Penn State 105, Siena 103
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Titus Ivory hit the game-winning basket with 2.4 seconds to play as Penn State, which blew an eight-point lead in the final two minutes, beat Siena 105-103 Monday in a wild second-round NIT game.
Joe Crispin had 28 points, Jarrett Stephens added 22 and the Nittany Lions shot 59 percent from the field.
Ivory’s basket sent fans pouring onto the court as if they’d just seen an NCAA tournament upset. Penn State (17-15) will play at home against Kent in the NIT quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Siena (24-9) played like the nation’s No. 3 team in scoring: Marcus Faison had 27 points, Jim Cantamessa 20, Scott Knapp 19 and Siena shot 52 percent.
But Penn State had little trouble keeping up, in part because they made 42-of-49 free throws.
The Lions hadn’t scored more than 100 points since Jan. 11, 1992, when they beat Morgan State 102-57.
Penn State led 101-93 with 1:46 left when Siena roared back behind Faison. He hit 3-pointers with 50 seconds and 34 seconds left to cut the lead to 103-101. Then Dwayne Archibald stole the inbounds and Cantamessa tied it at 103 with 27 seconds left.
At the other end, Joe Crispin held the ball at half-court, then passed off to Ivory, who drove down the lane and banked it in.
Siena led for much of the game, but Penn State took over midway through the second half. They got 3s from Jon Crispin, Joe Crispin and Ivory, and Penn State led 87-80 at the end of a 12-0 spurt.
Penn State can thank pop sensation Ricky Martin for home-court advantage.
The Saints have the best record of any team in the NIT and drew 3,000 more fans than Penn State in the first round, so they expected to host the second round. But the game ended up in State College because Ricky Martin was booked to play in Loudonville Monday night.
It was the first meeting between the Saints and Lions, but things were physical and heated from the start. For example, Knapp watched Jon Crispin hit three long 3s, so when he popped one in over Crispin, he held his hand up and jabbered in Crispin’s face.
Not to be outdone, Crispin answered with a 30-footer.