National Basketball Association
Michigan St 79, Penn St. 71
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, Pennsylvania
# Bill Ek, # Mike Eades, # Terry Wymer
Xavier Tillman scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to rally No. 16 Michigan State past No. 20 Penn State 79-71 on Tuesday in University Park, Pa.
Rocket Watts added 18 points, Cassius Winston contributed 14 and Aaron Henry had 12 for the Spartans (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten), who won their fourth in a row and rallied from a 19-point deficit.
Myreon Jones paced Penn State (21-9, 11-8) with 16 points while Lamar Stevens added 15 but shot 3 of 19. Stevens was 0-for-9 in the first half. Mike Watkins had 12 points and nine rebounds.
With No. 9 Maryland (23-7, 13-6) losing to Rutgers on Tuesday, the Big Ten race is wide open, with Michigan State, No. 23 Illinois (20-9, 12-6) and No. 24 Wisconsin (19-10, 12-6) also in the mix.
Jones knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to give Penn State a 25-13 lead with 10:23 remaining in the first half.
Seth Lundy and Jones then hit back-to-back treys to extend the Nittany Lions' advantage to 33-18.
Tillman scored nine early points for Michigan State, but the Spartans still trailed 33-20 with 7:32 left in the half. The visitors missed four of their first five 3-point attempts.
Penn State responded with two more 3-pointers, both from Myles Dread, and the lead was 39-20 with 4:42 to go.
Jones made all four of his trey attempts to propel Penn State to a 46-31 lead at halftime.
Michigan State was paced by Tillman's 11 first-half points. As a whole, the Spartans shot just 1 of 9 from beyond the arc before the break.
Watts hit a short jumper to cap a quick 7-0 run to open the second half as Michigan State closed within 46-38.
When Henry made a deep trey with 14:58 left, the game was suddenly tied at 49. Penn State missed four straight shots, the Spartans scored six consecutive points, and Michigan State went ahead 55-49 with 12:34 to go.
Winston hit a trey with 9:43 remaining, and Michigan State pushed ahead 65-55.
Watkins knocked down two free throws and Stevens added five straight points for Penn State, which got within 65-62 with 8:04 remaining.
With Penn State trailing 72-68, Jones drove to the basket and had his shot blocked by Tillman with 1:59 left. Henry then scored in the paint, and the Michigan State lead moved back to six.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Xavier Tillman 23
Myreon Jones 16
Cassius Winston 7
Jamari Wheeler 5
Xavier Tillman 15
Mike Watkins 9
Xavier Tillman 3
||Free Throws Made
Lamar Stevens 9
Cassius Winston 1
John Harrar 2
Xavier Tillman 2
Lamar Stevens 3
Team Stats Summary