Temple blows late lead, falls to Penn State in first round of NIT
Temple's postseason ended Wednesday night after Penn State made a huge comeback in the final minutes.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Temple's postseason came to an end Wednesday night after Penn State made a huge comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter for a 63-57 victory in the Bryce Jordan Center in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.
In their first meeting since 2011, Temple held the lead for most of the game, while Penn State played catch-up.
The game had a Philly flavor as four Nittany Lions who played at Roman Catholic High School took the court at various times during the game.
In stoppages of play, there were even a few Eagles chants, and during halftime, a clip of the "Philly Special" was shown on the Jumbotron.
At halftime, only three Penn State players had scored - Josh Reaves with 13 points, Nazeer Bostick with seven and Julian Moore with four. Temple led by 29-24 at intermission.
The NIT is experimenting with new rules this year, with the most notable change being 10-minute quarters instead of 20-minute halves.
The other three rules include a widened lane from 12 to 16 feet, a 20-second shot clock instead of 30 seconds on offensive rebounds, and an extended three-point line of 22 feet, 13/4 inches.
Tony Carr, a Roman Catholic alumnus on the Nittany Lions roster, didn't crack the scoring column until the fourth quarter, cuting Temple's lead to 52-48. Carr, a sophomore, is expected to be a high pick in the NBA draft should he decide to forgo his final two seasons.
The Philadelphia native was unable to find a rhythm during the game, and struggled the entire game.
On the other side of the court, Josh Brown and Shizz Alston Jr. had themselves a day for Temple, contributing 14 and 15 points, respectively.
With just more than three minutes left in the final quarter, Reaves hit a three-pointer to cut Temple's lead to three, 54-51. When the Owls gained possession, they quickly turned over the ball and Penn State tied the game at 54 to get the whited-out Penn State crowd on its feet.
After another Nittany Lions layup, Shep Garner hit a trey to put Penn State up, 59-54, with just under a minute to go to extend Penn State's lead for the first time since the first quarter.
The win marks Penn State's first against Temple since 2000. The Nittany Lions will face Notre Dame in the second round of the NIT.