Penn State Nittany Lions are the 2018 NIT Champions
NEW YORK—15 days and five games later, the Penn State Nittany Lions left Madison Square Garden as a team of champions on March 30, 2018. After defeating the Utah Utes with a final score of 82-66, the Nittany Lions were named the 2018 NIT Champions.
Making their first NIT debut since 2009, the Nittany Lions played a strong game. With a tough first quarter, the Nittany Lions were up against a fiery offense by the Utes. After fighting off the Utah offense, the Nittany Lions were able to come back with a lead in the last two minutes of the first quarter to finish it off with a score of 21-20.
From there, the Nittany Lions found their groove. Sophomore guard, Tony Carr and sophomore forward, Lamar Stevens led the charge. Carr, named “Player of the Game,” finished off the win with a total of nine rebounds, 15 points, and 14 assists.
Stevens led the scoreboards as the highest point-getter of the game with a total of 28 points. Freshman, John Harrar played a key role, finishing the game with 12 rebounds.
After an electric four quarters, the Nittany Lions finished out the game strong, with a total of 82 points. After an eight-year hiatus from the NIT Tournament, Nittany Lions players and fans alike had much to cheer about.
Head student manager for the team, Justin Ascareggi commented on the team’s energy after the win. “In the locker room after the game it was exhilarating. Every guy had a grin ear to ear and there was that sense of accomplishment. Every coach, player, and staff in the locker room has been putting in work since June to get to that point.”
“To end the season on the win, just made all the work that more gratifying,” said Ascareggi.