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December 17, 2017
FAIRFAX, Va. - Forwards Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins each had double-doubles and Fairfax, Va., native Josh Reaves added 13 points as Penn State defeated George Mason 72-54 at EagleBank Arena. It was the sixth time the Nittany Lions held an opponent under 60 points so far this season and
Stevens recorded his first career double-double in leading the Nittany Lions with 23 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Watkins was 5-5 from the floor at the half and finished the night with 14 points and 12 boards for his 10th career double-double. Penn State outscored George Mason in the paint 40-26 for the game with a 26-8 margin in the category at the half.
"We had about eight days off and we looked like we were prepared on the defensive end and we worked on our habits and obviously, they (George Mason) played on Wednesday," said Penn State men's basketball coach Patrick Chambers. "The rest that we had, we had fresher legs today, and with Lamar and Mike, we had a size advantage and we took advantage of that today. As a collective group, even a man down, we really stepped up."
Reaves, who had close to 50 family members and friends present at the game, had his second-straight double-figure scoring game of the season and seventh of the year. He also had the game-high total with four assists.
Penn State took a 20-point advantage, 38-18, at the half, allowing George Mason only 18 points, the lowest offensive output in a half by a Nittany Lion opponent in 2017-18.
George Mason tied the game twice, for the second time at 6-6 at the 16:16 mark, but a three-pointer from Reaves, combined with a four-minute scoring drought by the Patriots would put Penn State ahead. Over the next five-minute period, Stevens and Watkins would each score nine points during a 21-4 Penn State run to extend the Nittany Lion lead to 30-12.
Sophomore guard Justin Kier led the Patriots with 17 points, with a 9-9 mark from the free throw line, and junior guard Jaire Grayer had 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
George Mason was 7-27 from the field in the first half for 25.9
Senior Shep Garner added nine points, all off timely three-point field goals, and had three assists. Freshman guard Jamari Wheeler had a career-best 6 steals on the afternoon to go along with five points and an assist. Sophomore guard Nazeer Bostick, who started in place of Tony Carr, had six points, four rebounds
The last time Penn State had two players register double-doubles in a regulation game was with Tim Frazier (19 pts/10
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