a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of Wednesday’s Big Ten matchup. Rutgers trimmed the Nittany Lion lead to 13-10 after Penn State’s initial surge, but Penn State used a 27-9 run to push its lead to 40-19 over the next 11 minutes of action.

Dread was the facilitator in the first half, handing out a career-high seven assists. Eight Nittany Lions scored in the period as Penn State shot 50 percent and had 10 assists on 13 baskets.

Junior Jacob Young led Rutgers in scoring with 13 points on 5-9 shooting.

Nittany Lion sophomore Izaiah Brockington finished with a game-high 16 points and collected five rebounds.

Stevens collected another milestone as he became the Penn State’s Big Ten scoring leader, passing Talor Battle (1,209 points) in Wednesday’s win. Stevens has scored 1,217 points in Big Ten play in his Nittany Lion career.

The Nittany Lions travel to Iowa to face the No. 18/17 Hawkeyes on Saturday, Feb. 29next Big Ten matchup. The noon ET game will air on the Big Ten Network. Penn State plays its final home game Tuesday, March 3 vs. Michigan State.

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