Penn State Basketball Holds On For a 66-65 Victory Over Rutgers

By Matt de Bear on March 6, 2019 at 9:36 pm
Mar 6, 2019; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Rasir Bolton (13) reacts after making a three point shot against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half at Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
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Led by 18 points from junior forward Lamar Stevens, Penn State basketball knocked off the Scarlet Knights, 66-65. The Nittany Lions survived a sluggish start to the game, and a furious Rutgers comeback in the second half, to win for the fourth time in five games. 

The Lions were dominant on the defensive end to start the game. It was a good thing too, as it took them a few minutes to find a rhythm on offense. Once they did, however, they quickly pulled away. Lamar Stevens led the way with 11 first half points, while Myreon Jones chipped in nine. Mike Watkins was impressive as well, adding eight points to go along with eight boards and two blocks.

The second stanza was a different story, however. Rutgers was able to slowly chip away at the lead. Penn State answered for much of the half, never allowing the lead to shrink to less than nine until 6:43 remained in the game, when Myles Johnson capped a four-point trip for the Knights following a flagrant foul call on Myles Dread.

The Nittany Lions, however, did just enough down the stretch to hold onto the victory. Josh Reaves, playing in his penultimate Big Ten regular season game, led the way in the final moments. His three point jumper from the corner put Penn State up 66-60 with just under three minutes to play, while two blocks in the final minute proved to be monumental. With the Lions clinging to a 66-65 lead, he first swatted away a Geo Baker three-point jumper with 45 seconds left. In the dying seconds, he preserved the victory by getting a hand on the would be winning layup from Johnson.

Penn State will wrap up the regular season on Sunday afternoon against Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center.

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