Penn State Blows Out Pitt to Advance in Legends Classic
BROOKLYN-- Tony Carr put up 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Mike Watkins chipped in 13 as Penn State blew out Pittsburgh 85-54 at the Barclays Center on Monday night. Lamar Stevens put in 10 points and ripped down seven rebounds.
Jared Wilson-Frame led the Panthers in scoring with 17 points. Pittsburgh struggled offensively as it shot 31 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 14 times.
Watkins threw down a couple of dunks and flashed a euro step in traffic, while Carr ended the half with a pull-up three-pointer to put the halftime lead at 26.
Penn State improves to 5-0 and takes on 16th-ranked Texas A&M in the championship game on Tuesday. Pitt falls to 1-3 and plays Oklahoma State in the consolation game.
The Nittany Lions entered their game against the Panthers struggling to score as teams like Campbell, Fairleigh Dickinson and Montana were able to keep the games close at the beginning. The opening game of the Legends Classic was the exact opposite of that, as Penn State started off strong from the floor, as it had a 18-3 lead after four and a half minutes.
The three-point shooting from the Nittany Lions was on point to start the game as they hit their first four three-pointers. Shep Garner started off the scoring as he hit his first two attempts from behind the arc in the opening minutes.
Head coach Patrick Chambers talked about his team’s hot start as the key point in the game defensively.
“We live and die on our defense,” Chambers said. “That and our rebounding, when they’re on, really gets our offense going.”
Josh Reaves also nailed a triple in the beginning of the game as Pittsburgh struggled to contain Penn State from behind the line. The Panthers tried to shoot their way back in from behind the arc, but they shot 8-26 from downtown.
Garner had 13 points on the night, but his hot start forced the Panthers to close out aggressively to stop the perimeter shooting. Carr and Nazeer Bostick took advantage of that as they consistently drove the ball into the paint to find open teammates by the basket.
Bostick scored 10 points and shot 4-5 from the floor, as he attacked the basket aggressively against Pitt’s defenders. Penn State saw multiple players finish the game perfect from the floor as Watkins and Julian Moore did not miss a shot from the floor.
Watkins showed off great footwork in the post as he nailed all six of his shots, while Moore finished off the night with four points on two attempts. Overall, the Nittany Lions shot 58.6 percent from the floor and had six players get in double figures.
Wilson-Frame did his best to replicate Penn State’s scoring output as he put up 17 points with five triples, but went 6-19 from the floor. He received little help from his teammates as freshman guard Marcus Carr was Pitt’s second leading scorer with nine points.
Penn State took advantage of Pitt’s inexperience, as Kevin Stallings only returned two players from last year’s team.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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