Penn State surrenders 19-Point lead in heartbreak loss against Rutgers

Written by Francis Mizner | Edited by Andre Monroe

Despite being up as much as 19 points, Penn State falls to Rutgers 59-56 in a Big Ten thriller.

Camren Wynter and Derek Simpson each led their respective team in points with 16 each. Rutgers was able to find enough to fuel in the tank to outlast Penn State in the closing minutes.

The game started slow, as the first few minutes of the game consisted of missed shots, turnovers, and fouls from both teams. The first points of the night came at the 17:45 mark by Aundre Hyatt who hit a three pointer on the wing, followed by a pull-up jumper by Penn State G Camren Wynter.

Penn State got things rolling with a smooth Andrew Funk pass to Kebba NJie in the paint resulting in a dunk. The very next offensive trip the Nittany Lions would capture their first lead of the day with a three pointer at the 15 minute mark.

The scoring didn’t stop there for the Nittany Lions as they would go on a 12-0 run heading into the media timeout.

Rutgers was finally able to make a basket following its scoring drought, but Penn State responded with yet another run, this time nine straight. 

However, the Nittany Lions slowed down the scoring in the final four minutes of the first half but the defense remained consistent as they held Rutgers  to 23% from the field.

The Nittany Lions finished the first half up by ten with a score of 31-19.

Penn State jumped out to another 11-2 run to begin the second half, which included a pair of three pointers from both Andrew Funk and Camren Wynter, as well as a ferocious slam dunk by Seth Lundy; his first points of the game. 

Rutgers finally found some success from behind the arc as they hit a pair of three pointers for themselves, and went on a 9-0 run.

After going scoreless for a little over three minutes, Penn States’ Seth Lundy was able to go three for three from the free throw line bringing the lead back to double digits. 

Rutgers’ shot making ability got far better as the game went on which brought them within three in the final four minutes. Guard Derek Simpson was able to lead the team in points with 16, and Spencer Cam was able to put up 11 in just the second half.

Penn State went scoreless from the field for over six minutes and Rutgers were able to claim their first lead of the game since the opening five minutes of the first half.  

After a missed free throw, Penn State had the opportunity to tie the game with the last possession but were unsuccessful. 

The Nittany Lions, who were up by as much as 19, suffer a gut-wrenching loss to fall to 16-12. They will travel to Evanston next in a matchup against Northwestern. 

Francis Mizner covers Penn State Basketball for Insider Institute, Follow him @MiznerFrancis1.

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