Penn State didn’t have a troublesome time making the NIT championship.
The Nittany Lions advanced past Mississippi State, thanks to a 24-0 run in the first half, sending them to the title game against Utah. Once there, Penn State only led by five at halftime but opened a 16-point lead in the third quarter and eventually led by 20 in the final period.
Penn State, a No. 4 seed in the postseason tournament, won each of the four quarters against No. 2-seeded Utah en route to its 82-66 victory. Lamar Stevens led the team with 28 points.
Tony Carr also had 15 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds. John Harrar provided a game-high 12 rebounds.
The NIT championship win marks the second time in program history that Penn State has won an NIT title. The Nittany Lions won their first in 2009 when they beat Baylor, 69-63.
Penn State’s road to the championship started by defeating Temple in the opening round and then beating Notre Dame and Marquette before facing Mississippi State in the semifinals.
The Nittany Lions finished their season with a 26-13 record overall and 9-9 in Big Ten play. The program last won 25 or more games in the 2008-09 season when the team also won the NIT, finishing with a 27-11 record.