Penn State retired in the second half to beat Utah 82-66 and win the 2018 NIT championship on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Penn State sophomore Lamar Stevens scored 14 of his 28 points in the first half, and averaged 19.2 points and 4.0 rebounds for the tournament.
John Harrar added 12 rebounds for the Nittany Lions in the victory.
Penn State had a five-point lead at half-time, but a 24:14 in the third quarter increased the lead, which rose to 16 points. Sophomore Tony Carr also played a key role in the Nittany Lions' victory, barely missing a triple-double with 1
Sedrick Barefield scored 22 points for the Utes, including 14 in the first half perfect 5-for-5 shooting. The Junior Guard averaged 15.8 points during the NIT, including 16-for-31 of the three-point field in the five games.
This was the second NIT championship for Penn State, which also defeated Baylor in the 2009 title game. Just like this team from 2009, who played at the NCAA tournament for two years. This year's Nittany Lions will be hoping to take that momentum into next year and bid for the NCAA tournament.