Penn State Blows Twelve Point Lead In 76-68 Defeat To No. 5 Michigan State
Penn State (15-9 , 5 -6 Big Ten) was unable to finish off No. 5 Michigan State (21-3, 9 -2 Big Ten) after holding a 12 point lead in the second half. Coming in off a two game winning streak, the Nittany Lions started off strong on defense, but couldn’t hold off the strong Spartans in the second half. Josh Reaves continues to make his presence known since his return from suspension, assisting in shutting down the Spartans’ offense in the first half. Tony Carr led the Nittany Lions with 28 points.
How It Happened
The Nittany Lions stifled the Spartans through the first ten minutes of the game, running out to a 17-10 lead. Michigan State turned the ball over six times and had two of their shots blocked, while Tony Carr scored 12 early points.
Michigan State went on a 6-2 run to end the half, and brought the score to 30-24. Tony Carr led all scorers with 14 points, while Miles Bridges led the Spartans with 9 points. The Nittany Lions forced nine turnovers and blocked three shots, holding Michigan State to only 39% from the field.
Although being down 34-27 four minutes into the second half, the crowd was very much into the game. The second half started way more physical than the first half, when Nick Ward got a technical for elbowing Josh Reaves in the face, and then got fouled hard on the next possession by Mike Watkins.
The Spartans took advantage of Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens being on the bench with three fouls each. With 13:06 left in the half, Bridges knocked down a three-pointer to bring Michigan State within 4 points, 41-37.
Mike Watkins was forced to take a seat on the bench with his fourth foul of the game, and Michigan State took its first lead of the second half with 9:30 to go in the game, removing all of Penn State’s 12 point lead.
Down eight points with five minutes to go, Penn State missed many shots under the basket. The Spartans eventually ran their lead to 75-60. Penn State went six minutes without a field goal until 1:09 was left in the game.
Three three-pointers from Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens brought the Nittany Lions within six with 35 seconds to go, but Michigan State knocked down their foul shots to seal the game.
Player Of The Game
Miles Bridges | Sophomore | Forward
Miles Bridges finished with 23 points and 9 rebounds for the Spartans. Bridges hit numerous clutch shots for Michigan State towards the end of the game.
The Nittany Lions take on Iowa on Saturday at the Bryce Jordan. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. and broadcast on BTN.