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January 31, 2018
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Penn State sophomores Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens combined for 13 points in the game’s final 72 seconds, but a 21-6 Michigan State run propelled the Spartans to a 76-68 final at the Breslin Center.
Carr finished the night with a game-high 28 points for his 16th career game with 20 or more points and added five assists. Stevens had 18 points, 15 coming in the second half.
The Nittany Lions battled to the end with an offense-defense strategy and Tony Carr hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to six points. Carr connected on the first with 43 seconds remaining as Penn State was down by nine, then made another after Mike Watkins had a steal on an inbound play.
To regain possession, Penn State sent to the charity stripe and Michigan State scored its last six points on free throws.
“We played really good basketball for a long time,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “We got into foul trouble when (Lamar) Stevens and (Mike) Watkins went out. That’s when they went on the run, and that’s unfortunate because I’d like to see our five versus their five for a
Penn State led by two, 45-43 when redshirt sophomore Mike Watkins was whistled for his fourth foul midway through the period. A 9-4 run by the Spartans put the home team up by five with 8:39 left to play as Watkins sat for the second time after picking up his third foul just 90 seconds into the second half.
After the two teams traded baskets and free throws, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges hit a 3-pointer and Josh Langford and Cassius Winston made field goals in the span of a minute to put the Spartans up by eight, 63-55. A pair of free throws and two more baskets extended the lead to 70-55.
The two teams were tied at halftime in several categories: rebounds (16), 3-pointers (3), free throws (3-4) and assists (7). Penn State outshot Michigan State in the first half, but the Spartans were 62.5 percent from the field and finished at 50 percent for the game.
MSU also gained the advantage in rebounds 40 to 24 and free throws going 20-25 to the Nittany Lions’ 9-11. The Spartans had 16 turnovers to only eight for Penn State while PSU recorded 10 steals led by a Josh Reaves who tied his career best with five.
Michigan State took an 8-7 lead early with two baskets by Bridges and a trey from Winston. Carr nailed a 3-pointer out of the timeout to bring the lead back to Penn State.
Penn State capitalized on Michigan State turnovers in the first half as the Spartans had six turnovers to one for the Nittany Lions just 7:30 into the game. Gavin Schilling tied the game at 10 all at 14:53 before the Nittany Lions went on a 10-2 run over eight minutes to take a 20-12 lead.
Penn State took a 30-24 lead into the locker room behind Carr’s 14 points.
Three Spartans finished in double figures with Bridges leading Michigan State with 23
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