The Nittany Lions hit the hardwood for the first time this season this weekend, with exhibition match-ups against both Lafayette and Bloomsburg. The first game against Lafayette on Saturday was a late addition to the schedule, as the teams played for hurricane relief sending all proceeds from the game to One America Appeal. Playing for a good cause, Penn State took care of business on the road, beating Lafayette 102-77.
Penn State finished its set of exhibition games leading up to the opener by beating Bloomsburg University 84-67 on Sunday. Shep Garner led the way 15 points and Tony Carr added 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Coach Pat Chambers was able to get twelve players into the game.
Here’s how the weekend went for the Nittany Lions:
Lafayette: How It Happened
Mike Watkins didn’t suit up for this game due to disciplinary reasons, according to Jon Rothstein. However, it didn’t matter much as the Nittany Lions were in control the whole way. Each player that was available saw some time in this matchup. Additionally, every single player scored Saturday.
Tony Carr poured in a game-high 23 points on 8-16 shooting, including two triples. Shep Garner found a hot stroke in this one, draining six from downtown for his 18 points. Josh Reaves and Nazeer Bostick had 16 and 12 points, respectively, to give the Nittany Lions four players in double figure scoring.
Reaves led the team with six rebounds, and he was followed by Lamar Stevens and Julian Moore who each had five boards. An encouraging sign from this game is that the team shot 16-21 from the foul line. Penn State also was able to limit itself to only 10 turnovers Saturday, which is better than the 13 turnovers per game the team averaged last season.
Player Of The Game
Tony Carr | Sophomore | Point Guard
Carr showed promising signs that he’s ready to take his game to the next level this year. The added offseason weight was apparent in this game, as he was able to basically do anything he wanted on the floor. There is true potential this year for him to average over 20 points per game this season.
Bloomsburg: How It Happened
Penn State began the game shooting confidently. Lamar Stevens led the way early driving to the hoop with ease and knocking down open shots on his way to an early nine points. The Nittany Lions started pulling away, taking a 21-13 lead eight minutes into the game. Shep Garner contributed six points off two three-pointers in the first couple minutes.
With 7:32 to go in the first half, Penn State continued to hold their lead with an advantage of 30-19. Tony Carr got into the scoring with five points on two baskets and adding four assists and Penn State continued to knock down shots as they were making their baskets at a 59% rate to that point.
At halftime, the Nittany Lions led 48-29 over Bloomsburg. Lamar Stevens and Shep Garner paced the Nittany Lions in the first half with eleven points each, and Josh Reaves did a little bit of everything with six points, five rebounds, and two assists. Penn State shot 63% from the field in the first half while holding the Huskies to 42%. The Nittany Lions played very unselfishly in the first assists on 14 of their 20 made shots.
Coach Chambers was able to use his bench and get some minutes for key freshmen John Harrar and Jamari Wheeler. With fourteen minutes to go, the Nittany Lions led 62-37 over Bloomsburg. Stevens and Garner continued their scoring with fifteen and fourteen points, respectively.
At 9:33 mark, Penn State continued to build its lead, increasing it to 72-45. Tony Carr continued to stuff the stat sheet to the point, putting up eleven points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and zero turnovers.
Bloomsburg finished the game attacking the rim better against Penn State’s bench and freshmen. Stevens finished with fifteen points, Carr had 11, and Shep Garner had 17 points. The Nittany Lions finished with 19 assists on their 33 made baskets.
Player Of The Game
Tony Carr | Sophomore | Guard
Tony Carr continued to do a lot for Penn State. He had eleven points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, while playing twenty one minutes.
Penn State begins its regular season Friday against Campbell University at the Bryce Jordan Center. Tip is scheduled for 4:00 pm. We climb in five days!