Penn State already with double-digit wins

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Penn State already with double-digit wins

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As he went after his own rebounds during warmups on Tuesday, Josh Reaves took a moment to appreciate the long shots arcing overhead and falling, one after the other, through Penn State's hoop.

Reaves got to appreciate the makes all night.

Penn State (10-3) made 57 percent of its shots on 31-for-54 shooting with 10 3-pointers in its 80-65 win over Binghamton on Tuesday night.

"I knew that my teammates were feeling it," Reaves said.

Mike Watkins scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help Penn State win its third straight and snap Binghamton's seven-game winning streak.

Lamar Stevens scored 16 points while Reaves, Tony Carr and Shep Garner all chipped in 15 points each for the Nittany Lions, who led for all but 2:49, opened the game with an 8-0 run and led 39-36 at halftime.

"They're built to and they drive it relentlessly into the paint," Binghamton coach Tommy Dempsey said. "We needed (to make them) beat us from 3 and I thought we guarded the line pretty good. They hit some long ones."

Garner got Penn State started. He went 5 for 7 from 3-point range and began each half with two deep shots.

J.C. Show led Binghamton (8-5) with 13 points while Tyler Stewart notched 12 and Thomas Bruce added 10 for the Bearcats, who led 19-16 in the first half. The Bearcats tried to keep pace from distance and finished 9 for 23 from 3-point range.

Show and Fard Muhammed made six of their squad's 3s and a layup from Bruce cut Penn State's lead to eight with 5:20 to play. But Garner and Reaves sank three straight 3s to put the game out of reach.

"I'm proud of our guys for the second half," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We made the necessary plays that we needed to in the second half."

Staying focused
With nearly all their classmates already gone for winter break — the reason why the Bryce Jordan Center's usually full student section was nearly empty Tuesday — Penn State players may be itching to return home to spend holiday time with their families, too.

Chambers acknowledged as much, calling this "such a difficult time for our players" as they wait to close out their pre-Christmas slate with a home game against Rider on Friday.

"There's nobody here," Chambers said. "There's so many distractions on the outside with the holidays and you saw upsets over the last few days and we've just got to stay present, stay dialed-in."

Chambers' short-term plan before the team resumes practice later this week? Throw a Christmas bash for his players at his house on Wednesday.

"Get back to work on Thursday, practice hard," Chambers said. "Do our routines for Friday and get prepared for a really good Rider team."

Other numbers
Penn State outscored Binghamton in the paint 36-30, outrebounded the Bearcats 36-31 and scored 17 points off 15 turnovers. . Carr led all players with nine assists in his return from a one-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. . Six Nittany Lions finished with a steal with Reaves leading the way with two. . Bruce grabbed nine rebounds for Binghamton and Show added five assists.

The takeaway
Binghamton: The Bearcats stayed in this one and should have high hopes for their chances in the America East race. Its seven-game winning streak was the team's longest in nine years since it won 11 straight en route to an America East championship.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions have gotten better at finishing games and improved to 10-0 this season when leading at halftime. They're doing it with scoring from everywhere as Tuesday's game marked the fifth time this season at least five Nittany Lions scored in double figures. ... Watkins' double-double is the 11th of his career.

Up next
Binghamton hosts LIU-Brooklyn on Friday.

Penn State stays at home to face Rider on Friday.

Penn State comes up short in overtime

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Penn State comes up short in overtime

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dupree McBrayer scored 14 of a career-high 24 points in the second half and overtime and Minnesota beat Penn State 95-84 on Monday night.

Nate Mason added 25 points and Jordan Murphy scored 22 and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Golden Gophers (14-6, 3-4 Big Ten) who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Tony Carr scored 33 points, Mike Watkins added 20 and 11 rebounds and Lamar Stevens chipped in 12 for Penn State (13-7, 3-4).

Minnesota made 53 percent of its field goals on 35-for-66 shooting. That included a 10-for-17 pace from 3-point range with three coming in overtime after the Golden Gophers gave up a 13-point lead with 8:56 to play.

McBrayer hit a jumper then to put Minnesota up with its largest lead of the game at 63-50 but Penn State raced back with a 15-2 run. Mike Watkins capped Penn State's surge with his second steal, sprinted the other way for a dunk that tied it 65.

The teams traded baskets down the stretch before Carr sank a 3-pointer with three seconds left to make it 74-all and force overtime.

Big Picture
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers needed some positive energy. Losers of three straight since star Reggie Lynch was suspended and talented sophomore Amir Coffey was hurt, a win to kick off an East Coast road trip featuring three games in six days should boost their morale.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions need Josh Reaves back. They looked listless at points in this one without arguably their most fiery player. Notably, Penn State has allowed nearly 10 more points per game with their best defender suspended for academic reasons.

Up Next
Minnesota travels to Maryland on Thursday.

Penn State travels to Northwestern on Saturday.

Tony Carr saves his best for last in OT

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Tony Carr saves his best for last in OT

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tony Carr has had some nice second-half efforts lately. Penn State's top shooter saved most of his best stuff for overtime on Friday.

Carr scored nine of his 17 points, including a game-winning long jumper with three seconds left in overtime, and Penn State beat Nebraska 76-74 and secure Pat Chambers' 100th win as Penn State's coach on Friday?night.

Lamar Stevens scored 26 points and Mike Watkins added 20 and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten), who led by as many as 16 in the second half.

But it was Carr, who notched 18 of 28 in the second half at Indiana on Tuesday, who wrestled control back with tough makes through crowds of defenders in the final five minutes.

"Tony had the guts to come out and hit some big shots for us when he didn't have the best shooting night," Chambers said.

When Carr was working to find his shot, Stevens was taking over in a fashion that's become typical for him of late. The hybrid forward entered the game averaging 22 points over the last three.

He quickly kept at it with 10 of Penn State's first 19 points and Penn State closed out the first half on a 21-9 run and led 33-24. Nebraska made just five of its final 14 field goals in that span and finished the first half 9-for-32 from the floor.

"You can't just get blasted in the first half like that," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "We have to be more prepared to battle with a guy who's a warrior like that because he just attacks the rim."

Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland scored 21 points apiece while Isaiah Roby and Anton Gill scored 12 and 10, respectively, for the Cornhuskers (12-7, 3-3).

Shep Garner made a 3-pointer to give Penn State its largest lead at 42-26 just over two minutes into the second half.

But the Huskers fought back from there and switched to a press look to slow Penn State's offense.

They put together a 39-23 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers from Copeland and Watson that made it a two-point game with?3:28?to play. They combined for four free throws and Watson hit the final shot of regulation moments later to send it to overtime 65-65.

The big picture
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers were on a good stretch with five wins in six tries before?Friday's?game. Runs like that could come more often if they shoot better. Nebraska entered the Bryce Jordan Center shooting just 43 percent from the floor and 36 percent from 3-point range for the season.

Penn State: All three of Penn State's conference losses have come by six or fewer points and although they played a poor-shooting team in this one, the Nittany Lions have enough talent committed to playing defense to keep even good offenses at bay. Whether they can outscore those teams, or hold on to big leads, remains to be seen.

No Reaves
Penn State was again without its top defender as Josh Reaves sat out a second straight game for academic reasons. Reaves leads the team and is 15th nationally with 2.47 steals per game. He's chipped in 10.8 points per game, too.

Awaiting word on Tshimanga
Nebraska was without starting center Jordy Tshimanga, who did not make the trip to Penn State as he mulls whether to transfer. Multiple outlets reported Tshimanga's frustration with the way his season has unfolded.

The 6-foot-11 sophomore started all 18 games previously and was averaging 3.5 points and 5.1 rebounds over 15.2 minutes per game.

Miles said he couldn't offer an update yet on Tshimanga's status.

"I won't know until I get home," he said.

Up next
Nebraska hosts Illinois (10-8, 0-5)?on Monday.

Penn State hosts Minnesota (13-5, 2-3) on Monday.