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Penn State Coasts To A Victory At Home Versus Binghamton, 80-65

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Pat Chambers’ squad played a solid game and added a victory the tally.

NCAA Basketball: George Washington at Penn State Linsey Fagan-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State (10-3) took care of business at home in a non-conference game that it was heavily favored to win.

Penn State jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the first minute and a half of play. Binghamton was forced to call a timeout to regroup. Seven minutes later with 11:44 left in the first half, the lead was cut to just one point, 14-13. The Lions managed just six points over the stretch while getting high-percentage shot attempts.

The shooting slump lasted a little longer as the Bearcats managed a 19-16 lead minutes later. That’s when Tony Carr put his foot down, and a three pointer as well, to tie the game. Lamar Stevens added a dunk and then Josh Reaves nailed a three for a 24-19 point Penn State advantage. Once again Binghamton was forced to call timeout to slow things down.

Trent Buttrick made an early appearance in the first half which is a sign of the freshman’s growth, as he is now being used for strategic purposes. The game was tied at 32 apiece with three minutes to play before halftime.

Jamari Wheeler hit a three pointer to give the Lions a lead, 35-32. Wheeler has shown a lot on the defensive side this year but at times has been reluctant to let an open shot fly. On the next trip Wheeler had an offensive rebound and made a pass that led to two Lamar Stevens foul shots. Wheeler hit a teardrop runner in the lane and Penn State led 39-34 with a minute to play before the break.

He even made this nice play off the front-end miss on a foul shot to keep possession for the Lions.

Wheeler asserted himself late in the half and Penn State had a small lead as a result. The Bearcats would add a basket and it was 39-36 as the teams went to the locker rooms.

The Lions started the second half as they did the first, with a scoring run that forced a timeout by the Bearcats. A 5-0 run in the opening minute stretched the lead to 44-36 and for the first time it had the feel as though the home team could open up a double-digit lead.

The streak continued as PSU opened up a 53-41 advantage with 15 minutes left in the game. Shep Garner hit a three and Tony Carr added an elbow jumper during the streak and Binghamton was officially on the ropes.

With seven minutes to play the lead remained the same, 66-54. The Bearcats cut the lead to just 9 with three minutes to go. Josh Reaves hit a three-pointer and Shep Garner added another to quickly get the lead back to 15 with two minutes to play. Penn State held on to win by that margin, 80-65.

PPP and Four Factors

Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Team Total Possessions PPP eFG% OReb% TO% FT Rate
Penn State 70 1.15 66.7 33.3 24.4 27.8
Binghamton 0.93 47.7 32.5 21.5 7.6

It’s hard to get too caught up on the numbers in this game. The Lions got to the line enough and the statistics weren’t distorted by fouling at the end of the game. After a sluggish first half the Lions offensive efficiency improved.

Player of the Game

Mike Watkins (12 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 1 steal)- Watkins played a solid game from beginning to end. His low-post presence dominated the paint throughout the night.

Random Observations

  • During the patented Penn State offensive slump in the first half Jamari Wheeler and Nazeer Bostick stepped up at times to make much-needed baskets. While the team has plenty of offensive firepower, it is nice to see two underclassmen off the bench that are able to help break a scoring slump.
  • The team is getting more consistent in its performance. In years past this may have been the type of game that went down to the wire, with PSU playing down to the opponent’s level. All five starters scored twelve or more points. Remember just a couple of years ago when PSU was looking for a third player that could contribute regularly with double-digit scoring?

Up Next

The Lions will host Rider at 7 p.m. on Friday. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.