PSU
STJOHN

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Penn State cruises past St. John's 92-76

NEW YORK (AP) Penn State coach Patrick Chambers sounded like a coach who just watched his team play as well as it has all season.

''We competed. We played hard. And it's nice, of course, to make so many 3s,'' he said. ''That always helps.''

Shep Garner scored 21 points and was 6 for 9 from 3-point range to lead Penn State to a 92-76 victory over St. John's on Sunday in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

''If you're not nervous coming into this game, to be playing at the Garden, there's something wrong with you,'' Chambers said. ''I get butterflies. I get jacked up. I can't wait to walk on the floor.''

The Nittany Lions (7-5) took control early by closing the first half on a 35-5 run for a 52-29 lead. Garner had two 3s early in the surge as St. John's (5-7) didn't have a field goal over the final 9:45, missing 10 shots from the field and committing six turnovers.

Garner's effort from beyond the 3-point arc was part of Penn State shooting 13 for 23 from long range (56.5 percent), well above the 33 percent it was hitting this season.

Payton Banks had 17 points and was 5 of 9 on 3s for Penn State, which won its third straight. Mike Watkins had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Josh Reaves and Tony Reaves added 13 points each for the Nittany Lions.

''When Mike brings that juice, that energy and passion, he's protecting the paint and the rim for us,'' Chambers said. ''He gets us going and gets us out on the break for easy baskets and uncontested shots.''

Malik Ellison led the Red Storm with 22 points while Shamorie Ponds added 12 and Tariq Owens had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

''We had a lack of energy at a certain point in the first half and we just dug ourselves in a huge hole,'' Ellison said.

Owens echoed Ellison's comments.

''Early on we came out playing well and then just had a mental lapse,'' Owens said. ''Total effort in the first half, as a complete unit we didn't bring it as a team, so we had to change some things at half and adjust our effort.''

Second-year coach Chris Mullin hopes his team can gain something from the game.

''I was telling them after the game not only do you hate to lose and you're embarrassed and all those emotions, but what you really have to do is learn from this,'' Mullin said.

BIG PICTURE

Penn State: Two of the Nittany Lions' losses have been to ranked teams - No. 1 Duke and No. 25 Cincinnati. ... Penn State is the 18th least-experienced team in the nation but the Nittany Lions seem like gray beards compared to St. John's which is the ninth least-experienced team in the country.

St. John's: This was the Red Storm's 50th appearance in the Holiday Festival and they came in with a 73-58 record including a six-game winning streak. ... Kassoum Yakwe and Owens are the leading shot-blocking duo in the country. They came into the game with a combined 63 blocks. They both had one Sunday... This was St. John's third straight game in a different New York City borough. They played Fordham in Queens, LIU Brooklyn in Brooklyn and Penn State in Manhattan.

UP NEXT

Penn State: The Nittany Lions host Morgan State on Wednesday, then open Big Ten play at home on Dec. 27 against Northwestern.

St. John's: The Red Storm are at Syracuse on Wednesday, then open Big East play at home against No. 18 Butler.

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Key Players
S. Garner
S. Ponds
32.9 Min. Per Game 32.9
17.4 Pts. Per Game 17.4
3.4 Ast. Per Game 3.4
5.5 Reb. Per Game 5.5
41.2 Field Goal % 44.8
38.5 Three Point % 43.5
85.2 Free Throw % 84.8
  Offensive rebound by Mike Watkins 20.0
  Payton Banks missed dunk 22.0
+ 3 Bashir Ahmed made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malik Ellison 51.0
+ 3 Payton Banks made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tony Carr 59.0
  Defensive rebound by Josh Reaves 1:25
  Shamorie Ponds missed jump shot 1:27
  30-second timeout called 1:32
  Offensive foul turnover on Josh Reaves 1:32
  Defensive rebound by Mike Watkins 1:38
  Richard Freudenberg missed layup 1:40
  Offensive foul turnover on Terrence Samuel 1:48
Team Stats
Points 92 76
Field Goals 32-64 (50.0%) 25-67 (37.3%)
3-Pointers 13-23 (56.5%) 9-24 (37.5%)
Free Throws 15-23 (65.2%) 17-22 (77.3%)
Total Rebounds 43 40
Offensive 10 14
Defensive 27 21
Team 6 5
Assists 23 15
Steals 11 12
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 20 20
Fouls 20 18
Technicals 0 0
21 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST
22 PTS, 1 REB, 3 AST
12T
away team logo Penn State 7-5 524092
home team logo St. John's 5-7 294776
Team Stats
away team logo Penn State 7-5 69.7 PPG 40.2 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo St. John's 5-7 77.1 PPG 35.2 RPG 13.9 APG
Key Players
00
S. Garner G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
M. Ellison G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
S. Garner G 21 PTS 4 REB 3 AST
M. Ellison G 22 PTS 1 REB 3 AST
50.0 FG% 37.3
56.5 3PT FG% 37.5
65.2 FT% 77.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Garner 21 4 3 7/12 6/9 1/1 5 23 4 0 5 1 3
M. Watkins 15 13 4 6/10 0/0 3/5 2 32 1 3 2 4 9
J. Reaves 13 6 5 6/9 0/2 1/1 3 36 5 0 3 1 5
T. Carr 13 4 6 4/10 2/3 3/4 0 36 0 0 4 1 3
L. Stevens 9 4 2 2/5 0/0 5/8 4 17 0 0 3 3 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Garner 21 4 3 7/12 6/9 1/1 5 23 4 0 5 1 3
M. Watkins 15 13 4 6/10 0/0 3/5 2 32 1 3 2 4 9
J. Reaves 13 6 5 6/9 0/2 1/1 3 36 5 0 3 1 5
T. Carr 13 4 6 4/10 2/3 3/4 0 36 0 0 4 1 3
L. Stevens 9 4 2 2/5 0/0 5/8 4 17 0 0 3 3 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Banks 17 3 3 6/13 5/9 0/0 3 30 0 0 2 0 3
T. Samuel 4 2 0 1/3 0/0 2/4 2 21 0 0 1 0 2
J. Moore 0 1 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 3 1 0 0 0 1
I. Washington 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Zhao - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Bostick - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 92 37 23 32/64 13/23 15/23 20 200 11 3 20 10 27
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Ellison 22 1 3 8/11 5/6 1/1 1 30 2 0 3 0 1
S. Ponds 12 5 4 3/17 2/7 4/6 3 34 4 1 3 1 4
M. LoVett 10 2 1 3/9 0/3 4/4 1 33 2 0 6 0 2
K. Yakwe 8 7 3 3/6 0/0 2/3 4 25 0 1 0 4 3
B. Ahmed 6 3 0 2/9 1/2 1/1 0 20 0 0 5 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Ellison 22 1 3 8/11 5/6 1/1 1 30 2 0 3 0 1
S. Ponds 12 5 4 3/17 2/7 4/6 3 34 4 1 3 1 4
M. LoVett 10 2 1 3/9 0/3 4/4 1 33 2 0 6 0 2
K. Yakwe 8 7 3 3/6 0/0 2/3 4 25 0 1 0 4 3
B. Ahmed 6 3 0 2/9 1/2 1/1 0 20 0 0 5 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Owens 11 11 3 4/7 0/0 3/5 5 22 3 1 3 6 5
R. Freudenberg 5 4 1 1/4 1/3 2/2 4 20 0 0 0 2 2
F. Mussini 2 2 0 1/4 0/3 0/0 0 12 1 0 0 0 2
D. Williams 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
M. Clark Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Alibegovic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Simon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Sima - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Holifield - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 76 35 15 25/67 9/24 17/22 18 200 12 3 20 14 21