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Penn State Falls to Georgia Tech in 82-81 Overtime Loss

COLLEGE PARK, MD - DECEMBER 06: Penn State Nittany Lions guard Kanye Clary (0) scores against Maryland Terrapins forward Julian Reese (10) during the Penn State Nittany Lions game versus the Maryland Terrapins on December 6, 2023 at Xfinity Center in College Park, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Mile Kelly sank two free throws after a questionable loose ball foul on Ace Baldwin Jr. with 2.1 seconds to give Georgia Tech an 82-81 win in overtime Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In a highly competitive first half, both teams shot more than 50 percent from the field and more than 40 percent from the 3-point line. Georgia Tech had a significant edge in the rebounding department but committed more turnovers.

Penn State led for most of the first half until Tafara Gapare made two free throws to put Georgia Tech up 31-29 as part of a 7-0 run towards the end of the first half.

Georgia Tech led Penn State 39-37 at halftime.

Georgia Tech had a 23-7 rebounding advantage, had 12 assists to Penn State’s five, and had 18 points in the paint to Penn State’s 10 in the first half.

Penn State had 12 points off eight Georgia Tech turnovers in the half.

The back-and-forth play continued to start the second half with Nathan George hitting a couple of jump shots for Georgia Tech and Baldwin responding with a 3. Georgia Tech crept up to an eight-point advantage at 57-49 with a jumper and an assist by Gapare on back-to-back possessions.

Georgia Tech (6-3) continued to slowly increase its lead, using defense and rebounding to wear down Penn State as the second half wore on until Penn State (5-6) mounted a comeback, going on an 11-2 run and taking a 72-71 lead on a Puff Johnson layup with 1:19 left. GT’s Kowacie Reeve Jr. tied the game by making one of two free throws and the game as the teams went to overtime.

In overtime, Johnson hit a 3-pointer to make the score 77-76 and Ndango answered with a layup. Baldwin scored on a layup via goaltending. Kanye Clary made a jumper with 23 seconds remaining. After a wild exchange on Georgia Tech. Baldwin then got called for the controversial foul.

Gapare led Georgia Tech with 20 points, followed by Reeves Jr. 15 with points. Ndongo chipped in 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds, and Kelly scored 10.

Clary led Penn State with 23 points, followed by Baldwin with 18. Damarco Dunn and Johnson added 17 and 15 points for Penn State respectively.

Penn State will host LeMoyne College Thursday night, while Georgia Tech will face UMass in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic also on Thursday.

X: @bwalkerdadon

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