The last seven seconds of Penn State’s 59-58 loss to Rutgers Saturday afternoon in Piscataway summed up the Nittany Lions men’s basketball season perfectly; they almost had it.
With seven seconds left and the Scarlet Knights nursing a one-point lead, Rutgers’ Paul Mulcahy threw an errant inbound pass that Penn State’s Seth Lundy stole.
Without much time to move, Lundy passed off to Sam Sessoms, who could only manage a wild three-point attempt at the buzzer that didn’t connect.
Penn State finishes the first regular season of the Micah Shrewsberry era 12-16 overall and 7-13 in the Big Ten. Of those 16 losses, nine have been on the road, and nine have been by single digits.
The Nittany Lions scored the first points on a Lundy three-pointer, but Rutgers responded with a 9-0 run, and Penn State never got the lead back. The Nittany Lions trailed by as much as 15 in the second half, but fought back to tie the game with two minutes left. The Scarlet Knights outscored Penn State 4-3 in a low-scoring last two minutes and held on.
Lundy led Penn State with 20 points, and John Harrar added 17 points and 15 rebounds. Sam Sessoms also added 10 points off the bench. Ron Harper Jr was the only player to crack double figures for Rutgers, finishing with 15.
Unofficially, Penn State will be the No. 11 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Indianapolis.