Mike Watkins scored 15 points and had a career-high 19 rebounds to lead host Penn State past Rutgers 60-43 on Saturday at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa.
Tony Carr had 16 points and Josh Reaves added 15 off the bench for the Nittany Lions, who outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 42-27. Penn State (15-8 overall, 5-5 Big Ten) was coming off a spirited 82-79 victory at No. 13 Ohio State on Thursday night and carried that momentum into this game.
Corey Sanders, who leads Rutgers in scoring (14.2 points per game), assists (73) and steals (31), was held scoreless for the first time in his career. The Scarlet Knights (12-11, 2-8) managed just two offensive boards and shot 31.4 percent from the field.
Issa Thiam had 12 points for Rutgers, which has lost three straight games.
A layup and free throw by Reaves gave Penn State its first double-digit lead, 34-23, in the opening minutes of the second half, forcing Rutgers to call a timeout. Eugene Omoruyi’s jumper gave the Scarlet Knights their first points of the half and they trailed 37-25 with 15:13 remaining.
Rutgers cut the margin to 37-30 on a free throw by Omoruyi and a jumper by Mamadou Doucoure. Penn State quashed the rally, and a pair of free throws by Carr built the lead back to 42-32 with 9:25 left.
The Nittany Lions continued to pull away, and a dunks by Reaves and Lamar Stevens increased the margin to 52-37 with just under five minutes remaining. The Scarlet Knights never threatened the rest of the way.
Penn State improved to 8-0 when it holds its opponents to fewer than 60 points and 13-3 when out-shooting its foe.
A layup by Thiam gave Rutgers a 13-12 lead with 8:25 left in the opening half. Penn State missed 12 of its opening 16 shots from the field.
There were four lead changes and four ties the rest of the half. Carr scored 12 points, and his 3-pointer in the final seconds extended the Nittany Lions’ lead to 28-23 at the break.
—Field Level Media