Penn State’s Mike Watkins proved to be nearly unstoppable Saturday night, as he recorded his 11th double-double of the season in his team’s dominating 82-58 win over Iowa.
Watkins finished with a game-high 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds at the Bryce Jordan Center.
The Nittany Lions took the lead permanently with just over 12 minutes to go in the first half. They led 47-28 at halftime and their advantage never dipped below 14 points in the second half.
Lamar Stevens added 17 points in the victory, while Tony Carr had 16 points and Josh Reaves chipped in 11.
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With the win, Penn State improves to 16-9 overall while boosting its conference record to 6-6. With the loss, Iowa falls to 12-13, 3-9.
9-0 run sparked by Watkins: With the game tied at 14-14 midway through the first period, Watkins got the team going with a dunk at the 12:39 mark. That gave the Nittany Lions the 16-14 edge and started a 9-0 run — thanks to five points from Carr and a jumpshot from Jamari Wheeler — that gave the Nittany Lions a sizable lead they’d never relinquish.
Player of the game
Penn State forward Mike Watkins: This couldn’t be an easier decision to make. No one, on either team, finished with more points or more rebounds Saturday. He was 9 of 10 from the field, sparked the turning point of the game and turned the ball over just once.
Penn State vs. Maryland, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday: The Nittany Lions will host the Terps at the BJC. In their last meeting, Maryland won 75-69. Only six regular season games remain.