Penn State edges Bahamas team

NASSAU, Bahamas — The Penn State men’s basketball team prevailed, 109-105, over the New Providence Basketball Association All-Stars in a double-overtime thriller in the first game of the “Summer of Thunder” tournament in the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore guard Tony Carr’s 3-pointer left broke the tie at 105 with 18 seconds left and freshman guard Jamari Wheeler added a free throw for the final margin.

Carr finished with 26 points, leading a total of six Nittany Lions with double-figure scoring. Senior guard Shep Garner had 24 points on 8-14 shooting from behind the arc. Both Lamar Stevens (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Satchel Pierce (13, points, 12 rebounds), the Lions’ leader on the boards, recorded double-doubles on the afternoon. Eugene Bain led the All-Stars with 32 points and eight rebounds.

“I thought our kids showed some guts, and some heart, and, most importantly pride,” Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers said. “It was definitely a difficult game. They were really talented, much older, much stronger, and they had some really good players, players who are on the (Bahamas) National Team. It was great preparation for us.”

The Nittany Lions were down as many as 13 points at the start of the fourth quarter. Carr (11 points) and Garner (nine points) combined for 20 points in that period as Penn State erased a six-point deficit inside the final four minutes of regulation.

A jumper by junior Josh Reaves tied the game at 81 with 2:16 left and a Garner trey pushed the Nittany Lions to an 84-81 lead 13 seconds later. Free throws by the All-Stars’ Eugene Bain knotted the game again at 84-84. The two teams traded free throws in the last eight seconds with Reaves and Dashton Baker each hitting two for the tie at at the end of four quarters. Reaves finished the day with 13 points.

“We battled all the way back,” Chambers said. “We didn’t put our heads down, and we were able to get it to overtime, and then grind it out to get to the second overtime. I felt like our guys showed the pride, what the alums, the pros who visited with us about a week ago, that they instilled in them, pride in the program, pride in the name across the jersey. A lot of different guys stepped up today.”

Penn State held the NPBA All-Stars to 39 percent shooting from the field (38-96) and six percent shooting from 3-point territory (2-30). The Nittany Lions went 10-19 (52.6 percent) in the fourth quarter and finished the game at 40 percent, including 45.5 percent in 3-point field goals (15-33).

“I was encouraged that we just stuck with them,” Chambers said. “Our team just said, ‘what do we need to do win this game?’ and that’s what they did. I threw some things at them that we did not go over in our practices. I threw some stuff at them during timeouts that we need to execute this. It was great to see the growth and maturity.”