Penn State Basketball

Penn State men’s basketball tops Iowa in Big Ten opener

Penn State forward Lamar Stevens (11) shoots over Iowa forward Tyler Cook, left, during the first half Saturday. Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 22 points.
Penn State forward Lamar Stevens (11) shoots over Iowa forward Tyler Cook, left, during the first half Saturday. Stevens led the Nittany Lions with 22 points. AP

Penn State held off Iowa 77-73 in its Big Ten opener Saturday to earn its first win in Iowa City since 2001.

Lamar Stevens paced Penn State with 22 points, Mike Watkins added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Tony Carr finished with 16 points and nine assists for the Nittany Lions, who never trailed in the win.

Penn State (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten) jumped out to an early lead and maintained control in a close game, making plays down the stretch to end a streak of 12 straight road losses to Iowa.

The Hawkeyes (4-4, 0-1) have now lost four of their last five games.

Player of the game

Penn State forward Lamar Stevens: Stevens led the Nittany Lions in scoring, but he gets the nod for his play in the final minutes. He scored six of his team’s final 10 points and hit perhaps the biggest shot of the game. After Iowa pulled within 69-67 with just more than one minute to play, Stevens knocked down a jump shot with the shot clock winding down to push the Nittany Lions ahead by four points. The teams traded easy buckets until Stevens’ free throws with four seconds left gave Penn State a 77-73 lead to ice the game.

Starters lead the way

Penn State’s starters accounted for all 77 points in Saturday’s win.

In addition to the production from Stevens, Watkins and Carr, Shep Garner scored 12 points and Josh Reaves added eight points.

Garner and Carr both went 4 for 6 from 3-point range to help the Nittany Lions finish 12 for 23 from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Jamari Wheeler played 20 minutes off the bench and finished second on the team with four assists.

Up next

Wisconsin at Penn State, 7 p.m. Monday: The Nittany Lions play another conference game before returning to their nonconference slate Saturday against George Washington.

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