There weren’t many fans to celebrate Penn State men’s basketball’s 80-65 victory over Binghamton in the Bryce Jordan Center — likely because most students are back home for winter break — but it didn’t matter. The Nittany Lions improve to 10-3 after an impressive performance from its starting five.
How It Happened
— Penn State Men’s Basketball (@PennStateMBB) December 20, 2017
Penn State’s starting five went off, for lack of a better adjective. Each starter finished the contest in double digits — including a team-high 16 points from Lamar Stevens. Josh Reaves, Tony Carr, and Shep Garner finished with 15, while Mike Watkins finished with a double-double off of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
As a team, the Nittany Lions were able to prevail thanks to an impressive scoring clip. Penn State shot 57.4 percent from the floor to Binghamton’s 40.9 percent (!) and held the team advantage in rebounds and assists with 36 and 17, respectively.
Though the Nittany Lions seemed to have control, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Penn State entered halftime up a mere three points after allowing easy baskets to fall. Scoring spurts — highlighted by Shep Garner’s four second half three pointers — coupled with Watkins’ overall tenacity throughout the contest (plus his NBA-caliber size and strength) proved to be too much for visiting Binghamton.
Player of the Game
Mike Watkins | Soph. | F
This award could realistically go to anybody, but Watkins was hungrier than anybody else on the court tonight. That, paired with a double-double, is enough to earn him Player of the Game honors.
Penn State’s homestand continues as the Nittany Lions host Rider on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. on BTN.