Mike Watkins had an historic game Wednesday — and it moved Penn State into the next round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Nittany Lions freshman posted 8 blocks as Penn State beat Nebraska 76-67 in overtime at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., setting a single-game Big Ten Tournament record for blocks.
But the young Lion did more than block shots at a ridiculous rate. He also starred on offense, scoring scored a game-high 18 points (on 9-for-12 shooting) to go with 11 rebounds as Penn State advanced to face Michigan State in the second round Thursday.
Penn State’s Mike Watkins sets Big Ten Tournament record
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 8, 2017
With the win, the 13th-seeded Lions improved to 15-17 on the season. They will play the 5-seed Spartans (18-13) at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. The winner then plays Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. ET Friday in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Michigan State is projected to make the NCAA Tournament, but Penn State could do serious damage to those hopes with a win.
But Wednesday was all about Watkins and the Nittany Lions’ tournament-opening win.
— Penn State Hoops (@PennStateMBB) March 8, 2017
Lamar Stevens added 16 points and fellow starter Tony Carr added 11. Shep Garner came off the bench to contribute 16 points (4 for 7 on 3-pointers and 4 for 4 from the foul line).