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Penn State Basketball: Carr Brilliant In 69-68 Win Over Ohio State

on March 02, 2018 9:00 PM

Josh Reaves says that he doesn't remember much about the games he plays in. Everything is a blur, just moments that evaporate from his mind as soon as they're done happening.

He will probably never forget Friday night.

Because as Tony Carr dribbled the ball down the court at Madison Square Garden for what undoubtedly will not be the last time, Reaves was lurking.

And as Carr dribbled and the clock slowly ticked towards zero, every eye on the building was on the Philly product. Few, if any, were on Reaves.

So he slashed towards the paint, almost too much space to be true. Carr saw him, a lofted pass finding its way to Reaves and the Virginia native slammed it home with just seconds to go. The world's greatest arena sent into a frenzy as Ohio State fans screamed in agony and a heavy contingent of Penn State New York faithful let out screams of joy.

In many ways the game's final play and the game in its entirety was the summation of what has made Penn State so good. Even without Mike Watkins, the tandem of Lamar Stevens and Carr were excellent in a first half of back and forth play, timely shot-making and hustling effort plays to dominate second chance points.

It has been a staple of Penn State basketball to never relent. A sort of cliche way of getting to say you tried your hardest, but coupled with the talent of this particular squad it has rendered the Nittany Lions a team that is undeniably hard to beat. No matter the occasional mistakes or poorly timed losses midway through the season, Penn State's upset of Ohio State was an upset by ranking only. A third straight victory over the Buckeyes, and a late season surge by the Nittany Lions have proven that this team is just good. There is no way around it.

For the third straight game, the better team won.

The final play itself was a culmination of all of that. Needing a stop Shep Garner was a smothering defensive force, forcing the eventual turnover and diving on the floor to collect the ball. It went up to Julian Moore, who has played fearless basketball in the place of Mike Watkins, and Moore passed it to Carr.

It would have been fitting, in the thematic sense for Carr's 25 points and virtuoso outing with six rebounds and five assists, to end it with a final basket for the win. For a good long while it looked like he sized that piece of history up.

But then Reaves slashed to the basket.

And the rest was history.

Penn State will face the winner of Purdue/Rutgers tomorrow afternoon. What happens after that is anyone's guess.

It will be hard to top a Friday night in The Garden though.

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