STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Lamar Stevens scored 19 points, Payton Banks added 15 and Shep Garner chipped in 14 points to lead Penn State to an 85-76 victory over Grand Canyon in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament on Tuesday night.
Penn State used a 28-18 run to build a 48-41 halftime lead. That evaporated within the first 5 minutes of the second half. In that span, the Nittany Lions went 0-for-9 from the field as Grand Canyon jumped back in front.
The Nittany Lions (2-1) put together an impressive 13-7 run in which Banks and Stevens combined for all 13 points. Stevens tipped in a rebound with 6:06 left to put Penn State up 75-63 for its biggest lead of the game.
Joshua Braun made 5 of 10 3-pointers and led Grand Canyon (0-2) with 25 points. Oscar Frayer, Darion Clark, Keonta Vernon and Shaq Carr also finished in double figures for the Antelopes with 13, 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
THE BIG PICTURE
Grand Canyon: The Antelopes are 0 for 6 against Power 5 teams and have been outscored 550-365 since they joined the Division I ranks.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions have never began a season with three freshmen starters in three straight games as they have with Stevens, Watkins and Tony Carr this year. Carr and Stevens were in double figures for the third time and Watkins finished with nine points and six rebounds. The last time Penn State had three freshmen start in three consecutive games was at the end of the 2007-08 season. This roster should be better off for getting young, talented players this many minutes early.
Grand Canyon travels to Uncasville, Connecticut to continue the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament against Albany on Saturday.
Penn State will also visit Uncasville on Saturday where it will face No. 1 Duke.