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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Overcome Bumps And Bruises To Win 70-57

by on November 15, 2017 10:00 PM

Penn State overcame bumps and bruises, a feisty Montana team and a bad night at the free throw line to win 70-57 and improve to 3-0 on the year Wednesday night.

How it happened:

Penn State found itself in an early fight with a Montana team fresh off a win over Pitt earlier in the week, leading by just four with 5:58 to go in the first half. Eventually the Nittany Lions would ride good defense and a consistent shooting output to go up by eight before Montana held on to just a five-point 34-29 deficit at the half. The Grizzlies shooting 48-percent from the field while Penn State was not far behind at 44.8.

The second 20 minutes was far more dramatic as star Nittany Lion guard Tony Carr fell, twisting his ankle just minutes into the half, subbing out for the rest of the game. Minutes later Shep Garner seemingly broke his nose and Nazeer Bostick was grabbing his head fighting off his own pain. And so, a once 10-point lead would eventually shrink to three with 4:11 to go as Penn State worked with an unorthodox lineup.

It was then that Penn State's depth shone through, two big threes by Garner pushing the lead back out to nine as Satchel Pierce and Jamari Wheeler contributed on the defensive end along the way. By the 1:13 mark a game full of injuries and adversity was suddenly a 10-point Nittany Lions lead and an eventual 70-57 victory. Penn State's third on the year just three games into the season.

Penn State finished the night having shot 50-percent from the field and 57-percent from the field in the second half. Mike Watkins recorded four blocks in 19 minutes of play.

It was over when:

Penn State closed out the night on a 12-2 run sparked by two big three-pointers by Shep Garner after missing two free throws moments earlier. From there Montana never had an answer and the Nittany Lions finished the job.

Player of the game:

Lamar Stevens showed why he might be Penn State's most versatile player piling up 25 points seven rebounds and two assists while the Nittany Lions looked to him in the post and from the perimeter. 

Stat of the game:

Penn State shot 50% from the floor and from three on the night while holding Montana to a 39% clip from the field. The Nittany Lions played eight different players for over 10 minutes in a game full of bumps and bruises. Josh Reaves and Lamar Stevens combined for 37 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Penn State lost the rebounding battle 34-32 and went 14-of-24 from the line.

Up next: 

Penn State hits the court on Friday at 7PM to face Columbia before heading to Brooklyn for a two game/two day showcase at the Barclays Center, facing Pitt on Monday night.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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