Penn State defeated Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday. The Nittany Lions set a tournament record with 16 blocked shots on the way to a 68-65 victory.
Ironically, Penn State’s game plan was to keep Nebraska out of the paint and not rely on interior defense, coach Pat Chambers said after the game.
“The block party, huh?” Chambers said. “They were driving the ball, we had high hands, we were trying to wall up and chest, and good things happened. … But I’m proud of my guys for playing as hard as they did as a collective unit and giving us an opportunity because statistically this is amazing.”
Senior guard D.J. Newbill, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, led the Nittany Lions with 26 points, and he was a major factor defensively with 4 blocks and 3 steals.
“[The Cornhuskers] were attacking the basket,” Newbill said. “I was fortunate to be able to get some clean looks at the ball, just trying to make defensive plays for my team.”
Penn State advances to Thursday’s second round, where it will face No. 5 seed Iowa.