Throughout the crowd, hordes of blue and white could be seen, and the game felt just like another home game in Happy Valley. For the Michigan State Spartans (11-6, 3-1), head coach Tom Izzo dreamed of coaching his team at the famed Palestra. ''It's going to be thrilling for me,'' Izzo said. ''It's one of the meccas of college basketball.''
However, most of the thrill of the night came from the Nittany Lion side. During the game, Penn State (10-7,2-2) led for almost the entire game headlined by freshman Lamar Stevens and Tony Carr who both scored double digits in the game.
Penn State started the game strong from the opening tip with freshman Tony Carr drowning a lengthy 3-pointer along with Mike Watkins and Shep Garner contributing on offense as well. Upperclassman Payton Banks also chipped in on offense during the first half and the Nittany Lions took a 44-32 halftime lead against the Spartans.
The second half started rocky for the Nittany Lions as Michigan State was able to trim the deficit by seven, but Penn State was able to hang on for the win and junior Shep Garner scored his 1,000th point, becoming just the 32nd player to achieve this milestone in Nittany Lion history.
For Michigan State, it was a game of misses. The team shot 37% from the floor and made only 7 out of 23 3-point attempts. The only bright spot for the Spartans was Nick Ward, who scored 16 points during the match.
Penn State will get a week of much needed rest and take the floor again at home on Saturday, Jan. 14 when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers at noon on ESPNU.