Penn State tames Columbia, 79-65, to improve to 4-0
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Shep Garner scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half and Penn State beat Columbia 79-65 on Friday.
Lamar Stevens added 14 points and Mike Watkins had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (4-0) who played without starting guards Tony Carr and Josh Reaves.
Garner was 10 of 18 from the floor with five 3-pointers.
Mike Smith led Columbia with 18 points while Quinton Adlesh and Nate Hickman added 11 apiece for the Lions (1-2).
Penn State led for all but 4:52 and by as many as 14 midway through the first half. Columbia chipped away to cut the halftime deficit to 38-35 but the Nittany Lions opened the second half with a 13-5 run over the first 4:14 to take control.
Carr sat out with a sprained ankle he suffered on Wednesday while Reaves was out for an undisclosed reason.
Columbia: The Lions need to do everything better if they want to compete in the Ivy League. Columbia hasn’t won back-to-back games since Jan. 27-28 last season. The Lions won two in a row just twice a year ago when they went 5-9 in conference play.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions’ depth was tested for the first time this season with Carr and Reaves unable to play. Nazeer Bostick and Jamari Wheeler played well in their places and Satchel Pierce has been tough to play against down low with Watkins in early foul trouble.
Columbia: Travels to Army on Tuesday.
Penn State: Plays Pittsburgh in the Legends Classic at the Barclays center in New York on Monday.