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Penn State Basketball: Spartans Thump Nittany Lions 82-67 Thursday Night

by on February 07, 2014 7:00 AM

Penn State basketball's recent success has come from great team play over the past three games.

Bench scoring, good team defense, and role players doing their job have all contributed to Ws.

The Nittany Lions couldn't put it all together on Thursday night and Michigan State showed why it's still a force to be reckoned with on the national stage. The Spartans knocked off Penn State 82-67 in East Lansing.

The Nittany Lions struggled to find their shots early in the first half and the Spartans came out firing en route to a 21-8 lead with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half. For the opening 15 minutes only DJ Newbill and Tim Frazier scored for the Nittany Lions. Penn State settled for threes and were beat on the glass on both ends of the floor. The Spartans would out rebound Penn State 42-30 by the end of the game good enough for a 20-5 second chance scoring margin.

Penn State made a run in the final five minutes of the first half though, turning a 35-16 deficit into a 40-30 hole with 1:09 to go before intermission. Michigan State would score six quick points in the final minute, pushing the lead back to 16 as the teams went to the locker rooms.

The second half was more of the same. Penn State struggled to keep up with a Spartan team rounding into form despite injuries across the roster. Penn State would go on a 8-0 run to cut the lead to only 14 but Michigan State punched back with six quick points to make it a 20 point game yet again.

Penn State was able to cut into the lead after Michigan State subbed out the majority of its significant players and the Nittany Lions almost gave Vegas betters fits. They lost by 15 points. The Nittany Lions were 13 point underdogs heading into the contest. Penn State was led by Tim Frazier's 22 points and DJ Newbill's 17. Newbill went 0-7 from behind the arc as the Nittany Lions struggled to find their groove from deep all game long.

The Nittany Lions will return home on Sunday to face Illinois in a game that can help Penn State get back on track. A win would give Penn State its fourth conference victory of the season. It'll have to be a team effort though, the Nittany Lions are 1-6 when only two players break into double-digits.

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