Penn State men’s basketball: Ninth-ranked Michigan State ends Nittany Lions’ win streak

February 7, 2014 

— Penn State was no match for Michigan State on Thursday night.

The Nittany Lions couldn’t contain the No. 9 Spartans balanced attack, fueled by five players in double figures and a 12-for-23 performance from beyond the arc. Penn State was outscored by 15 on second-chance points. And only guards Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill managed to find any success offensively for the Lions in an 82-67 loss to Michigan State in Big Ten play at the Breslin Center.

Kenny Kaminski, who entered the game averaging 5.3 points per game, led the Spartans with 19 points, going 7-for-9 from the field and 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Gary Harris finished with 14 points and Adreian Payne had 12, while Denzel Valentine and Matt Costello chipped in with 11 and 10, respectively.

For Penn State (12-11, 3-7), Frazier scored 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Frazier had just one assist, tying the program’s all-time record set by Freddie Barnes. Newbill finished with 17, going 5-for-18 from the field and 7-for-8 from the foul line. The Lions shot 36.8 percent from the field.

The loss ended Penn State’s three-game winning streak.

The Spartans (20-3, 9-1) led from start to finish in the dominant win despite playing without starting guard Keith Appling, who was out with a wrist injury.

Michigan State jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first three minutes after Kaminski’s first 3-pointer of the game. Midway through the half, the Spartans led by 12. And with less than six minutes until the break, Kaminski drilled another 3-pointer to push MSU ahead 35-16.

The Lions cut the deficit to 10 points twice with less than two minutes left, but the Spartans closed the half with a 3-pointer by Valentine and three-point play by Costello to take a 46-30 lead.

Frazier and Newbill combined to score 24 of the team’s 30 points in the first 20 minutes. The Spartans outrebounded the Lions 22-11 and used Kaminski’s 13 first-half points to seize control.

The Spartans continued to roll in the second half, while Penn State continued to lean on Frazier and Newbill to make plays on offense.

Michigan State went up 55-34 on a jumper by Harris less than four minutes into the half, forcing a Penn State timeout. The Lions cut the deficit to 14 with 12:25 left on a layup by Brandon Taylor, but the Spartans answered with back-to-back 3-pointers.

Kaminski banked one in from the top of the key, and Harris drilled a wide-open 3 from the right wing to push the MSU lead to 64-44 with 12:03 remaining.

Michigan State expanded the lead to 25 points with less than 10 minutes to play and led by as many as 26 with 4:13 to play before Penn State closed the gap in the final minutes.

The Lions return home to play Illinois at the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.

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