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Nick Ward leads No. 6 Michigan State over Penn State, 71-56

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) �� Tom Izzo wasn't impressed with much of No. 6 Michigan State's double-digit victory over Penn State.

The Spartans built a big lead early and dominated at times in the paint in their 71-56 win on Sunday. From Izzo's standpoint, that's all they did well and that won't be enough for the Spartans to be the team they want to be.

"Maybe we're all talking too much about how good we are," Izzo said. "We're not that good."

Playing without guards Joshua Langford and Kyle Ahrens, Michigan State's offense suffered through spurts of inconsistency while also mounting the runs necessary to keep the game out of reach.

Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Matt McQuaid added 15 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 for the Spartans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. They also beat the Nittany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th consecutive time.

Michigan State turned the ball over 17 times and shot 49 percent from the field.

"They missed some shots that I think they could've made," Izzo said. "The turnovers were a joke."

Kenny Goins added 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who only trailed for 10 seconds and led by as many as 21 with 6:44 to play.

The Spartans took control just over five minutes into the first half with a relentless possession.

Fueled by a pair of offensive rebounds from Goins and Xavier Tillman, the Spartans controlled the ball for nearly 40 seconds and took the lead for good when Winston pinpointed a bounce pass through traffic to Goins, who finished with a right-handed dunk. Goins' jam sparked a 28-14 run for the Spartans, who led 40-24 at halftime.

Lamar Stevens led Penn State (7-10, 0-6) with 20 points. Myles Dread, Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins all scored 11 points.

"We haven't brought it all together yet," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We still have 14 (games) to go and we can turn this ship around right away."

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

Izzo leveled some pointed criticism at Winston.

"I hate to say it, and I'm giving him credit for the whole season, but I told Cass, that was one of the worst games I've seen him play," Izzo said.

Winston, who entered averaging 18 points per game, led the team with seven turnovers. His 11 points were his lowest output since Florida held him to 10 on Dec. 8.

Izzo said he wasn't sure when Langford and Ahrens, who missed his first game this season with a back injury, would be back to help take the load off Winston in the backcourt.

"He sure as hell deserves a hall pass," Izzo said. "But he can't get many of them if we're going to be a real good team."

DOMINATION ON THE GLASS

Ward and Goins combined to grab more than half the Spartans' rebounds. Overall, Michigan State outrebounded Penn State 41-21 but only scored two more points in the paint than Penn State's 22.

"We did a better job keeping them off the glass in the second half," Chambers said.

NOTHING TO DREAD

Dread went down with an apparent ankle injury with 8:11 to play.

The freshman guard got tangled up with Ward chasing a loose ball, fell and appeared to twist his left leg while sliding to a stop. He writhed in pain and had to be helped to the locker room. He was able to return minutes later, however.

Dread entered the afternoon averaging 8.4 points per game, and his 28.3 minutes per game were fourth on the team.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans are getting by just fine without Langford, who missed his fourth straight game with an ankle injury. In his place, a handful of Spartans have provided scoring depth, including Ahrens, Aaron Henry and McQuaid.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are in desperate need of some positivity. Their 0-6 start in the Big Ten is their worst since the 2014-15 season, when they finished 4-14 in conference play.

UP NEXT

Michigan State: Visits Nebraska on Thursday.

Penn State: Hosts Iowa on Wednesday.

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Key Players
C. Winston
5 G
L. Stevens
11 F
35.9 Min. Per Game 35.9
18.6 Pts. Per Game 18.6
1.9 Ast. Per Game 1.9
8.1 Reb. Per Game 8.1
48.8 Field Goal % 42.5
45.4 Three Point % 17.0
79.7 Free Throw % 76.5
+ 2 Foster Loyer made driving layup, assist by Thomas Kithier 10.0
  Defensive rebound by Kenny Goins 34.0
  Josh Reaves missed 3-pt. jump shot 36.0
  Defensive rebound by Trent Buttrick 46.0
  Aaron Henry missed 2nd of 2 free throws 46.0
+ 1 Aaron Henry made 1st of 2 free throws 46.0
  Shooting foul on Trent Buttrick 45.0
+ 2 Josh Reaves made driving dunk, assist by Myles Dread 1:07
  Lost ball turnover on Foster Loyer, stolen by Josh Reaves 1:11
+ 3 Myles Dread made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Lamar Stevens 1:25
+ 3 Matt McQuaid made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nick Ward 1:47
Team Stats
Points 71 56
Field Goals 25-51 (49.0%) 22-60 (36.7%)
3-Pointers 8-20 (40.0%) 5-22 (22.7%)
Free Throws 13-19 (68.4%) 7-10 (70.0%)
Total Rebounds 41 28
Offensive 9 7
Defensive 27 18
Team 5 3
Assists 19 11
Steals 5 8
Blocks 5 4
Turnovers 17 13
Fouls 15 19
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 11 REB, 1 AST
20 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo 6 Michigan State 15-2 403171
home team logo Penn State 7-10 243256
Team Stats
away team logo 6 Michigan State 15-2 84.7 PPG 46.9 RPG 20.6 APG
home team logo Penn State 7-10 67.8 PPG 39.1 RPG 12.5 APG
Key Players
44
N. Ward F 16.6 PPG 7.1 RPG 0.9 APG 63.9 FG%
11
L. Stevens F 18.5 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.9 APG 41.9 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Ward F 16 PTS 11 REB 1 AST
L. Stevens F 20 PTS 6 REB 1 AST
49.0 FG% 36.7
40.0 3PT FG% 22.7
68.4 FT% 70.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 16 11 1 7/11 0/0 2/3 4 25 1 2 3 2 9
M. McQuaid 15 0 1 4/7 4/6 3/4 3 33 0 0 1 0 0
C. Winston 11 0 6 3/7 1/3 4/4 3 30 4 0 7 0 0
K. Goins 7 10 3 3/6 1/2 0/0 1 31 0 0 2 2 8
A. Henry 7 2 2 3/6 0/1 1/4 1 25 0 0 1 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Ward 16 11 1 7/11 0/0 2/3 4 25 1 2 3 2 9
M. McQuaid 15 0 1 4/7 4/6 3/4 3 33 0 0 1 0 0
C. Winston 11 0 6 3/7 1/3 4/4 3 30 4 0 7 0 0
K. Goins 7 10 3 3/6 1/2 0/0 1 31 0 0 2 2 8
A. Henry 7 2 2 3/6 0/1 1/4 1 25 0 0 1 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
F. Loyer 7 2 1 3/6 1/4 0/0 0 11 0 0 1 1 1
X. Tillman 5 7 3 1/3 0/0 3/4 2 24 0 3 2 3 4
G. Brown 3 4 1 1/5 1/4 0/0 1 21 0 0 0 0 4
C. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Kithier - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Bingham Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Ahrens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Burke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Langford - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hoiberg - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Washington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 71 36 19 25/51 8/20 13/19 15 200 5 5 17 9 27
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 20 6 1 8/18 1/4 3/3 2 33 0 0 0 1 5
J. Reaves 11 4 9 4/11 0/4 3/5 3 38 5 3 5 2 2
M. Watkins 11 7 0 5/10 0/0 1/2 1 26 0 1 2 2 5
M. Dread 11 2 1 4/5 3/4 0/0 1 31 1 0 2 0 2
J. Wheeler 3 0 0 1/6 1/3 0/0 3 21 2 0 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Stevens 20 6 1 8/18 1/4 3/3 2 33 0 0 0 1 5
J. Reaves 11 4 9 4/11 0/4 3/5 3 38 5 3 5 2 2
M. Watkins 11 7 0 5/10 0/0 1/2 1 26 0 1 2 2 5
M. Dread 11 2 1 4/5 3/4 0/0 1 31 1 0 2 0 2
J. Wheeler 3 0 0 1/6 1/3 0/0 3 21 2 0 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Buttrick 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 3 9 0 0 0 1 1
J. Harrar 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 4 10 0 0 0 0 1
M. Jones 0 0 0 0/5 0/3 0/0 1 8 0 0 1 0 0
R. Bolton 0 0 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 1 6 0 0 1 0 0
K. McCloskey 0 3 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 18 0 0 1 1 2
S. Pierce - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Zemgulis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hazle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Nussbaum - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Brockington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Kasatkin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 56 25 11 22/60 5/22 7/10 19 200 8 4 13 7 18