Trace McSorley leads No. 5 Penn State in rout of Georgia State

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Trace McSorley leads No. 5 Penn State in rout of Georgia State

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- All week, the usually unflappable Trace McSorley told himself, if he could settle his feet down, his arm would follow suit.

A week after Penn State's quarterback played his most uneven game in a while, bouncing on his toes and firing over his teammates heads, he had one of his best under Beaver Stadium's bright lights.

McSorley threw a stadium-record 85-yard touchdown pass to Saquon Barkley for one of his four scoring strikes and also ran for a touchdown in No. 5 Penn State's 56-0 victory over Georgia State 56-0 on Saturday night.

"That was something that was in my mind," McSorley said. "Last week, personally, I didn't put our team in the best position through my play to win the game. Obviously, we were able to come out with a win but I felt that I didn't put our team in the best position."

That's all he did against Georgia State (0-2) and he got off to a fast start.

McSorley completed 14 of 19 passes for 258 yards in the first half to help Penn State (3-0) take a 35-0 lead in a rare prime-time game against a non-Power Five opponent.

The junior quarterback finished 18 of 23 for 309 yards and running back Saquon Barkley had 226 all-purpose yards despite being sidelined for a stretch in the second quarter with a stomach bug.

Barkley returned to the game after a brief evaluation but wasn't needed much longer. Penn State rested most of its starters after scoring on its first drive of the second half.

"I thought Trace definitely threw the ball better," Penn State coach James Franklin said. "Saquon, he's just got so many tools. You're talking about a 230-pound guy that can make you miss, can run you over and can burst down the sideline."

Backup quarterback Tommy Stevens caught a touchdown pass and threw one, and DaeSean Hamilton, Brandon Polk and Saeed Blacknall added touchdown receptions for Penn State.

Miles Sanders ran one in while Barkley was being out, and Andre Robinson added a late rushing touchdown for Penn State.

Conner Manning completed 16 of 29 passes for 133 yards for Georgia State with three interceptions. The Panthers also lost two fumbles and Penn State turned all five turnovers into touchdowns.

Barkley's ominous tent visit
Penn State's sideline got a scare when Barkley signaled he needed a breather midway through the second quarter.

The Heisman candidate had just lowered his head on an inside run and was piled on by Panthers defenders. Although he popped up quick, Barkley walked slowly to the bench, sat down and hung his head for a bit before being shuffled into the team's nearby medical tent by the team's head athletic trainer.

Barkley emerged after a few minutes and returned to the game apparently no worse for wear. He said afterward he ate something before the game that didn't agree with him and was fine after a brief reprieve.

"It didn't really affect me in the game," Barkley said.

Brown down
Torrence Brown wasn't as lucky.

Penn State's starting defensive end suffered an apparent right knee injury and was carted off the field in the first quarter. Brown took a hard block low by Georgia State running back Kyler Neal and tried to get back to his feet before crumpling to the grass and grabbing for his knee.

Franklin didn't update Brown's status after the game.

Allen breaks a streak
One of Penn State's most experienced players, fourth-year starter Marcus Allen has watched as underclassmen have snagged interception after interception during his tenure.

Allen, who was without an interception before Saturday, said after the Pitt game that he felt his was coming. He snatched Manning' pass and returned it 50 yards to set up Penn State's fifth touchdown.

"I told my dad two days before the game, `Dad, I swear, I promise you I'm going to get an interception before I leave Penn State,'" Allen said. "It feels like my birthday."

The takeaway
Georgia State: The Panthers actually moved the ball at times early. They just couldn't move it anywhere close to scoring position. Hart was explosive most of the night and was able to get open. Manning has a quick release and was able to keep Penn State's pass rush at bay, but his accuracy needs to improve to keep his offense moving.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions continue to break big plays seemingly at will and their defense is thriving. With nearly three dozen players rotating in and out through the first three games, Penn State has allowed just one touchdown. With the conference opener looming, Penn State appears primed for another strong Big Ten run.

Up next
Georgia State hosts Charlotte.

Penn State travels to Iowa City to open Big Ten play.

Penn State tops Utah to win NIT championship

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Penn State tops Utah to win NIT championship

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Flavor Flav had his red cap flipped backward as he pulled out his iPhone on the Madison Square Garden court. Flav held the camera steady and recorded cousin Shep Garner clip the final strands of the championship net and wave it toward the Penn State die-hards.

Flav's T-shirt at the NIT said it all for the Nittany Lions: Believe the hype!

Garner hit the 3-pointer that brought rapper and reality star Flavor Flav to his feet and helped send Penn State on its way to an NIT title in an 82-66 victory over Utah on Thursday night.

The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-13) also knocked off No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the tournament en route to winning their first NIT title since 2009.

"This means the whole world to me right now ," Flavor Flav said.

They were pretty pumped in Happy Valley, too.

"I think we set the standard," Garner said. "We preach defense and rebounding, but now we have something we can always go to. We won something. We're champions."

Flavor Flav, member of the seminal `80s rap group Public Enemy, sang along to "Fight the Power" as it blasted in the Garden and had the PSU student section chanting "Flav! Flav! Flav!" as the Nittany Lions pulled away for a program-defining championship under coach Pat Chambers.

Lamar Stevens scored 28 points, Josh Reaves had 18 and Tony Carr had 15 points and 14 assists for Penn State.

Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center has a long-standing reputation as one of the dreariest arenas in college basketball. Penn State fans, from rappers to silver-haired alumni, packed the Garden all the way to the last row of the upper deck.

Penn State football coach James Franklin, who led the program to a Pinstripe Bowl victory in 2014, was in the house. Flavor Flav stole the show a few rows behind the PSU bench. Wearing a T-shirt that read "33 Shep Garner," Flavor Flav danced all night in his seat. Flavor Flav popped his T-shirt and raised the roof in the same arena where Public Enemy once tore down the house.

"I think we've proven to teams across the country that Penn State basketball is here to stay," Chambers said.

The clutch moment came in the third quarter when Garner -- who became Penn State's career 3-point leader in the tournament run -- hit a 3 for his first basket of the game and a 49-41 lead that had the fans going wild.

"To see my cousin break records, win trophies, all that, he deserves it," Flavor Flav said. "The whole team deserves it."

Reaves hit a crashing layup on a three-point play that stretched the lead to 11 and Stevens wagged his tongue toward the PSU fans on a jumper that helped blow open the game.

Flavor Flav raised an arm in the air when Garner sank a 3 early in the fourth for a 68-49 edge that all but put this one away.

The final minutes certainly put some flava in your ear -- half the MSG crowd chanted "We Are!" and the other half bellowed "Penn State!"

Yeah, boy!

Sedrick Barefield hit six 3s and scored 22 points for second-seeded Utah (23-12).

"You're always kind of watching the NIT and maybe you think of it as the consolation prize or whatever," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "They have no idea how cool this was for us."

Big picture
Utah: David Collette, Justin Bibbins and Tyler Rawson are among the seniors moving on. ... Bibbins scored 15 points.

Penn State: Stevens reached 1,000 career points was named most outstanding player. ... Chambers, a former assistant coach under Jay Wright at Villanova, took over in 2011 and has struggled to find any kind of regular success. The Nittany Lions have never made the NCAA Tournament under Chambers and they'll have just their second winning record in seven seasons. But Penn State's 26 wins are second-highest in program history. The Nittany Lions won a record 27 games in 2008-09.

Big crowd
The 11,175 fans at MSG were the most for an NIT final since 2005.

"And you say we're a football school," Chambers cracked.

Something different
The NIT was a bit of a mad scientist in the college basketball lab. The game featured four 10-minute quarters. The tournament also implemented the FIBA 3-point line (22 feet, 1.75 inches), NBA-width lane of 16 inches, and a 20-second shot clock following offensive rebounds.

Penn State dominates Mississippi State to reach NIT title game

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Penn State dominates Mississippi State to reach NIT title game

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NEW YORK -- Nearly a month after Penn State was bounced out of the Big Ten Tournament, the Nittany Lions are back at Madison Square Garden with another chance to win a championship.

Tony Carr scored 21 points, Shep Garner added 18 while breaking the school record for career 3-pointers and Penn State routed Mississippi State 75-60 in the National Invitation Tournament semifinals Tuesday night.

"Of course we were a little disappointed not to make the (NCAA) Tournament, but we made another goal," Garner said. "We saw we were in the NIT and our goal was to get to New York and win it. That's what everyone wants to do. We put ourselves in position to do so."

The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (25-13) will play No. 2 seed Utah for the title Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

After the score was tied 9-all, Penn State ended the first quarter on a 9-2 run. From there, the Nittany Lions opened the second with a 19-0 spurt capped by Garner's 3 off an assist from Carr to make it 37-11.

With football coach James Franklin cheering from the stands, Penn State went up 42-23 at halftime and led by as many as 27.

Mississippi State (25-12) wasn't able to get within 20 again until there was 7:56 left in the game. Abdul Ado's dunk made it 65-47, but that was the closest the Bulldogs got before the waning moments.

"We were really impatient," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "Once we started falling behind, we got anxious and we were shooting quick. Quick, bad shots and it just like, snowballed."

Tyson Carter scored 19 points off the bench to lead No. 4 seed Mississippi State. Ado had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Lamar Stevens scored 17 for Penn State, which shot 11 of 20 from 3-point territory. Carr had six assists and five rebounds.

Big picture
Penn State: While the Nittany Lions would have preferred to play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, they made the NIT for the first time under seventh-year coach Pat Chambers. Penn State's last trip to the NIT title game was in 2009, when it beat Baylor for the crown. The school's only other appearance in the final was a loss to Minnesota in 1998.

Mississippi State: With just one senior on the roster, the Bulldogs will return most of their team and have something positive to build off as they try to move up the rankings in the rugged SEC next season.

Record producer
With his six 3-pointers, Garner broke Penn State's record for 3s in an NIT along with the school mark of 332 held by Pete Lisicky (1995-98). Garner also had six 3s in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal loss to Purdue, giving him 12 in his last two games at Madison Square Garden and 334 for his career.

"They say the record is an individual record, but I've had a lot of teammates that had a lot to do with the record," Garner said. "A lot of people that set screens for me to get me open, break passes to them, they put it right on the button for me and I just finish the job. That's a team record. It's a lot of people that had stuff to do with it. I tip my hat to my teammates and my coaches to put me in a position to do something special like that."

Up next
Penn State: Will try to win the second NIT championship in school history when it faces Utah (23-11), which beat Western Kentucky 69-64 in the first semifinal.

Mississippi State: Starts preparing for a promising 2018-19 season.