For much of Wednesday night’s game, it looked as if the Nittany Lions were about to stun the conference for the second time in a week.
Instead, six days after its upset win over Ohio State, the Penn State men’s basketball team watched a double-digit lead evaporate into a disappointing 76-68 loss to Michigan State.
With 15:23 left in the game, PSU led 41-29. But, over the next six minutes, the Spartans used a hot hand to outscore the road team 22-8 to take the lead. Michigan State never surrendered the advantage after that.
Penn State’s loss comes on the heels of its 82-79 buzzer-beating upset win over No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 25 and a 60-43 win over Rutgers on Saturday.
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Tony Carr paced the Nittany Lions with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists Wednesday night. Lamar Stevens added 18 points.
With the loss, Penn State drops to 15-9 overall and 5-6 in the conference. Michigan State is 21-3, 9-2.
Penn State: Carr is showing he can make shots all over the court no matter who he’s facing, but the Nittany Lions have to give him more help. Stevens was his only teammate in double figures. Carr had 28 points in last week’s win at Ohio State and is averaging 19-plus points a game even though every team is trying to slow him down. Entering the game, the Nittany Lions had five players averaging in double-digits.
Michigan State: The crisis on campus related to Larry Nassar and an ESPN report isn’t going away and the Spartans know it. Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo wore a teal ribbon on the left lapel of his suit and his players wore the same ribbon over their hearts on their pullovers, honoring survivors of sexual violence. Nassar, a former doctor at the school, has been sentenced to decades in prison for sexually abusing young girls and women. ESPN has detailed various allegations involving Michigan State football and basketball players, putting Izzo in awkward situations during postgame news conferences.
Penn State: Hosts Iowa at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State fans are asked by the university to arrive early with several big games taking place around the same time — with Penn State hockey hosting Notre Dame at 4 p.m. and Penn State wrestling taking on Ohio State in Rec Hall at 8 p.m.
Michigan State: Plays at Indiana on Saturday night, one of five road games in a seven-game stretch to close the regular season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report