Michigan State basketball blows big second-half lead, upset at Penn State, 62-58

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Michigan State basketball’s biggest enemies proved their undoing again.

Committing inopportune turnovers and preventing offensive rebounds.

Penn State rallied from a 14-point deficit in the final 13-plus minutes to stun the 19th-ranked Spartans, 62-58, on Tuesday night at Bryce Jordan Center.

MSU (18-7, 9-5 Big Ten) struggled with energy all night but embarked on a 19-5 run to open the second half and appear headed to a second straight win.

Instead, the Nittany Lions (10-12, 5-9) hit from outside to rip off the ball inside

Seth Lundy drained another after the media timeout for an 11-0 run that pulled the Nittany Lions within 43-40 with 10:11 to go.

Penn State forward John Harrar drives the ball to the basket as Michigan State forward Gabe Brown defends during the first half of the 62-58 loss to Penn State on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Marcus Bingham Jr. stopped the drought briefly with a dunk, but Sam Sessoms hit a jumper and Jalanni White crashed the offensive boards for a putback to pare MSU’s lead to a point with 8:32 remaining.

The Spartans continued to grind, with Julius Marble hitting a pair of free throws, Malik Hall converting a three-point play and Tyson Walker draining a pair of shots.

But PSU countered everything MSU did, with John Harrar getting loose in the paint twice and Lundy draining the Nittany Lions’ 10th 3-pointer with 3:03 to play to again cut the Spartans’ lead to a point.

Lundy hit a jumper with 1:33 to go, and Harrar grabbed PSU’s 10th offensive rebound and put it back and completed a three-point play with 35.7 seconds left from which the Spartans could not recover.

Marble had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead MSU, which hosts No. 12 Illinois at noon Saturday at Breslin Center (Fox). The Spartans lost on the road to the Illini, 56-55, on Jan. 25.

Max Christie added 10 points but went just 4-for-11 and missed all four of his 3-point attempts. Walker had eight points and four assists as the Spartans made 41.8% overall but went just 3-for-11 from deep in the second half. MSU also committed just three of its 11 turnovers in the second half, but one was a critical shot-clock violation with a minute to play.

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Lundy’s 17 points led Penn State, including five of the Nittany Lions’ 10 3-pointers. Harrar had 16 points and 16 rebounds. PSU shot 51.9% after halftime and finished with 15 second-chance points on their 10 offensive rebounds.

MSU’s problems with turning the ball over and giving up offensive rebounds proved major issues again in the first half.

The Spartans PSU beat MSU on the boards 19-16 in the first 20 minutes, which included seven offensive rebounds that turned into eight second-chance points.

The Spartans grabbed just one of their own misses in the half while committing eight turnovers, leading to a five-shot differential in the Nittany Lions’ favor. And PSU kept firing from outside, making 5-for-13 on 3-point attempts to never let MSU pull away after it built a seven-point lead midway through the half on Julius Marble’s mid-paint hook shot.

Max Christie (5) of the Michigan State Spartans shoots the ball in the first half against Jalen Pickett (22) of the Penn State Nittany Lions at Bryce Jordan Center on February 15, 2022 in University Park, Pennsylvania.

The rest of the Spartans remained hesitant to shoot, going just 2-for-5 on 3-point attempts but 11-for-24 overall while limiting PSU to 8-for-29 shooting. Gone was the aggressive, attacking offense that got to the free-throw line 28 times in Saturday’s 76-61 home win over Indiana. And the MSU team that ran off 31 fastbreak points in an 80-64 victory over the Nittany Lions on Dec. 11 in East Lansing sputtered, going scoreless in transition in the opening half Tuesday.

Jalen Pickett’s 3-pointer followed by two free throws capped an 8-0 Nittany Lions run that gave them a brief lead inside of two minutes left before halftime. Mady Sissoko’s short jumper, however, pulled Spartans back into a 24-24 tie at the break.

Out of halftime, MSU came out firing. Gabe Brown missed his first two shots, but Christie got to the free-throw line after an offensive board. Then on his third touch, Brown flicked a pass to Joey Hauser for a 3-pointer. On his fourth, the senior captain finally found the net from deep as the Spartans scored the first eight of the second half.

Penn State wouldn’t go away, however, and kept things within reach as Sam Sessoms hit a 3-pointer and a layup and Myles Dread buried another from behind the arc.

Contact Chris Solari: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball blows big lead, loses at Penn State, 62-58


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