NEW YORK – Three Nittany Lions scored in double figures with sophomore Tony Carr leading with 21 points as Penn State coasted to a 75-60 victory over No. 4 seed Mississippi State in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinals.

The Nittany Lions’ 25th win on the 2017-18 season tied them with the 1989-90 team for the second-most in program history.

History was also made when senior guard Shep Garner broke the Penn State career record for 3-point field goals. Garner connected on six treys and established the new career mark with 334. The previous record was help by Pete Lisicky (332) set during his 1994-98 career. Garner also holds the Nittany Lion single-season mark, now at 118.
Penn State faces No. 2 seed Utah for the NIT championship at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, in Madison Square Garden. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. It is the Nittany Lions’ third trip to the finals, the last coming in 2009 when they won the championship.
“I’m really proud of my team,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “We came out, we competed hard. I thought the defensive end really set the tone for us offensively. We got stops. For the most part, we got rebounds, we were able to push it. To have seven days off, that’s a great challenge for any team. I’m sure it’s a challenge for the other three teams that were here, how to conduct yourselves what to do when to push, when to pull back. These guys were receptive and really responded over the last four or five days to prepare ourselves for a great SEC team.”
A 19-0 run to start the second quarter allowed Penn State to pull out to a 37-11 lead with sophomore forward Lamar Stevens scoring the first five points of the period. Carr had 10 in the period and finished his third NIT game with 20 or more points and his 24th of his career.
Carr and Garner combined for 26 points in the first half with Garner’s four 3-point field goals, two in each of the first two quarters. Garner’s four triples in the first half tied him with Pete Lisicky (1994-98) for Penn State’s career record of 332. At 8:41 left in the third quarter, Garner took over the career 3-point record and added his sixth 3-pointer for good measure.
Stevens had 17 points off six field goals, including a 3-pointer, four free throws, and a team-best eight rebounds. He also tied his career best with six assists.
Mississippi State led for the first minute of the game and tied the score at 9-9 with 6:11 left in the first quarter. The Nittany Lions ran out to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 18-11, and Penn State scored 24 points in the second quarter and kept Mississippi State to only 12 points and 36 percent shooting to take a 42-23 lead into the locker room.
Six different Nittany Lions scored the first six baskets of the night. Penn State had one of its top three efforts of the 2017-18 season with 18 assists and had 17 points off turnovers. Garner and freshman Jamari Wheeler each had three steals to lead the Nittany Lions.
Mississippi State’s Tyson Carter scored 19 points with Adbul Ado adding 13 and Aric Holman 10. Ado tied Stevens for the game-high with eight rebounds.
As part of the 2018 NIT, experimental rules were in place which included utilizing a wider lane, the international three-point line, and four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.
Tickets for the NIT championship game are available for the general public through Ticketmaster.com. Penn State student tickets may be purchased through the student account manager through 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28.

For information or to make a 2018-19 Penn State men’s basketball season ticket deposit, fans should go to nittanylionfeedback.com/se/3FF63F244373D7BF or call 1-800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Keep up to date with the latest information from Coach Patrick Chambers and the Nittany Lions on Twitter by following @Coach_Chambers and @PennStateMBB, liking the team’s page on Facebook and following the team Instagram account at @PennStateMBB.