Penn State Blows Out George Washington
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Tony Carr had 19 points as the Nittany Lions beat the George Washington Colonials 74-54 on Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center. Mike Watkins had his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Lamar Stevens left the game early in the first half only to check back in a couple minutes later, scoring 10 points. Yuta Watanabe led the Colonials with 18 points.
Carr returned to form as he hit a couple of contested 3-pointers in the second half after a poor performance against Wisconsin last game. Watkins opened his scoring with a dunk off a slip screen for Carr.
Penn State improved its record to 8-3 on the season, while George Washington dropped to 5-5.
First halves for the Nittany Lions have been erratic as they started great against Texas A&M and NC State but struggled mightily with the Wisconsin Badgers. A strong start was needed with George Washington entering the game on a three-game winning streak.
Penn State played like it did against Texas A&M, shooting 58.8 percent from the floor and forced nine George Washington turnovers to open up a 29 point lead at halftime. The defensive energy was evident with Josh Reaves and Jamari Wheeler flying around the ball.
Senior guard Shep Garner talked about the team’s defensive energy as the main reason for the strong start.
“Our main focus was defending and rebounding,” Garner said. “We really harped on it in practice and it showed tonight. We were ready to defend.”
The Nittany Lions forced the Colonials into 16 turnovers, but they were not clean with the ball as George Washington forced them into 15 turnovers. The difference between the two teams was the points off turnovers as Penn State won that battle 23-13, with the Colonials failing to register one in the first half.
Reaves took advantage of some lackadaisical passing from George Washington with a couple of dunks in transition. His three steals led the Nittany Lions, and he was the primary defender on Watanabe on the perimeter.
The Nittany Lions’ unselfish play also allowed all five starters to reach double figures. Head coach Pat Chambers explained how his team’s unselfish play was important to his team’s success.
“When we have balance, we’re tough to guard,” Chambers said.
The toughest cover for the Colonials arguably was Watkins, who shot 7-11 from the floor and was met with little resistance on his post-ups. His defensive intensity from the Wisconsin game continued in this game as he blocked four shots and altered countless others around the rim.
Stevens’ early game injury looked to be in a lot of pain at the start of the game, but he returned shortly after it happened. His reappearance in the game was a good sign for a team that had to play without its top bench player Nazeer Bostick, who missed the game due to a violation of team rules. Penn State’s performance against George Washington proves that it is capable of contending in the Big Ten this season.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email email@example.com.