STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)Camren Wynter made a layup with less than a second remaining, capping Penn State’s rally for a 65-64 win over No. 21 Maryland in the regular-season finale.
“Right place at the right time,” Wynter said after the game. “The ball just came to me and I finished it.”
Penn State trailed by as many as 16 points late in the first half, and Wynter got his team back ahead in the second half with an under-the-hoop putback.
Jalen Pickett scored 16 points, Andrew Funk had 14 and Myles Dread had 11 for the Nittany Lions (19-12, 10-10 Big Ten), who snapped a two-game losing skid to the Terps.
Jahmir Young scored 14 of his 26 points in the second half for Maryland (20-11, 11-9), who entered the afternoon looking to earn the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Julian Reese had 12 points for the Terps, while Don Carey and Ian Martinez added 11 each.
“Frustrated and angry because we worked hard,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said. “We’ve battled on the road, we just haven’t been able to finish.”
Penn State, which is looking to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011, made 17 of 29 shots – including 6 of 16 from 3-point range – in the second half. It also had a 17-5 run over the final five minutes.
“We’re starting to take some question marks away,” Penn State coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “We’re paying our best basketball right now. This is what we’ve ben aiming for all season. Now, let’s go have fun.”
Penn State jumped out to an early lead, but Maryland surged back with a 14-0 run that included five 3-pointers, including three from Martinez. At the same time, the Nittany Lions went cold for nearly eight minutes, going 0 for 10 from the field.
The Terps earned their biggest lead of the game with five seconds left in the half when Carey sank a jumper to make it 35-19. Pickett cut it to 35-22 with a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” Shrewsberry said. “We weren’t at our best. It took us awhile. I think Pick’s 3 gave us a little bit of hope, a little bit of momentum going into halftime.”
Wynter, a senior guard, transferred from Drexel, saying he believed the Nittany Lions could make an NCAA Tournament run.
He said that “the last couple of games … the only thing that’s been on my mind is helping this team win so we can keep moving on.”
He’s had a knack for late-game heroics lately: Wynter also drained a buzzer-beating 3 in overtime at Northwestern on Wednesday.
Maryland: The Terps entered the day with a chance to be seeded as high as second in the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State: The team heads into the Big Ten Tournament with 10 conference wins for the third time in program history. While its chances for an NCAA Tournament berth seemed to fade after coughing up a 19-point lead at home to Rutgers, Sunday’s win and a solid conference tourney run could have them in position.
Both teams will play in the Big Ten Tournament. Game times had not been set as of Sunday afternoon.
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