Penn State fritters away big lead, falls at No. 5 Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Tom Izzo sat Cassius Winston at the beginning of the second half, benching his point guard to send a message.
It seemed to work.
Miles Bridges had 23 points and Winston scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime and finished with 10 assists, helping No. 5 Michigan State come back from a double-digit deficit to beat Penn State 76-68 on Wednesday night.
The Spartans (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) rallied to win after trailing by 12 with 15:23 left after coming back from 13-point deficit to win their previous game at Maryland.
“We've got to figure out a way to bring it from the beginning,” said Walton, adding Izzo's move motivated him to play with more intensity.
Winston, who was replaced by Tum Tum Nairn at the start of the second half, made a go-ahead layup midway through the second half and Matt McQuaid made back to back 3s after not taking a shot for nearly 30 minutes.
“What breaks your back are the McQuaid 3s,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “You don't really count on him coming off the bench. I know he's only averaging a few points.”
The Nittany Lions (15-9, 5-6) had won two straight, including a buzzer-beater at Ohio State, and didn't give up their winning streak easily after trailing by as much as 15 points. They went on an 11-2 run to pull within six points with 37 seconds left after Tony Carr made consecutive 3-pointers in 6 seconds. Carr just missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds.
“We played really good basketball for a long time,” Chambers said. “We got into foul trouble. ... I'd like to see our five versus their five for a longer time. I think Michigan State knows we're a pretty good basketball team and we'd fight.”
Joshua Langford made two free throws to seal the victory and finished with 14 points.
Carr scored 28, giving him at least 25 points for the seventh time this season.
“One of the best players on the floor, for sure,” Chambers said.