Penn State went on a magical run through the Big Ten Tournament, defeating Northwestern and upsetting Ohio State along the way to make it to the semifinals. However, that would ultimately be the end of the road for the Nittany Lions, as they lost to Purdue, 78-70, falling one win short of the championship game.
In the loss, Penn State’s Shep Garner played his heart out, scoring a career-high 33 points in 40 minutes. With a trip to the championship game, Penn State would have been a shoe-in for the NCAA Tournament. But the loss leaves Penn State’s tournament hopes up in the air. As a result of this, and the fact that the loss marked the last Big Ten game of Garner’s collegiate career, the senior guard was overcome with emotion.
Garner’s post-game emotion was shown in the Big Ten Network’s latest installment of The Journey.
Watch the video here:
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) March 10, 2018
In the video, Garner said:
“I wanted it so bad. I remember guys that came before me. You don’t really understand it until it’s your turn, like ‘Wow, this is what it feels like.’ We just came up short. When you give it all you have and came up short, that’s tough. That’s tough to swallow. That’s what I was feeling at the moment. It wasn’t enough. I didn’t give enough. And, that’s it.”
While Penn State’s season is not over yet, it’s easy to understand why Garner was so upset after the loss.
However, Penn State has a legitimate chance to make the NCAA Tournament and would have the potential to knock off some higher-ranked teams. If they don’t make the NCAA Tournament, the Nittany Lions would likely be a higher seed in the NIT Tournament.
Penn State basketball exceeded expectations this season, posting a record 21-13, which included three wins over Ohio State. In his senior season, Garner averaged 11.1 points per game and shot 44.1 percent from the field, and 42.4 percent from 3-point range.