Shep Garner led the Lions with 17 points, including three 3-pointers and a perfect day on the free throw line. Brandon Taylor was also a difference maker for Penn State, scoring 15 points and recording a double-double.
In the opening seconds of the game, Terrapin forward Jake Layman and Shep Garner traded three-pointers and Penn State played it tight against their nationally ranked opponent. Towards the middle of the first half, the Lions went on a 7-0 run and took their first lead of the night against the Terrapins 14-12. The rest of the half saw Penn State gain more momentum and the Lions headed into the locker-room with a 31-23 lead over their Big Ten foe.
Maryland came out of the halftime break with a vengeance. The Terps went on a 10-0 run and Maryland’s 6’11” Center Diamond Stone finished the game with a career high 38 points. Despite this, Penn State continued to play the Terps closely and Penn State held on to a brief 11-point lead. Unfortunately, with less than two minutes to play, Maryland tied up the game and a three-pointer with less than 30 seconds left was the nail in the coffin for the Nittany Lions as the game ended 70-64.
While the loss is a heartbreaker for the Lions, Patrick Chambers and his squad have much to be proud of. Playing it that close to the No. 4 team is an impressive feat and the Lions will only get better as the season progresses.
The Nittany Lions are headed to Ann Arbor on Saturday where they will take on the University of Michigan at 12pm. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.