Stevens leads Penn State past Michigan State, 72-63

PHILADELPHIA, Sporting Alert – Lamar Stevens scored 18 points and led four Penn State players in double-digit scoring and the Nittany Lions picked up a 72-63 win over Michigan State at the Palestra on Saturday.

Stevens, who shot 7 of 12 from the floor also grabbed six rebounds in the league win

Tony Carr had 14 points, while Payton Banks and Mike Watkins each scored 11 points off the bench for Penn State (10-7, 2-2 Big Ten), which was beating Michigan State for the first time since 2011.

Watkins also collected a team-high nine rebounds for Penn State, which led 44-32 at halftime.

“This was a business trip for us…,” said Penn State coach Pat Chambers after the game. “We were dialed in from the opening tip.”

Nick Ward led the Spartans (11-6, 3-1) with 16 points with Lourawls Nairn Jr. scoring 13 in the defeat as Michigan State saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

“Listen, we didn’t play good,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said afterwards. “They tell me that once in a while, you’ll have an out-of-body experience when you’re playing a lot of freshmen.

“We got taken by the team that just played harder than us.”

Penn State shot 49 percent on 26 of 53 shooting from the field, while the Spartans shot 41 percent on 23 of 56 shooting.

The Nittany Lions won the rebounding battle 45-28, including pulling down 31 at the defensive end.

Izzo revealed that he was “embarrassed” by his team’s performance in the defeat.

“I’m embarrassed that in a city where basketball is like this that my team would play like they did in the first half,” Izzo said.

“We guarded nobody, we played with no energy, and I was totally frustrated with the way we played.”

Penn State will be off for a week before hosting Minnesota next Saturday in another Big Ten battle.

Michigan State returns to action on Wednesday against the Gophers at the Breslin Center.

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