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Nittany Lions fall to Miami at home

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State men’s basketball team fell to the Miami Hurricanes in a tight 63-58 matchup in the 2021 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Wednesday evening inside the Bryce Jordan Center.

The annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge game saw 11 lead changes and six tie scores, with no lead larger than eight by the Hurricanes. Both teams shot 43 percent from the field after shooting under 39 percent in the first half.

Graduate student John Harrar led all players on the floor with 16 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and ninth in his career.

Junior Seth Lundy added 14 points, a season-high eight rebounds and a block, while senior Myles Dread had nine points, all from beyond the arc.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Penn State jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead to start the game thanks to back-to-back layups by Lundy and Sessoms. Miami then heated up and hit all four attempts from beyond the arc to take a 12-10 edge after the first media timeout.

It would stay a defensive battle through the under-8 media timeout as the Nittany Lions held the Hurricanes to just 2-of-10 from the field leading up to the break as the visitors stayed with a narrow 20-18 advantage.

Turnovers plagued the Nittany Lions to end the first half, but good defense would keep them in the game down just six at the half, 29-23.

Penn State opened the second half shooting 5-of-6 from the field, including a 5-0 run to start the stanza, to get within four, 38-34, at the under-16 media timeout.

A 10-0 run, with six of those points coming from Harrar, then forced Miami to call timeout as Penn State took a 40-38 lead with 14 minutes remaining.

That run would turn into a 15-2 run on 7-of-8 shooting over a five-plus-minute period as the Nittany Lions hit their largest lead of the game, 45-40.

The Hurricanes answered that run to retake a 51-48 edge at the under-8 media timeout.

From there, Miami would not let up the advantage for the remainder of the game. Penn State got within two, 60-58, with about 90 seconds remaining in regulation, but a Hurricane three off an offensive rebound would end up sealing the deal for the visitors.

GAME NOTES

Penn State dominated the glass, outrebounding Miami, 38-27. The Nittany Lions have outrebounded their opponents in five of seven games this season and have grabbed at least 35 rebounds in every game.

The Nittany Lion defense also controlled the paint, keeping the Hurricanes to 20 points in the paint, well under their season average of 32.6. Penn State also held Miami 10 points below its season-scoring average of 73.3.

Graduate student John Harrar recorded his third double-double of the season and ninth of his career with 16 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs.

Harrar shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor to tie his season high of 16 points, previously set in the season opener against Youngstown State (11/10/21).

Harrar also reached and surpassed the 600 career rebounds mark in the first quarter of the contest.

Junior Seth Lundy finished with 14 points and has scored in double digits in all but one game this season.

UP NEXT

Penn State remains home Sunday, Dec. 5 when the Nittany Lions open Big Ten Conference play against Ohio State. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET from the Bryce Jordan Center and the game will air nationally on Big Ten Network.

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