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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s basketball team topped the visiting Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, 81-57, on Sunday evening in the Bryce Jordan Center in nonconference action. Five Nittany Lions finished the night with double-figure scoring, led by sophomore guard Tony Carr who had 20 points.
Penn State would out-score the Knights 25-9 after scratching its way to a one-point lead after missing its first five field goal attempts of the game. A three from Josh Reaves gave the Nittany Lions the lead at the 11:04 mark and the junior guard added five more points over the next 90 seconds.
Reaves was a huge part of the Nittany Lions’ surge, tying the game at 20 with a layup and pushing them ahead with a layup and tip-in. He scored 12 points during the run and assisted on two other baskets as Penn State took the 16-point lead at the half. Carr added 11 during the 25-9 run, including a last-second "falling away" jumper as he fell backward onto the floor as time expired.
The second half started with a 9-2 Penn State run, but cold shooting by the Nittany Lions saw them connect on just one of a dozen attempts. Tough defense and back-to-back stops resulted in Reaves' and Lamar Stevens' dunks to spark the offense.
From there, the Nittany Lions ran away with the game.
"It was nice to see us come out in the second half and just keep going with some big stops and big-time rebounds," said Penn State coach Patrick Chambers. "I'm really excited where the rebounding is right now. I thought Josh Reaves’ energy was unbelievable, he was all over the place. Once Mike (Watkins) got a little into the flow of the game, he had a really good second half. We got a lot of great contributions from everyone."
Carr, who had 33 points in Penn State's win on Friday, went a perfect 9-9 from the charity stripe to go along with this five field goals. He added seven assists, four rebounds and a career-best three steals to his 20-point total.
Reaves finished with a season-best 17 points, and had the game-high total with nine rebounds, adding four steals, four assists, and a block.
In his first game of the season for the Nittany Lions, Mike Watkins put up 15 points, adding five rebounds, three blocks, and two steals.
Penn State finished the game shooting 44.8-percent from the game, and out-rebounded the Knights, 42-26. The Nittany Lion defense also forced Fairleigh Dickinson to turn the ball over 31 times, while the Nittany Lions recorded 18 steals. The last time Penn State had over 15 steals was on November 12, 2011, when the Nittany Lions recorded 15 against Hartford. The 18 steals inside the Bryce Jordan Center was an arena record for men's game.
The Nittany Lions continue their homestand Wednesday, November 15 when they play host to Montana in the first-ever meeting between the two institutions. The game, part of the Legends Classic University Park Regional, has a 7 p.m. start time.
Single-game tickets are available for all Penn State home games, including Wednesday’s contest versus the Griz. Visit gopsusports.com/tickets/m-baskbl-tickets.html for more information.