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The Detroit News - - COL­LEGE BAS­KET­BALL -

Ten win, match­ing a pro­gram record that dates to last sea­son.

Much of that was be­cause Michi­gan State con­tin­ued to play well de­fen­sively, over­com­ing 17 turnovers.

Lamar Stevens scored 20 to lead Penn State (7-10, 0-6) while Mike Watkins, Myles Dredd and Josh Reaves each added 11 points for the Nit­tany Li­ons. Penn State was just 22-for-60 (.367) from the field and 5for-22 (.227) on 3-point­ers.

“The turnovers were a joke,” Izzo said. “The bright spots were I thought we re­bounded the ball very, very well and I thought our bigs played phys­i­cal and our guards played soft. The big­gest dis­ap­point­ment was the ball move­ment and the turnovers. That was not very good.

“But it was a win. It was a good win on the road.”

Win­ston has been the cat­a­lyst all sea­son for the Spar­tans, quickly mov­ing him­self into Big Ten player of the year dis­cus­sion. How­ever, some­thing was off on Sun­day.

“I was out of it,” Win­ston said. “I don’t know how to ex­plain it. Just out of it from the be­gin­ning. I got some fouls and never re­ally found a rhythm the whole game.”

It’s some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened of­ten to the ju­nior guard, which sur­prised Izzo but also made him re­al­ize that some­times play­ers have bad nights.

“I hate to say it, but I’ve given him credit for the whole sea­son,” Izzo said. “I told Cash, ‘That was one of the worst games I’ve seen him play.’ … That was un-Cas­sius like, in two years.

“He sure as hell de­serves a hall pass, but he can’t get many of them if we’re gonna be a real good team.”

Even with the of­fen­sive woes on Sun­day, the Spar­tans still are one of the opt de­fen­sive teams in the na­tion and that trav­eled, es­pe­cially in the early go­ing.

The Nit­tany Li­ons rarely got the ball on the block, of­ten set­tling for deep 3-point­ers. They made just 3 of 13 and were only 10-for-32 over­all in the first half as the Spar­tans pushed the lead to 18 late in the half af­ter an Aaron Henry dunk put them up, 37-19.

That came af­ter Michi­gan State broke open a tie game early in the half, outscor­ing Penn State, 18-4, turn­ing a 10-10 tie into a 28-14 lead. Much of it was due to Ward, Xavier Till­man and Kenny Goins dom­i­nat­ing the glass. Michi­gan State had nine of­fen­sive re­bounds and got nine sec­ond­chance points.

Ward had 12 points and nine re­bounds in 13 first-half min­utes while Till­man had six re­bounds and Goins five as Michi­gan State led, 40-24, at half­time.

“Ev­ery game is gonna be a tough game, ev­ery game is gonna be phys­i­cal,” Ward said. “They know ev­ery­thing about you. They had a good scout­ing re­port and played us ways that were dif­fer­ent.”

Penn State opened the se­cond half chip­ping away at the deficit, trim­ming it to 43-33 af­ter a Watkins jumper with 14:38 to play. The Nit­tany Li­ons took ad­van­tage of Ward and Win­ston both strug­gling with foul trou­ble. How­ever, McQuaid re­sponded with two straight 3-point­ers to give the Spar­tans a 49-33 lead with 13:06 left in the game.

The Spar­tans con­tin­ued to slowly pull away and af­ter backto-back triples from Win­ston and McQuaid gave them a 63-42 lead with 6:40 to play, the game was ef­fec­tively over, the fourth straight win at Penn State for Michi­gan State.

“We have to play bet­ter,” Izzo said. “We’ve been so wor­ried about how much we prac­tice be­cause we got guys hurt. We rested ’em and I think they con­tin­ued that rest right through this week­end.”

Chris Knight/As­so­ci­ated Press

Spar­tans guard Cas­sius Win­ston was a lit­tle off in the win, fin­ish­ing with 11 points and seven turnovers.

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