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Penn State Hoops Defeats Colgate 76-65 Behind Rasir Bolton’s 27 Points

Penn State (5-4, 0-2 Big Ten) defeated the Colgate Raiders (7-4) 76-65 in a non-conference matchup at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday afternoon.

Despite a furious second half comeback from Colgate, the Nittany Lions were able to pull out a much-needed win behind a 27-point effort from Rasir Bolton and Mike Watkins double-double.

How It Happened 

Rasir Bolton came out firing for the Nittany Lions, converting of 4-4 threes for 12 points in the first six minutes of the game. Penn State’s defense caused fits for Colgate’s offense early, forcing four turnovers within the first five minutes of the game.

With 11:19 remaining in the opening half, Penn State claimed a 22-11 lead following a Myles Dread three. Another Bolton three with just under nine minutes remaining in the half extended Penn State’s lead out to 15.

For the rest of the half, the teams traded buckets and Colgate whittled the lead down to eleven. At the opening frame, Pat Chambers’ squad led 41-30 behind Bolton’s 17 points. No other Nittany Lion was above six in the scoring column. 

Penn State began the second half on a 8-3 run behind Bolton’s sixth and seventh trey’s of the game. A pair of John Harrar free throws extended the Nittany Lions lead to 51-36 with 15:30 remaining in the game.

Penn State looked to be in complete control of the game, however, a six minute stretch without a field goal followed, prompting a 10-2 Raider run.

With 7:58 remaining, Colgate only trailed 58-53. For the Raiders, freshman Tucker Richardson stepped up to convert 3-3 threes in the half to that point.

A Josh Reaves steal into a Mike Watkins alley-oop with four minutes remaining looked to be a momentum-claiming moment for Penn State, but Colgate answered immediately with a Jordan Burns three. With 3:42 remaining, Penn State only led 63-60.

Despite the scare, a few big free throws from Stevens and Watkins in addition to a put back layup for No. 24 gave Penn State a seven-point lead with just over a minute remaining.

A Josh Reaves dagger three-pointer with 1:00 remaining iced the game for Penn State, extending its lead all the way back to ten. Followed up with a Lamar Stevens transition slam and a pair Rasir Bolton free-throws, Penn State got back on track with a much needed win. 

Takeaways

  • When Rasir Bolton is on, there’s not much opposing defenses can do to slow down his shooting. The freshman from Virginia hit seven threes and finished with a career-high 27 points. 
  • In his first start of the season, Mike Watkins played a very strong two-way game. Watkins finished with a double-double, scoring 18 points and a dominant 16 rebounds.
  • Following their abysmal 11-26 free throw performance against Indiana, Penn State shot a much improved 84.2 percent from the charity stripe as a team. 

What’s Next?

Penn State will take on North Carolina State (8-1) next Saturday in the opening game of the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame Boardwalk Classic in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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About the Author

Brian Bachman

Brian Bachman is a freshman in the school of communications and a contributor at Onward State. He is from northern Virginia but fell in love with Penn State a few years ago and knew after his first visit he wanted to come here. If you are a fan of the SUPER BOWL 52 CHAMPION PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (!!!) or sports in general, follow him on twitter @brianbachman_. Email is [email protected]

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