Penn State topples Fairleigh Dickinson
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Tony Carr had 20 points and seven assists as the Nittany Lions beat Fairleigh Dickinson 81-57 on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. Josh Reaves chipped in 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Mike Watkins returned to action tonight as he scored 15 points and swatted three shots. Mike Holloway Jr. led the way for the Knights with 19 points.
Carr’s signature moment of the game came at the end of the half where he stole an inbounds pass, fell to the floor and swished a shot while sitting on the floor. Reaves was all over the place as his length and athleticism created four steals and caused a lot of havoc on freshman point guard Jahlil Jenkins.
Penn State improves its record to 2-0 on the season, while Fairleigh Dickinson drops to 0-2.
When Watkins ran through the smoke upon hearing his name being introduced, the crowd inside the Bryce Jordan Center roared as Penn State’s star big man was getting his sophomore season underway. The entrance was a display and his performance was worthy of the spectacle as he went 6-9 from the floor for 15 points to go along with his three blocks and two steals.
The Nittany Lion defense looked more comfortable playing with Watkins at the backline as the Knights turned the ball over 31 times. Reaves explained how his confidence grew as a defender with the presence of Watkins behind him.
“The steals that I can go for I feel like I can go for with more confidence,” Reaves said.
While Watkins did drop some passes and missed a breakaway layup, his energy and impact were felt throughout the team. He altered numerous shots around the rim as Fairleigh Dickinson struggled to hit shots around the bucket.
Reaves’ aggressiveness on defense helped him succeed on the offensive side of the floor as he used his four steals to create run-outs for easy points. The opening minutes of the second half saw the Nittany Lions throw down five dunks as Reaves used his length and confidence to attack the Knights’ ball handlers.
While head coach Patrick Chambers is thrilled by the 31 turnovers his team caused, Penn State coughed it up the 23 times, a number that is far too high for them to succeed in conference play. The distribution of the turnovers was spread out as every Nittany Lion that played except for John Harrar, Julian Moore and Trent Buttrick had at least two turnovers, including Carr.
His seven assists offset the turnovers as he has started the season with 14 assists and only three turnovers. Carr attributed the work of his teammates for meeting the pass as the main reason for his lack of turnovers to begin the year.
Lamar Stevens had three turnovers in the game, but also recorded a block and two steals without committing a foul. His commitment on the defensive end of the floor helped him offensively as he was one of five Nittany Lions to score at least 10 points.
The Nittany Lions head into their game on Wednesday with Montana full of confidence as they look to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email email@example.com.