Penn State moves onto NIT semifinals as Lamar Stevens scores 30 in 85-80 win over Marquette
Penn State coach Pat Chambers talks to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Temple in the first round of the NIT tournament in State College, Pa., Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The Lions beat Marquette in the NIT quarterfinal on Tuesday to advance to the tournament’s semifinals.(AP Photo/Chris Knight)
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.
The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face either Mississippi State at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.
Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey’s missed 3 with 46 seconds left.
Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.
Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).
The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.