Penn State wins Big Ten opener against Iowa
Penn State forward Lamar Stevens had 22 points and forward Mike Watkins added 19 as the Nittany Lions held off the Iowa Hawkeyes in a 77-73 victory in the Big Ten opener for both at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday.
Stevens made two free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining for the final margin.
Penn State led by eight with 4 1/2 minutes remaining before the Hawkeyes got within two four times, but they never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.
Tony Carr made two free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining to give Penn State a 75-71 lead. Iowa’s Jack Nunge made an uncontested dunk before Stevens’ clinching free throws.
Carr had 16 points and Shep Garner had 12 points for the Nittany Lions (7-2, 1-0), who had lost two of three. Garner was the only senior to start for either team.
Tyler Cook had 23 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and four assists for the Hawkeyes (4-4, 0-1), who never led. The only tie was at 2.
Cook was fouled while dunking on a fast break and made the ensuing free throw to cut the lead to 69-67 with 1:11 remaining, but Stevens hit a jumper to push the lead back to four.
The Nittany Lions made 12-of-23 3-pointers, their long-range accuracy helping make the difference in the game.
Carr, the Nittany Lions’ leading scorer at 21.3 points a game, made 4-of-6 shots from 3-point range. Garner also made 4 of 6 from behind the arc.
Isaiah Moss had 13 points and Cordell Pemsl had 10 for the Hawkeyes, who were 4-of-12 from 3-point range and made 13 of 21 free throws.