Penn State can't slay another giant

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Penn State can't slay another giant

BOX SCORE

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Tom Izzo sat Cassius Winston at the beginning of the second half, benching his point guard to send a message.

It seemed to work.

Miles Bridges had 23 points and Winston scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime and finished with 10 assists, helping No. 5 Michigan State come back from a double-digit deficit to beat Penn State 76-68 on Wednesday night.

The Spartans (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) rallied to win after trailing by 12 with 15:23 left after coming back from 13-point deficit to win their previous game at Maryland.

"We've got to figure out a way to bring it from the beginning," said Winston, adding Izzo's move motivated him to play with more intensity.

Winston, who was replaced by Tum Tum Nairn at the start of the second half, made a go-ahead layup midway through the second half and Matt McQuaid made back to back 3s after not taking a shot for nearly 30 minutes.

"What breaks your back are the McQuaid 3s," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "You don't really count on him coming off the bench. I know he's only averaging a few points."

The Nittany Lions (15-9, 5-6) had won two straight, including a buzzer-beater at Ohio State, and didn't give up their winning streak easily after trailing by as much as 15 points. They went on an 11-2 run to pull within six points with 37 seconds left after Tony Carr made consecutive 3-pointers in 6 seconds. Carr just missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds.

"We played really good basketball for a long time," Chambers said. "We got into foul trouble. ... I'd like to see our five versus their five for a longer time. I think Michigan State knows we're a pretty good basketball team and we'd fight."

Joshua Langford made two free throws to seal the victory and finished with 14 points.

Carr scored 28, giving him at least 25 points for the seventh time this season.

"One of the best players on the floor, for sure," Chambers said.

Quiet night
Michigan State freshman Jaren Jackson is projected to be one of the top picks in the NBA draft this summer, but foul trouble is limiting his production in college. Jackson was held to two points, ending an 11-game streak in double digits. He played just seven minutes in the first half because he had two fouls and picked up his third foul 1:06 into the second half, leading to him playing just 12 minutes.

Big picture
Penn State: Carr is showing he can make shots all over the court no matter who he's facing, but the Nittany Lions have to give him more help. Lamar Stevens, who had 18 points, was his only teammate in double figures. Entering the game, the Nittany Lions had five players averaging at least 10 points a game.

"We've got to get Shep (Garner) more shots," Chambers said. "I was trying to, but they played very good defense on him."

Carr had 28 points in last week's win at Ohio State and is averaging 19-plus points a game even though every team is trying to slow him down.

Michigan State: The crisis on campus related to Larry Nassar and an ESPN report isn't going away and the Spartans know it. Izzo wore a teal ribbon on the left lapel of his suit and his players wore the same ribbon over their hearts on their pullovers, honoring survivors of sexual violence.

"Wearing the ribbon was our way to reaching out to them," Izzo said .

Nassar, a former doctor at the school, has been sentenced to decades in prison for sexually abusing young girls and women. ESPN has detailed various allegations involving Michigan State football and basketball players, putting Izzo in awkward situations during postgame news conferences.

"I will cooperate with the investigation and I always have with any investigation," he said, repeating a scripted statement he has said after recent games. "I think there will be a time when I'll be able to speak, but it isn't right now. There's too many things going on with the survivors and everything. I'm just going to stick to my guns and tell you that I still have great support for the survivors, but I'm just not going to have any comment on this whole situation."

Up next
Penn State: Hosts Iowa on Saturday night.

Michigan State: Plays at Indiana on Saturday night, one of five road games in a seven-game stretch to close the regular season.

Penn State can't keep streak alive against No. 6 Purdue

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Penn State can't keep streak alive against No. 6 Purdue

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Carsen Edwards scored 27 points to lead sixth-ranked Purdue to a 76-73 victory over Penn State on Sunday night.

Dakota Mathias added 18 points and Isaac Haas had 12 points and six rebounds for the Boilermakers (24-5, 13-3 Big Ten), who snapped a season-worst three-game skid.

Tony Carr had 19 points, five rebounds and five assists, Shep Garner had 17 points and Lamar Stevens had 13 points and six rebounds for the Nittany Lions (19-10, 9-7). The loss ended a stretch of six wins in seven games.

Ryan Cline's 3-pointer with 5:31 remaining gave Purdue a 61-58 lead, and the Boilers never trailed the rest of the way.

It wasn't easy for a Purdue team in search of the same offensive flair that made the Boilermakers unbeatable during a program-record 19-game winning streak that stretched from November until a 64-63 loss to Ohio State on Feb. 7. It became more difficult without starting forward Vincent Edwards, one of the team's most consistent players.

Vincent Edwards sat on the bench wearing a walking boot after spraining his left ankle in practice on Saturday. The team disclosed the injury in a statement before tipoff.

It was another uncharacteristic game for the Boilermakers. They trailed by as much nine points in the first half, during which they shot 42.3 percent from the field and went 2 for 9 from 3-point range.

Penn State led 36-32 at halftime.

Big picture 
Penn State: Despite another poor offensive night by Purdue, the Nittany Lions proved their recent hot streak, which included a 79-56 blowout of No. 8 Ohio State, may not have been a fluke. Even after the Boilermakers found a groove in the second half, Penn State still never trailed by more than 11 points.

Purdue: After dropping three straight conference games and falling in the Big Ten standings, the Boilermakers needed to get back on track quickly with just two regular season games remaining.

Up next 
Penn State: The Nittany Lions host Michigan on Wednesday.

Purdue: The Boilermakers are at Illinois on Thursday.

Garner and Carr lead Penn State to 3rd straight win

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Garner and Carr lead Penn State to 3rd straight win

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Shep Garner scored 16 points and Tony Carr had 15 points to lead Penn State to a 74-52 victory over Illinois on Sunday night.

Illinois missed its first nine second-half shots and didn't score for seven-plus minutes as Penn State went on a 12-0 run to make it 49-36. The Nittany Lions (18-9, 8-6 Big Ten) led by at least nine points the rest of the way.

Carr hit three 3-pointers, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists. Lamar Stevens finished with 11 points, while Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves scored 10 apiece, for Penn State.

Illinois had the lead for more than 15 minutes in the first half, but squandered it late. Carr air balled a 3-pointer from the right wing, but Jamari Wheeler grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Garner, who nailed a corner 3.

On the ensuing play, Mark Alstork stepped on the baseline while inbounding the ball, giving Penn State possession with 3.6 seconds left. Carr scored a layup before the buzzer to take a one-point lead into the break.

The Nittany Lions shot 54.5 percent from the field, outscored Illinois 34-12 in the paint and won their fourth consecutive game against the Illini. Penn State has won six of its last seven overall.

Leron Black led Illinois (12-14, 2-11) with 18 points.

Big Picture
After finishing three games below .500 last season, the Nittany Lions continued their impressive turnaround this year. With a strong finish in conference play, Penn State could make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011.

After scoring career-high 32-points in a 78-69 loss to Wisconsin on Thursday, Trent Frazier was held to just six against Penn State. He has been Illinois' best player in conference play, and without a strong performance from him the Illini struggled.

Up Next
The Illini will face Indiana on the Wednesday night. Illinois knocked off the Hoosiers on Jan. 24 for its first Big Ten victory of the season.

Penn State returns home to face No. 14 Ohio State. The Buckeyes sit atop the Big Ten after a one-point win over No. 3 Purdue last week.