Missed Free Throws Costly for Penn State in Strange Ending vs. Nebraska

By Paul Seaver
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

Nebraska head coach Tim Miles, who took over the Cornhuskers’ programs this past off-season, picked up his first Big Ten Conference victory on Saturday. A strange ending that featured a high-elbow, missed free throws and an ending that just summed up the Penn State‘s continued struggles ended in favor of Nebraska.

In a game that certainly didn’t warrant much attention, as a pair of basement squads in a conference that is considered to be the nation’s best faced off in a contest that came down to the wire.

Trailing by three, Penn State got a huge advantage when a flagrant 1 foul was called for a high-elbow by Cornhuskers’ forward Brandon Ubel. Two free throws off the foul from the steal, and two free throws off the flagrant foul put Penn State in the driver’s seat with under 30 seconds remaining. However, Penn State went just 1-of-4 from the line and on the ensuing possession, once again missed a pair from the charity stripe.

Nebraska sealed the game with some free throws of their own and picked up their first league win of the season.

The bizarre ending brings two things into question. One, the high-elbow rule that is in place in college basketball and secondly, the poor free throw shooting from Penn State down the stretch.

At home, the Nittany Lions literally shot the game away, missing nine free throws in the game as a team, five of which came in the final 30 seconds. When it rains, it pours and that ending just pretty much sums up the struggles of Penn State this season.

As for the elbow ruling, the referees made the right call by default. The rules are clear when an elbow is swung above the shoulders, but there was clearly no intent from Ubel. He was simply looking to get out of the double team and pressure. If Penn State had converted at the line then that game could’ve simply have been dictated off that call.

Either way, the ball didn’t lie for Nebraska and the Cornhuskers are heading home with a victory.


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

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