Halftime: Bridges starts for MSU, Spartans trailing Penn State at the Palestra
After appearing in a game for the first time since Nov. 29 in the blowout win over Rutgers on Wednesday, freshman forward Miles Bridges was brought back into the starting lineup along with the rest of the freshmen class against Penn State at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Pa.
At the end of the first
Fifth-year senior guard Eron Harris scored the first two points in regulation after converting on two free throw attempts after being fouled by Penn State freshman guard Tony Carr.
Scoring for MSU was halted for over two minutes as the Nittany Lions went on a 10-2 run to take an early 10-4 lead in the first four minutes of regulation. Leading into the first media timeout, Penn State held a 13-6 advantage.
Following MSU's first possession out of the timeout, redshirt-sophomore Kenny Goins fell to the floor with an apparent ankle injury and limped off the floor with the assistance of a medical trainer. Goins, however, would return to the game with just over 10 minutes left in the half.
With just over 11 minutes left in the half, MSU pulled within a field goal after Bridges converted on a jump shot inside the key, but consecutive scores from Penn State gave the Nittany Lions a six-point lead.
Harris cut the lead down to three points after hitting a shot from downtown making it 22-19, and Penn State quickly responded with back-to-back scores to quickly take a 27-19 lead.
Penn State flirted with a double-digit lead within the last six minutes of the half with the help of transition defense forcing six Spartan turnovers. With 3:40 left in the half, the Nittany Lions extended their lead to 12 points after a 3-point field goal from junior Payton Banks. The Spartans, though quickly cut the lead to seven points with a layup from junior guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn Jr. and a 3-pointer from freshman guard Josh Langford to make it 37-30. Penn State responded with a timeout taken with 2:47 left until halftime.
MSU's run would be snubbed with a string of scores from the Nittany Lions, quickly making it 44-32 as the half came to a close.
As a whole, the Spartans shot 48.1 percent from the field in the first half, converting on 13-of-27 shot attempts, 2-of-8 from beyond the arc. MSU converted on 4-of-5 free throw shots, seven turnovers and seven team assists.
Penn State shot 58.6 percent from the field, connecting on 17-of-29 shots, three triples and 4-for-6 shooting from the free throw line. Penn State turned the ball over three times in the half, assisting on 10 baskets.
Leading the way for MSU
Points - Nick Ward (12 points, 5-of-6 FG shooting)
Rebounds - Miles Bridges (3)
Assists - Josh Langford and Cassius Winston (2)
Leading the way for Penn State
Points - Payton Banks and Lamar Stevens (10)
Rebounds - Julian Moore, Mike Watkins and Lamar Stevens (3)
Assists - Josh Reaves (5)
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