Penn State Picks Up Win Number Ten

Sports
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Penn State men’s basketball finished finals last week, but Binghamton put the Nittany Lions to the test in a nonconference contest at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State outscored Binghamton 41-29 in the second half on the strength of 65.2 percent accuracy from the field for the 80-65 victory and Nittany Lions’ 10th win of the season.
 
All five Penn State starters scored in double figures with redshirt sophomore forward Mike Watkins recording his second double-double in as many games. Sophomore forward Lamar Stevens led all scorers with 16 points with Tony Carr, Josh Reaves and Shep Garner each tallying 15 points. Watkins had 12 and the game-high rebounding total with 11.
 
“We’re not where we need to be yet, and that’s why you play the nonconference (schedule),” said coach Patrick Chambers. “It was good to get the snapshot of the two Big Ten games in there. I think this team can get so much better – on both ends of the floor. We’re playing good basketball right now, but we have to continue the process of getting better,” said coach Patrick Chambers.
 
The Nittany Lions opened the second half with a 16-5 run, connecting on five field goals in eight attempts while the Bearcats went 2-9 from the floor during the same timeframe. Penn State parlayed two Garner three-pointers into a double-digit lead and back-to-back baskets by Stevens offset two Bearcat threes.
 
Treys by Fard Muhammad and J.C. Show brought Binghamton to within nine with 8:39 left in the game. The Nittany Lions quickly extended their lead to 15 points, the largest of the night, with three-straight three pointers, two coming from Garner and one from Reaves.
 
Splitting its three-pointers evenly in each half, Penn State had 10 triples on the night, its highest total since connecting on 12 at Iowa earlier this month. Garner had four of his five in the second half, including his two in the final minutes to squelch any Binghamton rally.
 
The 58.8 three-point field goal percentage (10-17) was the highest of the year and the 57.4 overall percentage was the second highest of the season, just fractions of a point below the high vs. Pittsburgh in that win. The Nittany Lions distributed the ball well too, with 17 assists on the night, nine coming from Carr and four from Reaves.
 
Undefeated this season when leading at the break, the Nittany Lions led 39-36 and clamped down on the Bearcats in the second half. Binghamton shot 34.3 percent from the floor in that period and Penn State outrebounded the Bearcats 20-14 for a 36-31 advantage for the game.
 
Penn State ran out to an 8-0 lead early in the game, but Binghamton fought back with three-straight three-pointers to tie the game at 16 and then take a 19-16 lead near the midpoint of the half. The first half saw four ties, as the Bearcats kept clawing and trading baskets to keep the deficit in single digits.
 
Junior guard J.C. Show had 13 points and five assists for Binghamton, including three of the Bearcats’ nine three-pointers. Tyler Stewart had 12 points and Thomas Bruce 10 in the effort.
 
Tickets are available for the Penn State’s final two home games of 2017 with Rider on Friday, December 22 at 7 p.m. and Coppin State on Saturday, December 30 at 1 p.m. 

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