Nittany Lion basketball squad remains undefeated
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Despite missing its starters Tony Carr and Josh Reaves to injury, Penn State defeated Columbia, 79-65, Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“I’m really proud of my team with all of the obstacles and challenges that we’ve faced over the last 48 hours," Penn State head coach Pat Chambers said.
With the combination of Shep Garner’s game-high 26 points and a dominating post presence, Penn State was able to move to 4-0 on the season.
The guard-deprived Penn State lineup created 10 first-half turnovers, jumping out to a 14-point lead behind Garner’s four first-half three-pointers.
The double-digit Nittany Lion lead would be cut to just three points as a result of Columbia shooting 50 percent from deep in the first half.
Garner sunk the Nittany Lions’ first two buckets of the second half as Penn State increased its lead.
Penn State’s post presence, consisting of Mike Watkins and Satchel Pierce, proved to be too much for Columbia to handle as the game progressed.
Watkins, who would earn his 100th block of his career in the game, finished with six blocks, 14 rebounds and 10 points in the Penn State victory.
Pierce finished the game with 11 points, going 7-of-8 from the foul line.
Aside from Pierce earning more minutes with the injuries to Carr and Reaves, role-players such as freshman Jamari Wheeler and sophomore Nazeer Bostick made the first starts of their careers.
The young guards finished with 17 points between the two.
“We showed what kind of team that we can be and the bench-depth we have,” Chambers said.
Penn State will travel to the Barclay’s Center Monday, Nov. 20 to take on struggling Pitt as part of the 2017 Legends Classic.