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Watkins Collects Rebound No. 800 in Penn State’s 76-54 Win

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics
Myreon Jones scored career-high 22 points to lead three Nittany Lions in double figures

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior forward Mike Watkins pulled down a game-best 16 rebounds to put him over the 800career rebound mark in Penn State’s 76-54 win over Wake Forest on Wednesday during the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Nittany Lions improved to 7-1 and extended their home win streak to nine games in Bryce Jordan Center with a 22-point margin of victory, the largest in its 19 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.

Sophomore guard Myreon Jones scored a career-best 22 points, 16 coming in the first half, to lead three Nittany Lions in double figures. Senior forward Lamar Stevens finished with 14 points and sophomore guard Izaiah Brockington added 13. Watkins had seven points on the night with his 800th career rebound coming at the 13:12 mark of the second half.

While the offense was potent in the first half, it was the Nittany Lions’ defense that created havoc for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons managed only 54 points, tying the lowest total (2011) by an opponent in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game.

“I thought our defense set the tone for this game,” said Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers. “We defended, we rebounded, we really challenged our team… I thought the sophomores really stepped up. [Myreon Jones] and [Izaiah Brockington]. [Jones] has been pretty consistent, but I was proud of [Brockington]. He’s been a little down and he really responded after New York, and that’s what you want to see. You want to see a young man learn from two games and then come back and really ignite a run.”

The Nittany Lions held Wake Forest to 29 percent shooting from the field and forced 20 turnovers. Watkins had five of Penn State’s six blocked shots to go along with three steals. Stevens tied his career best with four steals and had seven rebounds.

Penn State built a quick double-digit lead in the first half behind Myreon Jones who had 13 points in 13 minutes. He had 16 points by the break off 6-8 shooting from the field and three 3-pointers. The Nittany Lions used an 11-1 run late in the half to take a 41-23 lead into the locker room.

Penn State dominated on the glass for the second-straight game with a 52-33 rebound margin and scored 40 points in the paint compared to Wake Forest’s 18.

Wake Forest’s Olivier Sarr had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to lead the Demon Deacons in both categories

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