Penn State goes fast to top Colgate, 72-59
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Patrick Chambers wants his Penn State team to imagine a shorter shot clock and attack the hoop fast.
Maybe not as fast as they did in Wednesday’s 72-59 win over Colgate, however.
“We’ve got to slow down a little bit inside, in the paint. We missed some point-blank shots,” the Nittany Lions coach said. “But overall it was a really, really good step for us.”
Payton Banks scored 20 points, Terrence Samuel added 16 and Tony Carr had 14 for the Nittany Lions (3-3) who snapped a two-game slide and relied on 3-pointers when high-percentage shots wouldn’t fall.
Banks drained four of his team’s six first-half 3-pointers which came in handy as Penn State made just 11 of 39 2-pointers and were just 7-for-20 on tip-ins or layups. They made just 3 of 13 of those shots in the first 20 minutes.
As Penn State sputtered, the Raiders used a 21-9 run to take a 21-15 lead, their largest of the game with 5:31 left in the first half. Penn State snapped out of its funk and regained control with eight points in less than a minute. Banks hit his fourth 3-pointer to put Penn State up for good, 23-21, with 4:22 left.
Will Rayman led Colgate with 28 points. He made 10-of-16 field goals and drained five 3-pointers as the two teams combined for 21 3s in a game Penn State controlled after leading 30-23 at halftime.
Rayman scored his team’s first seven points of the second and the Raiders cut Penn State’s lead to 36-33 when O’Brien drained a 3-pointer 4:37 into the second. But Penn State steadily pulled away.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in the game,” Colgate coach Matt Langel said. “I thought we had a chance there if we had a little bit more urgency about us and made a few smarter plays.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Colgate: The Raiders haven’t beaten a current Big Ten team since the 1973-74 season when they beat Penn State, before the Nittany Lions joined the league. Despite their lack of success against Power 5 teams, the Raiders continue to build experience and have the pieces they need to improve on last season’s 9-9 Patriot League finish.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions got back in the win column after dropping back-to-back games against Top 25 opponents. Penn State played hard against No. 1 Duke in a 78-68 loss over the weekend but followed that up with an inconsistent performance in a 71-50 defeat to then-No. 24 Cincinnati.
Guard Josh Reaves returned after missing the first five games with a lower left leg injury and played 17 minutes. Voted the team’s MVP by his peers in training camp, Reaves was pegged as a starter before he suffered the injury late in camp.
Right now, Chambers said, the speedy sophomore might be the ideal spell coming off the bench. His infectious style certainly had an effect on his teammates when he entered just as Colgate took its only lead. It wouldn’t last long.
“Josh is a huge spark guy and he’s not even at 100 percent and he’s still flying around,” Banks said. “I feel like we came out a little dull and when he came in the game it was like automatic life.”
Reaves finished with five points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Colgate plays its fifth-straight on the road, visiting Columbia on Saturday.
Penn State visits George Washington on Saturday.