UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Izaiah Brockington and Myreon Jones scored 17 points apiece, Jones making three clinching free throws in the waning seconds, and Penn State held off a resurgent Rutgers 75-67 Thursday night for its first Big Ten Conference win this season.
Seth Lundy chipped in 16 points with 10 rebounds and a career-high three steals in his return to the starting lineup. Lundy had all three steals just past the midway point of the first half as Penn State (4-6, 1-5) harassed Rutgers into early turnovers to fuel a 10-0 run.
The Nittany Lions led 34-24 at the break and, when Jones opened the second half with a 3-pointer and a three-point play, were cruising with an 18-point lead by the 10:38 mark.
Rutgers came storming back with an 11-0 run in little more than 2½ minutes, slicing the once-comfortable lead to as few as four points down the stretch.
Ron Harper Jr. scored 14 of his 18 points for Rutgers after halftime, making 5 of 10, including a pair of 3-pointers as the Scarlet Knights rallied. Myles Johnson scored 14 with seven rebounds for Rutgers (7-6, 3-6), which is in a stretch of five straight losses.
Before Thursday, Rutgers had lost four to Big Ten foes either ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes.
Brockington hit four of his first five shots as Penn State got off to the hot start. At one point early in the second half the Nittany Lions were shooting 67% from the floor. Penn State finished at 49% (27 of 55). Early in the second half, Penn State was 4 of 7 from behind the 3-point arc but cooled to one of the next five over the last 12 or 13 minutes.
Rutgers’ shooting picked up as the game went along.
Rutgers visits Indiana on Sunday while Penn State continues its three-game homestand against Northwestern on Saturday.
Penn State, which paused 17 days last month after positive COVID-19 tests, is nearing the end of a stretch of four games in seven days.
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